Posts Tagged ‘birds’

Awaiting the Return

My Bluebird of Happiness

Yesterday, Captain Cliff and I put up another Bluebird house. I never stop hoping for the return of my Bluebird of Happiness.

I’ve only seen about a dozen bluebirds in my entire life. At my old house, a long time ago, I often saw a flying blue streak at the bottom of the ravine which I knew had be a bluebird as there is nothing else in nature that brilliantly blue. But, as for seeing a Bluebird up-close and personal, I think the third time I actually saw one was the very day that I moved into this house. I peered from my new kitchen window and one was sitting on the deck rail. He sat there a long time and then, away he flew, as if to signal “mission accomplished.” I never saw him again. Then about two or three years ago, about this time of year I spotted one again on the deck rail. When I looked more closely, there I discovered at least a dozen on the deck and in the trees. Yes, we were infested with Bluebirds. Then, they all flew off – never to be seen again. Almost every year since, I have put up a new Bluebird house, but they’ never come to stay.

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When I arose to greet this last morning of the lucky 2007th year, I was charmed by a visitor come to feed just outside of my kitchen window. It was a brilliantly feathered flicker that delighted me with my first glimpse of my last day of the year. He was gone in an instant, and just as soon flew in three drearily brown English sparrows, hunkering round about the bird feeder all in a line just as though they belonged there. Well, they don’t I tell you!

No, those wicked little beasts don’t belong near my kitchen window nor anywhere else in all of North America. Same goes for their distant cousins, the dreadful starlings. I am sure that in their native land, they are considered quite beautiful, as they truly are, however, this is not their place. They roam here only because of the long ago meddling of some do-gooder environmentalist who believed it his righteous duty to recreate Shakespeare’s England in our new land.

When I first came to this place ten years ago, it was a most welcome discovery to find NO English sparrows in my garden. I had been at war forever, it seemed, with those foreign occupiers, and finally I was free! My last battle with the English was when I attempted to provide lodging for purple martins at my former home, just one mile away. The brown sparrow brigade barged forth, like the Tory soldiers of long ago, and commandeered the martin house for their own nefarious activities – such as breeding. They stood constant guard and waged war with any purple martins who tried to enter their own rightful domicile. The martins wished only to soar free as birds whilst devouring pesky mosquitoes and other harmful insects, but the Tory sparrows spared no quarter. The fearsome Brits won that war, so I know better than try a go at them again.

What is the old proverb – “nothing good ever lasts?” It must be true. Now the English sparrows have invaded my new garden. It won’t be long before they will overpower the lovely native birds that come visiting and for whom I provide seeds and fruit and winter coverings – the finches, the wrens, chickadees, mourning doves and titmouses*. Or are they “titmice?” Whatever they are, their days are numbered, as the English pirates steal their food and commit all the evil attrocities that the bloodthirsty are wont to commit against the good and trueborn of our land.

*My spellchecker tells me it is “titmice.”

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The Season of Juncos

Those little black and white juncos know well their primordial calendar.  It has been embedded in their tiny beings long before any human tread upon this North American sod. Yesterday, one day before the beginning of winter, I spotted my first junco visitor at my garden. Although it is my cold wintertime garden, to the junco it is a summer place, as he has stopped off in Virginia to escape the great northern chill that covers his usual home, somewhere in the cold, cold arctic tundra.

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