Saturday, May 02, 2009


Today I cleaned out the bird feeders. Yuck. They get pretty nasty after awhile. But it was a beautiful day for it. It feels so good to be out in the sunshine after being cooped up all winter. During the ice storm (in December) and the cold, snowy winter, it's refreshing to be able to keep the windows open, to breathe in the spring green air.

Everything is bursting into bloom right now. Tonight, my dog and son and I went for a walk, searching for goose nests. We found two, but one was abandoned (a pair of geese was close by, but it seemed odd that they'd let us get so close without causing more of a ruckus. Maybe it was the dog that scared them.Still, I'd think they'd at least honk at us). The other nest only had two eggs in it, and they didn't look healthy. They had blackish spots on them. One was cracked open, but no baby was nearby. Hopefully the groundskeepers haven't done anything to keep them from hatching. I love the geese.

I was never all that interested in birds until the last few years. When I was a teenager, I had a couple of not-so-great experiences with birds that sort of messed me up for awhile. I was taking care of the neighbor's parakeet, who I think was named Gordo. While I was changing the newspaper at the bottom of the cage, he got out. What happened next was awful. He was flying all around their living room (with a cathedral ceiling, so I couldn't get hold of him), and he kept crashing himself into the chimney and their big living room and dining room windows. It was awful. Finally, somehow (I don't remember how), I got him back in his cage. The poor thing must have been a wreck.

I also remember getting occasional birds in our chimney when I was growing up. Seems like once I had to help take care of getting him out. (By the way, a good tip is to throw a blanket over the bird, and then gently take him outdoors.)

But now I like birds. Some are cute and twittery (sparrows), others silently majestic (herons), still others colorful (cardinals and finches). Until I started watching and identifying the birds that came to our feeders, I never realized how many types of birds there were. I always thought most of those little birds as sparrows, but I've identified lots of others: nuthatch, titmouse, finch as well as two or three types of woodpeckers and many others.

So I've put out my thistle seed feeder (thanks to Shirley who got me started on that) and my regular feeder, and I'm soaking my other hummingbird feeder to clean it out.

I noticed on Amazon today that Kevin Henkes has a new book called, "Birds." Looks interesting.

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