Natue Notebook – A Bird Day In The Life On Country Street

By: Eileen Hennemann

When the sun warms your bones after a disappointing week of uninspired gardening weather, and you can get out there for hours of bliss, you’d think nothing else could make you happier. We were proven wrong by being very pleasantly surprised from all the bird activity throughout the day. What should have taken us but a few hours to finish stretched out to a full day of working and stopping to watch the aerial activity.

While Allan turned the soil over in the front area where the shrubs have taken over he would stop often to listen to an odd “kwock” sound emanating from the Buckthorn hedge. A trio of Green Herons finally flew out and perched in a tall tree beside him. After quickly referring to the bird book did we learn that they really shouldn’t be here with us but instead by water of some kind. Throughout the day they would entertain us with their very un-birdlike sounds.

As we became blasé with the Green Herons we returned to our chores only to stop in our tracks while a couple of Baltimore (Northern) Orioles swept in, their orange feathers blazing through the budding lime-green leaves. This is the only time of year we are privileged to enjoy this bright and elusive bird. They joined in the chorus of the brilliant yellow Gold Finches and glorious red Cardinals swooping in to the feeders at the front door.

While I returned to the back yard, Allan continued his digging by the Forsythias. The buzzing around him was deafening as not only were the yellow blossoms covered in bumblebees but with Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. They’d chitter and chatter while trying to buzz each other away from the best blooms and jet-zoom by Allan’s ears while in chase.

Meanwhile the Warblers were keeping me company out back with the various local Sparrows, Chickadees, and Grackles. The Mourning Dove was watching me silently from her perch waiting for a good time to flutter back into the cedar hedge where her nest lay.

Three other nests nestled in the cedars and juniper around me – two Robins’ nests and a Grackle’s. They were constantly swooping at each other to make sure their individual nests were left undisturbed.

The Cat Bird did its best to hide from us but couldn’t resist singing her meow-like call while she flitted along the length of the hedge. And not to be outdone, the Thrasher appeared later in the day to mimic as many of the birds he heard entertaining us until that time. A very prolific bird, he’s proud and shameless.

The Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker and Flickers stayed on the telephone poles at the end of our driveway and made many irritated sounds while we went to and fro in our gardening chores. We probably could have finished several hours earlier but who could resist such an aviary delight. In addition to stopping to smell the roses we got to stop and hear the birdsong. We’ll remember this day during the dark and bitter cold days of winter.

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