It is a cold rainy January morning here in Seattle. I realize that several of those words are redundant. ‘It is January in Seattle’ would have sufficed. There is nothing special about today; a hard rain all night, and a mere 37 degF now at midday. Uck.
On this unpleasant, unspecial day, my yard is filled with wild birds. I have not designed our yard to provide wild bird habitat (although a previous owner may have), but it appears to work for them. Besides chickens, I don’t know much about birds, but if they are going to come enjoy my urban yard, I think I should learn more about them. It’s only polite.
Taking a mental break just now, I gaze out the dirty window and see a Stellar’s Jay and some SBBs (small brown birds). I pull out a Bird Book and think these are white-crowned sparrows. A Northern Flicker roots among the green grasses – I recognize her by the bright orange underside of her tail feathers. Black-cap chickadees hoppity hop about, and an American Robin joins the scene. Finally, I see our teeny Anna’s hummingbird flitting about like a large feathered idea. Wow!
I like the idea of diversity. Ecological diversity, in particular. I had thought to put up a bird feeder to encourage such, but was worried only the squirrels and crows would benefit. I had no idea I already had so many types of visitors! We are also visited by a woodpecker (hairy or downy) who pits our large cedar, willow, and lilac. Starlings, and – of course – crows. So that makes, what, 9 species? Perhaps I will plant something native for them on purpose this spring and see if I notice even more diversity…
In the meantime, I plan to learn more about these feathered creatures, starting with this fabulous little website from UW.
All bird images used without permission from the Seattle Audubon Society
and THIS from the young girl who hated it when Dad had ‘control’ of the TV because all he would watch was bird nature programs! Beautiful pictures!
I didn’t take the pictures – are you kidding me? I wish.