The little red house finches are back! Not just a few of them, but dozens of them. I was very happy to see them.
When we manage to convince the squirrels that it’s time to unhook their claws from the feeders, the birds pour in by the dozens. They know they only have half an hour before the squirrels are back again. They don’t mind the little chipmunk who comes to clean up the fallen seeds on the wood railing and ground.
Never mind that I swept and cleaned the entire deck yesterday. There’s no evidence today that it was ever cleaned. And then there’s the driveway. Why do the winds only blow leaves onto the drive, but never off? Just asking!
It seems that the more I try and discuss the eating all the food situation with the squirrels, the more squirrels show up. It used to be one at a time. Not the same squirrel each time, but it was a definite group. I could tell by the scars in their fur and the shape of their tails.
Now, we have two babies — about half the size of the bigger gray ones. I have to assume the big ones are their parents. Or maybe aunts and uncles. hard to tell.
I’m pretty sure they’ve been told to come here, that this is where the good food is. And it seems that the more I talk to them, the less afraid they are. Maybe because I’m so polite?
On the other hand, The Duke goes completely wacko when he sees two, three, four squirrels on the porch and when he gets to barking frantically, the squirrels tend to get a bit hinky and move elsewhere for a while.
But people? They just eyeball us. I swear this morning I looked on the deck and in the spot where we used to keep the stone frog (I moved it because the squirrels kept knocking it down), there was a little squirrel. Sun-bathing.
Another was literally lounging on the deck. Relaxed, just lying there. He looked up when I said: “Good morning, young squirrel. How’s it going? Enjoying the sunshine?”
He looked at me, stretched, yawned, jumped up on the railing, then grabbed the feeder and wrapped himself around it.
Meanwhile, there were a couple of Cardinals looking very lovey-dovey on the deck.
Lady Cardinal decided to go flying and right after her, flew a young red boy. Literally, right on her tail. I knew he was young because he didn’t have his full coloration. Immediately behind him flew an apparently eager, bigger, redder male.
All three birds headed into the woods at high speed. I couldn’t see them anymore, but I could hear squawking as the two males attacked each other. When those red males meet, they always fight. Very territorial — and there was a young lady involved.
Boys will be boys, even when they have bright red feathers.
“Common” is a work frequently used with birds, even though sometimes the bird for which they are using it aren’t all that common. Maybe back when they got their names, they were common. It’s used for all kind of animals, actually. And plants.
Only people use it to mean “rabble.”
“Common squirrel,” for example. Which means whatever kind of squirrel is common in the area in which you happen to live. Red in England and some parts of the U.S. (but it isn’t the same red squirrel). Gray around these parts.
Common pigeon (but some pigeons are more common than others). Common grackles, common Blue Jays, common Robins (but the British Robin is a different bird than American ones, but still common). Common herons except a little different, depending on where you live.
I’m always amused when it’s used in some movies to mean “not royal or royal or upper-class.” All it means is “typical or frequently seen.”
We are all typical and thus common. We have the same number of arms, legs, eyes, head, and general body type. Strip away the clothing and we are all common. Take away the castle and put that person in a standard suburban sub-division and they are just as common as everyone else except maybe they talk funny.
Last night we were watching “Proven Innocent” and some “upper upper” lady looked at someone else and said, “Your people are common.” What did she think her people were? Did they have three legs and one eye in the middle of their forehead? THAT would be most uncommon.
Everyone and everything else is common.
We’ve got funeral in Boston today and Garry needs to speak. This was not only one of his colleagues but a friend to both of us. I will miss Tom Ellis. We will both miss him very much.
This also means that we have to be there early and probably won’t be back until late. And considering Boston traffic, it might be even later than I think. It’s one of the reasons we so rarely go into Boston … but this is one we cannot miss.
So enjoy the birds. They are beautiful and they remind us of peace.
How much more bucolic can one get than spending hours staring out the window, watching nature nibble its way through our feeders? These days, every time I get up for any reason, the first thing I do is look out the window to see what’s on the feeders. Early in the morning, usually a big squirrel. Later, birds — and another squirrel. Eventually, the squirrel has something else to do and the birds get a go at it
They come in waves. We welcome flocks of Goldfinch, Cowbirds, Woodpeckers, Doves, Nuthatches, Chickadees, Carolina Wrens … and the occasional Cardinals (male and female), finches of various kinds. They all come. The bucolic birds and critters of the woods. Sometimes, they sing, too.
Garry filled the feeder yesterday and it is more than half empty today. I figure that’s probably the doves and the squirrels. Those are BIG eaters!
It was a super busy day at the feeder and for once, they didn’t all fly off as soon as I picked up the camera. It was a day for Cowbirds sharing the feeder with a little red House Finch.
It was also a day when a big Mourning Dove came to the deck and sat peacefully on the deck railing. He waited politely until the Cowbirds moved on.
After that, he settled down into the flat feeder.
The Mourning Dove was still in the flat feeder almost two hours later. He doesn’t seem to worry about all the hawks who are hunting for big fat doves … or for that matter, squirrels.
I worry about my birds and squirrels. I understand the hawks and the fishers and the coyotes and the Bobcats need their dinner too. Not every animal eats seeds.
Garry decided the poor birds must be starving, so he filled the feeders. Then we stood at the window and watched the tree fill up with all kinds of birds.
The little squirrel was on the rail looking at the free-for-all, birds and more birds … and finally, he left. He didn’t feel like taking on the Cowbird either.
So there we are, looking at the feeders. On the flat feeder, there are three Brown-headed Cowbirds. They are about the size of a Robin. On the hanging feeder are a few Goldfinches and several Nuthatches with a mashup of chickadees, Carolina Wrens, and three woodpeckers.
I find, these days, that I spend less time shooting pictures and more time just watching the birds and squirrels and their interactions. Also wondering how every bird and squirrel in the woods know within a few minutes that Garry has filled the feeders. Is this what they call “Twitter”?
The feeders are full! Come and get it!