Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Babies in a dangerous world

The goldfinches have been bringing their youngsters to my bird feeder. They are very cute. I watched a demo one day, the parent goldfinches showing the youngsters how to use the feeder. There were two or three young finches in the branches surrounding the feeder watching very closely as the parents flew in, grabbed a seed and flew back to the tree with it. Then one of the babies tried it out, flew to the feeder and sat there bobbing its head:

"Is this right? Have I got it right?"

Yesterday I looked out the door window onto my porch near the feeder and saw a chickadee sitting on the porch floor in the sun. It was kind of fluffed up, one wing hanging a bit loose and its head slowly drifting downwards. Then it would suddenly pull its head back up and the downward drift would begin again.

Was it falling asleep? Or was it injured? I started to open the door to take a closer look and the bird perked right up and flew away. I think it was trying to have a nap in the sun. Probably another youngster who has not yet learned the dangers of falling asleep in open view of potential predators.

After walking our dogs at the reservoir, a friend and I were sitting in the sun discussing the state of the world (and the joy of sitting in the sun doing nothing) and I mentioned that I had not seen a single junco this year and probably not the year before either. He said he hadn't seen any either.

"Or Red Polls," I said, "Haven't seen them either."

We contemplated the loss of birds. The ones who remain are precious.


Wisewebwoman said...

I hear there's a disease affecting birds, can't remember the name. It's spread through the feeders?

I so enjoyed your post on France! What we don't know about others could fill books!


Annie said...

Yes there is a disease, people were asked to take down their feeders during the warm months last year. I do that anyway.