Friday, December 7, 2007

Big Backyard Bird Day

After weeks of seeing absolutely nothing at my feeders it began raining robins today. First one came chasing a mourning dove and I haven't see a mourning dove in months. Within seconds more robins came, then the trees filled with robins -- soon there were hundreds of robins in the canopy. These robins where not your run-of-the mill robins-looking-for worms-in-the-yard variety. These were robins on speed: swooping, darting, plunging, chasing, dive-bombing and rushing back up to the tops of the trees.

The cacophony of noise was startling. In no time several dozen came down to my yard and raked the ground and worked the leaves in a sort of frenzied desperation; the first robins, really, to actually visit the yard. And within five minutes of the robin invasion my yard was filled with a rush of birds of all sizes, sounds and shapes. I grabbed the binos and over the next few minutes I identified these birds near or on my feeder: Mourning Dove, Eurasian-collared dove, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Purple Finch, Downy Woodpecker, Carolina Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Northern Mockingbird, Blue Jay, Dark-eyed Junco, English House Sparrow and at the last second a Townsend's Solitaire swooped down and perched on a branch to investigate all the fuss.

I've worked from home these last few months and my desk sits in front of a floor-to-ceiling window and when I tell you that the yard has been empty of birds - I mean nothing -- not even a blue jay. But within that whirling vortex of robins - I had ten new birds to my backyard and two lifers!
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