I have not written much about birds lately, but it’s spring and time. Both our bird houses are occupied. Three rafters supporting our large overhang have sparrow nests in them, and we have a variety of other birds doing the same in nearby trees and bushes. The first fledglings have already been kicked out of the nest, and we’ve learned something new (for us).
Fledgling sparrows flit about the back yard occasionally bouncing off a window or tree trunk. Their landings on the ground under the bird feeders are little more than soft crashes, and their attempts at landing on the feeders are hilarious. But here is what we did not know before. The parent birds are always near. They appear quite deliberate about teaching the chicks how to eat natural foods, but now and then one of them will hop over to put a seed into a chick’s open mouth. I did not know that there was parental aftercare once the fledglings were out of the nest. I thought is was sink or swim and good luck.
As for the flicker, it is nowhere in sight. I guess it finally got the message. Our usual gang of healthy, noisy crows assure us that West Nile has kept its distance. Some sort of small blackbird we can’t identify has moved into the neighborhood. I have no idea where the finches nest but they come here by the dozens for their meals. The resident squirrels have made peace with the birds and seem happy to join them in poking around the yard for fallen seeds. They are bold enough to scavenge a few feet from the patio door with a hysterical Riley the terrier on the other side yelping to get out. Once he’s out and the squirrels are safely up a tree, the birds seem content to resume ground feeding without fear while Riley patrols or dozes.
And that’s the bird report for now.