Morning Greeters

There is nothing that gives me more pleasure than sitting on my patio as the morning dawns and listen for the first bird to sing its joy for the day.  After the first one, another will join the song and soon the trees are full of bird song, lifting their voices in praise of God.  Each one has it’s own song and so I listen, identifying each one as I can.

I have a yard full of mockingbirds.  They are cocky fellows.  I have watched them chase squirrels, tease my cat and bully other birds.  They ignore me and come right on to the patio.  They believe they can out smart and out maneuver anything.  They imitate the song of other birds so I need to be sure which bird I am listening to.

There are some cardinals that hang out in my back yard.  I believe one has a nest in my honeysuckle vine.  I have not checked but I see a hen slipping under the foliage.  They are a bright spot of color any time of the year but are especially appreciated in the gray winter days.  Their bright color is like an ornament on a Christmas tree.

There are robins that stay around.  They must nest near by because they always seem to be present.  There are some rufus sparrows about, too.  They come in to the bird bath for a drink of water.  They are almost as pretty as a cardinal.  Occasionally I see a little yellow bird drop by.  I don’t know what kind it is but it is really pretty.  There are a variety of birds that pass through.  Each has it’s own song and special beauty.

I put up a bluebird box a few years ago and there have been several clutches raised in it.  I love the mellow song of the bluebird.  There is always a male and female together.  I have decided the male goes house hunting each spring and when he finds one he considers suitable, he calls her to come check it out.  She looks it over and they fly to a near tree and discuss it.  If she like it, they move in and begin building the nest.  She lays the eggs and stays in the nest overnight to keep the eggs warm.  He goes somewhere nearby to spend the night.  Come morning, he flies to a near branch and waits for her to get up.  If she waits to long, he will call her.  She comes out and they go look for breakfast.  They are back and forth during the day.  When the eggs hatch, they both bring food to the chicks.  He is very protective of his family.  Once I saw a mockingbird land on the nest box.  The little male came out of a nearby tree like a rocket and knocked the mockingbird off .  The mockingbird squawked in surprise.

You have probably guessed I also put out a hummingbird feeder each spring.  It is a pleasure to watch their antics.  They are greedy little fellows and don’t like to share at all.  One year I had about 20 of the little guys coming to my feeders.  It was amazing to watch them line up like planes in a holding pattern to get to the feeders.  I haven’t had so many in several years.  I find myself wondering if something has caused the population to drop, but I hear others say they have a lot of birds.  I have only had two or three for several years now.  The honeysuckle are in bloom now.  I have noticed they don’t come to the feeders as much during that time.  I suspect they are feeding from the honeysuckle and they could be nesting at that time, too.  A few days ago I was taking down the feeder to put in fresh syrup when one came and tried to feed while I was taking it down.  Once I got the feeder free, he came back again.  I held the feeder while he drank his fill.  On several occasions he has flown down to my eye level and looked me over.  Last year when a feeder emptied and I hadn’t noticed, one flew to my kitchen window and looked at me, then flew back and forth. I decided it was trying to tell me the feeder was empty and I needed to do something about it.  I filled it.

As you can see, I derive a great deal of pleasure from my feathered friends.  I can’t say they aren’t afraid of me, but they aren’t concerned about my presence.  I am just another presence in their backyard.