Backyard Birding

darkeyedjunco               downywoodpecker

I’m not a “birder”—I don’t keep track of what birds I see, and in fact can’t recognize most birds without referring to the reference books with pictures. But I very much enjoy watching, and have a bunch of bird feeders in my backyard, where I can see them from the kitchen.

The finches and starlings stay all year. In winter, they live in the 12-foot-high fir hedges next door, and come to my yard to eat. The finches love laundry days—they gather in the holly bush in front of the dryer vent to enjoy the warm air blowing out.

It’s exciting in the spring when we see what birds come back. We haven’t seen the mourning dove pair in two years, so perhaps they are gone. But the cardinal pair and blue jay pair are both here again. We also get crows and the passing hawks perching on the fence and garage roof, and once a female eagle landed in the grass. And this year two new species at the feeders: a downy woodpecker pair (I could identify the male and female) and dark-eyed junco.

My son swears we have the fattest birds in the neighborhood, that I spend more on bird food than people food. (Well, not really, but close.)

bluejay               cardinal


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