Monday, July 23, 2012


One thing I noticed on Saturday as I sat on the deck. The birds were not out singing in the yard until around 10. I thought this unusual but perhaps I've not paid as much attention to the sounds in the yard as I should. There used to be a robin, perhaps I've talked about him before, who would sing at the crack of dawn outside my bedroom window. Robins are loud, particularly at 5:15 a.m. when you're trying to sleep. I have not heard that robin this year but then, the windows have been closed to keep the air conditioned air inside. He might still be singing but I'll not hear him.

I like to just listen to the outdoors which is why I noticed the absence of bird calls. The cicadas are out in full force and I think, like a lot of things, that's early this year. That was the predominant noise from 8:30 to 11, when I went inside. The birds didn't make an appearance until around 10. It started with a couple of cardinals calling across the yard. I'm not sure where the other male was but I could hear him. I like hearing the call of the one in my trees and then the response of the other one trying to make inroads into territory by calling. I'm not sure how they decide which one of them has won a "sing off". This went on for an hour. Then the chickadees showed up.

There were 3 of them. At first, I thought they were "yelling" at one of the cats. It was how I knew where my other cats who were allowed to go outside at will, were within the yard. You just had to listen for the chickadees. I realized, however, there was not a cat outside. So what were they "chick-a-dee-dee-deeing" at. Looking up at the birds hopping around in the tree off the deck, I realized one of them was female. AHA! It was comical to watch the males hopping around, trying to impress her with song and agility. Eventually, they spotted me watching them and they all took off for the trees at the back of the yard.

I've noticed a distinct lack of grackles this year. I'm not complaining. They are very messy birds and intimidating to smaller ones. The lack of them means the chickadees and finches and sparrows have a more pleasant environment. In spite of the messy robins, the bird bath is cleaner because there are no grackles. There are a couple of cardinals and several chickadees who use the bath. They are too fast for me to photograph, however.

Perhaps the absence of song is a relation to the heat. It must be hard to forage for food and sing when it's hot and humid. I hope my keeping the bird bath clean keeps native birds in the yard.

And about the photo at the top. There's a cardinal in the bushes. A spot of red in a sea of green.

Beverage:  Darjeeling tea


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