Empty Nest Syndrome

| 9/24/2010 5:05:30 PM

“Look. There’s my doves.”

Shelby and I were sitting on the back porch, talking, when two pairs of doves flew in and started pecking at the spilled safflower seed on the ground around the bird feeder.

Your doves? Mom, those aren’t your birds; they’re Nature’s birds.”

She is, of course, right. I can’t lay claim to nature’s creatures, but while they’re in my yard, they’re referred to as “my birds.” We enjoy quite a varied lot of avian visitors – much more than just the flocks of sparrows and house finches that crowded the feeder when we first moved in. My plantings of trees, shrubs, and gardens have attracted daily regulars – robins, jays, my wren, goldfinches, chickadees, nuthatches, hummingbirds, cardinals, and Earl the downy woodpecker, (I have no idea if it’s the same woodpecker I see every day; all woodpeckers are named Earl); occasionally there will be a red-winged black bird, grosbeak, or flicker.

And my crows. Given they’re my favorites, it’s odd I haven’t given them names, except The One with the Broken Crower. Though it chatters constantly, I’ve never hear it “caw”; instead it lets out a series of clicks, and a gurgly trilling call that sounds like a lawnmower badly in need of a tune up. I have a lot of admiration for crows. They and their kin - the raven, magpie, and jay are extremely intelligent birds; perhaps the most intelligent in the bird world. There is a flock of about 200 that roost in winter in the huge pine tree behind our across-the-street neighbor's yard. In spring, they break into their family units. Crows usually mate for life, and it is not unusual for their young to remain with the parents for a few years. The four that are constantly in my yard this year are probably parents and their grown offspring. They are clowns, always doing something entertaining.

Spring always brings a lot of migratory birds that stay for a brief time before continuing on their journey to more northern grounds. A flock of warblers that hung around for a week in April announced that this was going to be a season for the birds.

S.M.R. Saia
10/6/2010 9:20:49 AM

Cindy, thanks for sharing your bird season. I always enjoy reading your posts. Shannon

Cindy Murphy
10/1/2010 8:32:36 PM

Oh-my-gosh, Vickie! Myrtle the Turtle?! And the poor chickens too?! I live in fear that my neighbor's chippy little dog will end up under my tires one morning as I'm backing out to go to work. He's half blind, half deaf, and 100 percent ornery. He stands right at the edge of where the sidewalk and driveway meet, daring me to back over him if he decides to step into the drive at just the last minute. Grrrr....I believe he's at least as irritating as the squirrels. You're welcome to come sit on my porch and watch the birds anytime. You like coffee? I've always got a pot on for anyone who stops in. Between bird watching and coffee drinking we can discuss the hazards of living with small animals who feel the need to hang out in the driveway. Enjoy your weekend.

9/30/2010 5:25:14 PM

Cindy, Loved it. I would love to sit out on your porch and watch all the birds-sounds wonderful. We've had our stories of animals as the girls grew up-we once had a turtle the girls named Myrtle. It was a good size turtle -we lived in the backwoods of Kentucky then. We had to go to the store and as I was backing up I backed up over Myrtle. The girls never forgave me. then there was the chickens I ran over... Vickie

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