"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Bird Lady

Northern Flicker
I had such a fun day watching my birds yesterday. Yes, they are my birds! At least while they are in my yard they are my birds. ;-) I don't know why for sure, but there are certain days the birds are more active than other days. I think it is generally on a cooler day, after it has been warm; and it is most often on a rare day free of wind when they seem particularly content.

I kind of feel like God has given these birds to me to bring me joy. He has also given them to me to take care of while they are here, visiting. So when one little one (I didn't see what kind) hit the window, I quickly shut the blind. It wouldn't be the first time, birds have hit my window, thinking they could fly straight through because there is another window in the exact same spot on the other side of my living room. One of the blinds must be shut to prevent them from trying to fly through.

I got the biggest kick out of watching a small, grey bird with a patch of yellow on her back. I am not really familiar with this bird, having not seen many of them. I believe it was a female Yellow Rumped Warbler. She was silently chasing a butterfly around the yard and it all looked so peaceful, almost magical, that it made me smile. She kept trying for several minutes to catch the little butterfly all the while within my view. It was all so sweet, until I thought about it a bit more, and I realized the bird was trying to catch the beautiful, little butterfly for a meal. I started rooting for the butterfly then. "Eat worms, you silly bird! They are higher in protein!" I thought to myself.

There were also a few Mountain Bluebirds playing in the back yard. They have been so rare this summer, I determined to sit and watch all the while they were here. Another time when they were here this year was on a day with the exact same conditions: cool, no rain, and no wind. However, that is not typically the norm. During a usual summer, once they are here to nest, they are here for the duration. Just not the case this year, so I really wanted to watch them for a bit now that I had the opportunity.
Not me, just yet!

Other birds that have been plentiful this year, are the Western Bluebirds, the Meadowlarks, Killdeers and the Flickers; and of course Robins; Chickadee-dee-dee-dee-dees; Sparrows and Swallows. There seem to have been more humming birds than is normal, and the Meadowlarks were especially active this year. I think I have seen more Meadowlarks this summer, than I have throughout my entire life. They are generally a bird heard and not seen. Of course, they are and always have been one of my favorites.

Another new favorite is the killdeer. While their warning call can become a bit bothersome at times, they are such a treat to watch, because they are typically a ground bird and one of the few I can watch the babies as they grow. My other new favorite is the Flicker. They have so much personality, turning upside down, and then right side up; peck, peck pecking away. They are obviously God's "comic relief" in this movie called Life.

I have been keeping track of all the birds I have seen and enjoyed this summer. Either at home or in my travels, I have seen Eagles, Canadian Geese (another favorite); Ravens, Crows, a Great Blue Heron, California Quail, Pheasants and of course the Red Tail Hawk. Oh, and the troublesome Starling; one of the few birds that I dislike. This probably isn't an exhaustive list of my bird viewing, but rather the ones that I remember the most.

Sometimes, I am amazed at how important birds have become in my life. Other times, I am more amazed that until the last few years, I hadn't paid much attention to them at all. Still, I am trying not to become one of those eccentric bird ladies that we often see in the movies. You know; the homeless or bag ladies that will feed the pigeons, while they go hungry themselves. I don't want to be that lady. I only want to view God's gift of majesty and joy revealed in the scene of a bird in flight.


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