*Not my window*
I have never been particularly interested in birds. They were never my cup of tea. I prefer cats and dogs –animals you can pet, cuddle with , and love while you bury your head in their soft fur. Birds? They are loud and chaotic and they poop everywhere! They are not cuddly animals. Birds never interested me until this winter.
I don’t know what prompted me to do it. It could have been the fact that I spend way to much time on Pinterest collecting ideas, but I remember thinking at the end of October just as all the leaves were falling off the tree in our front yard, that our preschooler would get a kick out of making a bird feeder out of a milk jug. I carefully cut the holes and tied the string and the Peanut very diligently used every marker she owned to decorate it. We hung it in our tree and put the bird seed in. It looked clunky and unbalanced and quite the sight dangling from our almost bare tree in the front yard. But my daughter was excited to “help feed the birds in the winter”.
*These turned out nicer than ours did lol*
The birds did not come right away. We were both a bit disappointed. I had thought they would come right away but no, only Mr. Squirrel came trying to figure out how to get out onto the skinny branch that hung over the lawn where our makeshift bird feeder hung precariously. But after a few days of seeing him hanging all over the branches above the feeder and below it I could tell he could not get a firm purchase from which to steal the bird seed. Now if only the birds would come I would feel better about having spent ten dollars on a giant bag of bird seed.
It took about a week but then the little birds came. Fat little, chubby birds with black and white markings. I had no clue what they were. They were hyper little things. They flew from branch to branch all over the tree inspecting the milk jug. I watched from our front window suddenly fascinated by their frenetic movements and shrill little calls to one another and quivering with the anticipation of the “would they or won’t they” go to the bird feeder. At long last (perhaps 5 minutes) one little chubby one fluffed all his feathers up as he was sitting on the branch nearest the milk jug and in a flash dove right into the bird feeder. Then he flew out and another flew in . These little cherub birds actually qued up off the branches and took turns flying in and out of the bird feeder. I smiled. Success!
*My little cherub birds -also called Chickadees.*
I told my daughter when I picked her up from Preschool that little birds had visited our bird feeder. She happily spent two hours that afternoon sitting in front of our bay window playing and waiting for the birds to come back. They did not disappoint. The Peanut was enthralled with the little birds flying in and out of the tree.
We were enjoying it-watching these little birds fly about every day and play. We looked up the birds and discovered they were a type of finch. We both thought they were adorable and funny they way they puffed up all their feathers and dove into the opening of the bird feeder. They played games too, we discovered, as one fluffy little guy would dive bomb the feeder and scatter some seeds on the ground and the others would dive in from high above. It was more entertaining than any television program.
Then the Blue Jays came. They are proud and warrior like. They swooped in one day and squawked and squawked. The little finches retreated to the tops of our little tree. There were only two Blue Jays. One stayed on the ground while the other was in the tree screeching like a banshee. Then he made a quick flick of his head and examined the bird feeder. The Blue Jay kept moving his head back and forth surveying his surroundings before he jumped up on the branch directly across from our homemade bird feeder. Then he flew in. The other Blue Jay on the ground made a shrill cry and flew up and into the bird feeder. They were in there for less than a minute before the flew away at a rapid pace swirling through the air like two miniature blue rockets.
*The warrior-like Blue Jay*
The Blue Jays come every day now. They squawk and push the little finches out of the feeder and up to the tops of the tree or to the electrical wires above. If a little bird is not moving fast enough the Blue Jays will dive bomb yelling all the way until the little bird flees high above and to the safety of his little group. The Blue Jays are bullies. But I adore them. They are fearless. They chase the neighborhood tom cat away from their territory. They seem to have a bird version of ADD–constantly moving, hopping, swooping and majestically soaring around the little tree. They are undeterred from whatever it is that they need or want and I can respect that in a bird.
One day probably close to the beginning of December. The Cardinals came. They are the polar opposite of the Blue Jays. They are stoic. They fly in with grace and calm. They wait quite patiently on the high branches while the little finches take their turns in the que at the bird feeder. When the cherubs are quite done the Cardinals fly down and land at the bird feeder to eat. There is a male Cardinal with his red coat of feathers so bright and crimson in the winter sun the feathers look like they were coated with glitter. His mate , the female Cardinal has a duller coloring with only a spot of crimson, however, she has a certain regal bearing for a bird. They are inquisitive yet cautious but they have made our little tree a regular stop on their daily travels. But the best thing about the Cardinals is that they frustrate my bully Blue Jays. The Blue Jays swoop in and yell and screech at the Cardinals and the Cardinals pay no attention to them. They do not let the Blue Jays scare them out of the tree. They are self-assured birds and frankly I think the Cardinals find the Jays a bit tedious. I often refer to the Cardinal as the King and Queen of our tree. The two Blue Jays are Iago and Roderigo.
*The majestic Cardinals*
We added more home-made bird feeders now for a total of four monstrously DIY looking creations hanging on branches from our little tree. Every morning I open the curtains to our bay window, get my coffee and wait for the birds to come. Sometimes they come later in the morning after my daughter is off at school but every day for the past few months they have come and I have watched. I never thought much about birds before this little experiment. They were just birds outside, they had no meaning to me. They just were. Now I find myself looking forward to watching their antics outside my window and learning more about the life and habits of each type of bird. Each day is a new lesson. Each day brings something new to see.
I never thought much about birds before but now they are as much a part of my morning routine as my first cup of coffee. They bring me comfort. They bring me a sense of wonderment at how big and beautiful nature can be. They teach me about finding the beauty in every day. I have received so much from the birds outside my window and I cannot wait until I see my new friends each day.
Today there were two Mourning Doves outside my window.
*Our new friends the Mourning Doves*
Till next time!