Wednesday, May 06, 2015

We Call Our Home The Bird House

Our first days in this blue house, we saw quail daintily gliding across the fence stringers. If you've never seen quail, they are at once charming, and move in a distinctly endearing way... heads pert and erect, tiny feet dancing forward. If you don't happen to notice that their feet are doing the work, they can look as though they are being conveyed by an invisible thread. Seeing them made me feel like our home was lucky, extra special. Then we saw Western Bluebirds... a species I've longed to see for as long as I could remember. The Bluebirds nest beneath the Jacaranda tree, sit on the fences, visit our garden. A tree in the front yard has been filled with Cedar Waxwing, another bird I'd hoped to see, ever since we lived in Minnesota. We've watched owls, hawks, sparrows, finches, doves, and, of course chickens! Then came the saga of the Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher, when we were visited by birders from all over the globe, all come to see a rare bird wintering in our neighborhood. It seems like from the beginning we have enjoyed good fortune and happy visits from birds, and even for us people folk, this house has been our long awaited place to come home to, to nest, our Bird House.

Sometime around the start of the new year, I began putting out peanuts for the corvids... I was hoping to make friends with the crows who frequent our yard. They are such smart birds... Nature has a fascinating program about crows: A Murder of Crows. In only a matter of days we did have some corvid visitors, the Western scrub jay. They are territorial, a bit boisterous, blueberry blue, and intelligent. It turns out, they can also be friendly and engaging.

Our friend comes most days, now. He takes the peanut and buries, or stashes it in the yard. Those caches are stores for later, and he may keep track of as many as 200. The first time, he came to my hand was on a whim, when I saw him near and held out a peanut, thinking wouldn't it be impossibly cool if he took it? And he did! Now, we've all fed him from our open palms, from the brim of a hat, and he even sat on my shoulder. Every time it happens I feel lucky, like a fairy tale princess. {Next up: Squirrels sweeping the kitchen, bunnies folding the laundry!} This is, indeed, a good home, a happy and lucky Bird House.


Kate said...

I too have wondered about leaving goodies for the corvids, if they would leave gifts themselves. I hear them, but never see them in my yard.

And your description of quails is lovely! Tiny feet dancing forward. So true!

Yay Bird House!

warren said...

That's so cool...and such a neat looking bird to boot...My grandpa had a chipmunk he used to feed from his hand like that and it was just about the most magical thing I ever did...and I don't even know why but I always remember doing it...super cool for you and your people!