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Backyard Birdblogging

Our feeders have been a great success this spring. In addition to nursing several squirrels to fatness, they have fed cardinals, black-capped chickadees, blue jays, dark-eyed juncos, mourning doves, robins, a few sparrows, house finches, a pair of purple finches, hairy and downy woodpeckers, at least one white-breasted nuthatch, common grackles, and tufted titmice. Empty of seeds at the moment, the feeders are host to a just-matured cardinal, is also whistling. Mostly red, he has a few brown feathers left—they stick out from his coat and make him look awkward.

Yesterday morning while jogging I also saw a flock of four cedar waxwings. Unless we put out suet and jelly feeders, however, it’s unlikely we’ll see them in our yard.

Unrelated to birds, but related to spring: sadly, the late freeze (and snow) we had this week basically killed the daffodils, hyacinths, and other bulbs that had flowered two weeks ago. It will be warm again soon—not, of course, soon enough.



Bird blogging rules. But next time include pictures from your backyard rather than glamour shots from Cornell.

I can do that, but only if you can spell glamor like an American.

I often jog to the edge of town (actually, out near work) where there are pastures and cornfields. This morning in one of those pastures, about 200 yards off, I saw a big tom turkey. He was on full display: every dozen steps or so he’d stop to fan his tail, then walk another dozen steps, stop, fan, and go on again. I watched him a while, and just before I left, heard him call with that brilliant cluck.

This morning, too, another woodpecker—a red-bellied—at the feeder.

William Bartram to Benjamin Smith Barton:

[birds] are ingenious little Philosophers, & my esteemed Associates. Can any Man of sense & candour, who has the use of his Eyes & Rational faculty, doubt what Animals are rational creatures?

You’re gonna have to stop with the Bartram, else you’ll make me pick up his Travels. I’ve got too many other things to read already without thinking I need to read him again.

Wow, what a strange scene that is (above)! Another one of those inter-species relationships, I guess…