You may think the above is a strange title for my blog this week, but it isn’t? Here’s why. After a few months stay in beautiful Florida. It was difficult for me to get excited about returning to Northeastern PA. But the birds were beginning their trek back home and I did need to get ready for them. They would make it without me, but all I could think of was who was going to clean out the bird houses. That’s my job, so we didn’t stay.
houses in our yard and felt a bird nest inside. I grabbed it and with all the twigs, feathers and grass came several tiny baby field mice. I dropped them in a hurry and watched them scatter away. Needless to say I wear gloves now. All it took was a human hand to make these mice decide to leave. (Actually they didn’t have much choice.)
The most abundant visitor to our yard is the American Goldfinch. Very soon after their return here, I hang a tube feeder just outside our sliding doors.This is my way of getting them to stay.Their appetite is a rich one. They love nyjer seed, the most expensive. I have been tempted to sweep up the quantity of seed that drops on the steps beneath the feeder, but I read recently that what remains is only the shell.To check this out we even looked at some of the seed under a microscope, but we couldn’t tell if the tiny insides had been removed. Sometimes the American finches bring their cousins with them, the Pine Siskins and the Red Polls. What a fun time they have when, all nearly-thirty of them try to fit on twelve perches. I’m told that they nest in trees and I know they choose the ones nearby because our yard sounds like a bird sanctuary. They stay here all summer.
There’s none prettier than the Eastern Bluebird. Every year we watch them going through the ritual of choosing a home. One of our bluebird houses is just 30 feet from our door, but the last two years they have chosen a bird house that doesn’t sit within viewing distance.
We do have a Purple Martin house, with its many apartments, in our yard. But as far as we know we haven’t attracted any of this species. Several summers we did have Tree Swallows stay.They are the most beautiful flyers, as they soar through the air catching bugs. Each morning two of them sat right outside our porch door, waiting to greet us. They were quickly becoming our favorites however, they don’t always come and spend their summer with us.
My bird adventures wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Carolina Wren. They come back every year, and the male bird begins house-hunting. Mrs. Wren must be very choosy because he fills every nook and cranny with sticks, so she has a number of places to choose from. I’ve come to recognize their song, especially the raspy buzz when I get too close to their domain.
We used to try to keep sparrows out of our blue bird houses, until someone said to put up two houses, ten feet apart. That way there would be one house for the sparrows and one for the bluebirds.That didn’t work! Usually one of them stands vacant and a sparrow takes up residence in the other. We love seeing the Red Winged Blackbirds come to the feeder and the Titmouse, Purple Finches, Nuthatches, Chickadees,Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, Cardinals, and yes, even the Doves. I’d love to see more Yellow Grosbeaks. A big flock of them flew in one summer and cleaned out the feeder in a few minutes. There is one species of birds we’d like to see leave our yard permanently. When a flock of them come flying in, our response is “Oh no, here comes the Starlings.” It is said that they were brought over here from Europe. Is there anyone who could take them back?
Now that you’ve read this far, you know why the headline fits, some birds come and some go. Some of them stay and some leave. Regardless, happy birding is wished for you as you enjoy God’s wonderful creation!