I decided the other morning to go outside for awhile to nourish my spirit.  I thought I might shuffle through some leaves and enjoy the fall color.  But as often happens when I go out for a little ‘spirit time,’ the wonders that I actually experience turn out to be different from those I’d imagined.

     As I strolled down into what was formerly an orchard, I noticed movement in the nearby butterfly bush.  There, in the cover of leaves and branches was a little grey bird.  Could it be a junco?  This early in the season?  While I couldn’t see whether this bird had the distinctive grey and white junco breast, this fellow did sport a short, stout junco beak.  And it was making those slight, sweet chipping sounds that juncoes make.  And then I noticed a second grey bird a little higher in the bush.  Yes, both were juncoes!  Soon, the first bird flew up and out, to perch in the top of a big oak tree farther down the hill.  Within seconds, the second junco swooped off to join the first.

     No sooner had the juncoes flown off than I began to notice quite a bit of avian activity right around me.  At the center of the action was the nearby pole bird feeder.  Titmice made their way to it from at least 100 yards off, from beyond the other side of the house.  I watched individual titmice, as they flew under the deck, close to the ground,  navigating with ease around deck support posts.  Once out from under the deck, the birds would make several stops en route to the feeder.  After perching for a second or two in the corkscrew willow, a titmouse would lift and then settle in the magnolia tree a few feet closer to the feeder.  Then closer.  Once a bird reached the tree just over the feeder, it would let go and glide down, gracefully wrapping its little feet around the feeder’s edge.   

     Standing on the hillside below the feeder, I watched each titmouse, perched on the rim of the feeder.  It would turn its head sharply from side to side, as if to satisfy itself that it was indeed safe to dip down and pluck out a sunflower seed.  Then, having done so, the bird would take off.  Back under the deck it swooped, to eat its snack in peace in an undisclosed location.–April Moore 


the center of the action--the pole and umbrella shield are liberally greased with shortening in an attempt to deter squirrels

the center of the action--the pole and umbrella shield are liberally greased with shortening in an attempt to deter squirrels



One Response to “Birdland”

  1. Joan Brundage Says:

    Thanks, April, for sharing your birdwatching!

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