Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Signs of Spring
I've never written a blog before, though I've kept a journal for years. I thought it might be fun to put together some of the things I've learned, read, wondered about, gotten mad about, or otherwise encountered. In any case, if you're an actual reader, welcome!
I only see my garden on the weekends. We have 8 bird feeders in the yard, and all week I look forward to watching many types of birds come and go. They perch on the feeders, or in the branches of the pine tree, or on the trunk of our walnut tree. They chase each other through the branches and zoom by the kitchen window. It's like watching a game of musical chairs.
This past weekend, I saw the usual assortment of chickadees, titmice, goldfinches, blue jays, cardinals, house finches, and -- best of all -- woodpeckers. But the big news was the absence of the female pileated woodpecker. For weeks, we've been thrilled to see the male and female coming to the suet feeders together. The male goes to the suet first, while the female waits on the tree trunk below, calling and watching. When he moves up the trunk, she takes his place at the feeder. They may stay for as long as 15 minutes. (And I hang out the kitchen window with the camera for as long as they're here.) But this weekend, he came without her. WHERE IS "MRS. BIG BIRD?" To my ever-hopeful mind, there can be just one explanation: maybe she's on the nest! Pileateds are early nesters-- they can nest as early as February. Last year, the 2 parents and 1 fledgling visited our yard in June. So I can't say for sure, but I imagine her keeping eggs warm somewhere deep in the trees. Perhaps "Mr. Big Bird" is feeding her bits of suet gathered from our feeders. Live long and prosper!