Posts Tagged ‘chickadee’

The little chickadee outside my window sharpens her beak. At least that’s what I think she’s doing. Maybe the small twig is her napkin, and she’s just brushing off the ort of leftover sunflower shells. At any rate, she briskly swipes her tiny black beak, back and forth, across the twig and gaily flits back to the copper tray feeder hanging just on the other side of my window, to nab another seed. This she takes with her back to the branch in the lilac bush, grips the seed with her toes, and begins pecking away until she’s extracted all the bits of seed-flesh from the shell. Then back for more. And if I have forgotten to refill the feeder in the morning, she gently taps at the window with her beak until I notice and open the window to pour out a little mound of seed, with her sitting on the windowsill just a few inches away. She chirps her thanks in a happy, friendly sort of way, and goes about her business.

The downy woodpecker, on the other hand, eyes me defiantly. He flops like a lump on the edge of the dish, glaring at me through the glass with one bright dark eye, his head solidly tilted to one side. The brilliant red on the nape of his neck bristles and sparkles even though its a cloudy morning. While he keeps me in view with one eye, I believe he is surveying his options with his other, for he suddenly grabs a seed and flies off to the blue spruce a short distance away. There he jams the seed into a crevice in the bark and jack-hammers out his breakfast.

The chatty yellow goldfinches pay no attention to me at all as they are absorbed in their own conversations, gossiping maybe about the rude bluejay who just swooped in and is hogging the best perching place in the bush. They continue their chats as they eat, hanging out together among the seeds, breaking shells with their stout little beaks and scattering shell bits around the tray. This congregation of noisy, busy birds arrives together, eats together and flies off together with only one or two discernible squabbles among them.

The bluejay has dropped to the ground, snow from the latest storm littered with seed carcasses, to join the two mourning doves foraging there.  Mr. Dove stays glued to Mrs., poking among the broken bits to find the missed or discarded morsel, and they are obviously very much in love. And it isn’t even close to springtime.

Then the turkeys arrive, slowly wandering up from the woods where they have roosted in the treetops for the night, stopping to browse among the staked raspberry rows before making their way to the oak tree and the little apple orchard and the cracked corn I have scattered there. I see two hens and their brood of young poults. The young ones trail behind the hens like cars on a train, pecking and scratching as they go. When Mama is ready to move on to the neighbor’s garden, one young guy isn’t paying attention and is left behind. Mama has to double back and scold her wayward youth, herding him to join the rest of the flock. Their beautiful bronze backsides shimmer as they disappear over the shallow slope to the west.

Delightful dramas unfold right outside my window. Who needs television?

And we know that our infinite God created us humans with the need and the ability to relate to one another in uncountable, and sometimes incomprehensible ways.  And if He counts their feathers, and cares for the birds of the field, beloved…

“Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw.” — 2Kings 6:17


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