The end of March, and our backyard is positively aflutter with birds. The trees are full of them, and the cheeping of the goldfinches at times reaches a shrill but thrilling crescendo. In between, I hear the lovely song of our cardinal; the chipper call of the chickadees, plentiful but never common, as a good friend once noted; the cooing of mourning doves; and many other bird voices.
New to the backyard are our cardinal and his mate. To say it is a thrill to have them here is a big, big understatement. Cardinals, recent arrivals in Maine, tend to like open spaces, and the yard at the little house in the big woods is anything but open. However, the cardinals came to us last spring, and they are with us still. I suppose there is less competition from other cardinals here as well as a steady supply of food. Whatever the reason, I hope they (and their descendants) make this their permanent home.
Another new arrival is the red-bellied woodpecker, and this bird is even more recent than the cardinals, which have been in Maine for fifteen or twenty years. Until a couple of years ago, I had never seen a red-bellied woodpecker. Now, they are fairly common to the area, and we have at least one coming to the feeder. (Perhaps more. It’s hard for me to distinguish one from the other, but I have only seen one at a time.)
Last week, we bought bird seed and filled the feeders. Within a week, the feeders needed to be refilled. The birds are hungry, even hungrier than they were in the winter, when we filled the feeders every few weeks. Perhaps it’s because they are getting ready to start their families, and no doubt this is hungry work. Whatever the case, we dote on the birds and will keep those feeders full.
In a month or so, when the weather is warmer, we plan to invite our friends John and Beth over for grilled pizza. They love sitting on the patio and watching the birds as much as we do, and last spring we spent a happy afternoon watching the fluttering beauties who are not in the least bothered by us or our noisy dog.
My little camera, which does such a great job with flowers and food, does not capture birds very well. Nevertheless, knowing I am in for heartbreak and disappointment, I try, snapping away at the various birds that come to our backyard. Clif also tries to take pictures of these little creatures that seldom sit still.
But once in a while, we even get a couple of pictures that we can actually use in a post.