My family spied a blue parakeet amongst the nuthatches in the alder trees in our yard. It was bizarre—we all thought we were seeing something that was imaginary at best, surreal at the least. But, it was true—the escaped (or released) bird mingled with the wild ones, eating food at our many feeders. We were worried about our fine blue friend and thought that it wouldn’t make it (the end of summer was nearing). So, my Dad came up with a humane “trap” that consisted of a large bird feeder that had a mechanism to pull down a tarp around it to try to catch the bird without hurting it. It was quite a family project! The key though was to lay in wait for the bird to come to feed, then a couple of us would pull the strings and the other two would try to get the bird safely. We were ready to rescue and we were serious.
Okay, it’s pretty easy to imagine how this project flowed. We came close once, but ended up trapping (and notably scaring) the other wild birds. And I am sure the neighbors thought we were a bit “bird-brained” (and we were, but having an adventure anyway). Our blue bird eventually disappeared and the contraption was converted to a normal feeder. But what lingered, is the fact that I learned lots about our local birds.
Today, nothing is more exciting to me than to spy a hummingbird at my feeder—I watch in absolute fascination. Is it an Anna’s Hummingbird? A Rufous Hummingbird? Is it male or female? Juvenile or adult? How often has it fed today? Where is it nesting?
Two very plump Robins gorge themselves on worms in my backyard. The thrushes and flickers poke around the yard, a very NOISY Stellar Jay makes his/her presence known. Last year, chickadees nested in our Hawaiian tiki-styled bird house (which was pleasing because out of the four birdhouses we own, the birds picked the coolest one). Nuthatches abound on the front lawn. On lucky days, mallards fly over the house, perhaps the V formation of Canada Geese, or on extra lucky days, bald eagles or herons glide over my rooftop. In the South Sound, there’s no better haven for bird watchers.
Bloggers/Readers: What flies in your neighborhood? What fine feathered friends do you see out your window?