When the recent snow storm covered most of the natural food sources for our neighborhood birds, Pat Dempsey, my roommate and spousal unit, responded with continuing replenishment of our bird feeder. As a result, the onslaught of feathered friends was immediate and continuous, primarily consisting of cardinals. Other species also helped themselves to the largess, but the redbirds stole the show. This big boy was one of the flock. My 95-year-old mother continues to refer to male cardinals as "Poppa Redbird." More power to her.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
While the recent blizzards and snow storms were a disaster to many, and a pain-in-the-keester to others, in this little corner of the world, the condition (please forgive me here) was, well, very cool.
Our bird feeder, being the only bird buffet open for business in our neighborhood, did a brisk business. The descending flock, mainly cardinals, grazed all day long, providing great entertainment and an occasional taste of comic relief.
When a bird feeder stands adjacent to a house for a while, the house, in effect, becomes a blind. So you merely raise a window, set up the tripod, and fire away at the endless show. A lot of cold air and sometimes a few flakes of snow invade the domicile, but that is a small price to pay.
Step away from the birdseed. We have you surrounded. . . .
While we like the cardinals, we are not too crazy about the hordes of blackbirds who descend on the feeding area and attempt to disenfranchise those who got there first. Since these varmints are so unpopular, they are far more sensitive to human intrusion than the cardinals, sparrows, wrens, woodpeckers, and others who live here most of the time. A vigorous tap or two on the window sends all of the birds flitting for cover. In a few seconds, the resident birds are back at it. The blackbirds hang back and finally leave. They return, and the cycle starts again. Eventually they look for greener pastures. Bye bye blackbird.
N O T E S:
Most of the time, there is more to the Photo of the Week story than can be told in an essay. And most of the time there are more pictures to be seen. Presuming that some folk will enjoy being privy to this trove of information, I have created a blog, “Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,” where I am showing and telling “the rest of the story." There are also some blatantly commercial mentions of some of the things we do to earn our beans and taters. Click on the Weekly Grist logo and go to the blog. — J. D.