It is much quieter here at Marshview now that the summer visitors have flow to warmer climates. The red-winged blackbird is the first to arrive in the early spring and the first to leave in the late summer. I take down the bird feeder soon after they arrive since they can easily go through a feeder of food a day. They live in the wetlands behind the house.
Sparrows are year round residents. We put up houses to attract bluebirds and we have had a few families of bluebirds but more sparrow babies have been born in the bluebird houses than bluebirds.
The same is true of the purple martin house. One summer, purple martins set up residence in our garage. To avoid this the following summer, we put up a purple martin house and, you guessed it, the pushy sparrows set up residence in the purple martin house.
This autumn I noticed a woodpecker going in and out of a bluebird house. I hope she stays.
Cardinals and blue jays also spend the winter here. They add a bit of color to our grey winters. Chickadees chat away in the winter months and are often the only birdsong I here from December to March. Owls stay the year. I only hear their calls at night. I have yet to see one.
The birds of Marshview are a sturdy bunch. They simply go about their lives here and it is pleasure watching them. I keep a birdfeeder outside the front window in the cold months so I can get a closer look at the birds with which I share this bit of land. I have learned that cardinals travel in pairs. The bright red male is easy to see and his pale red companion is always close by.
Watching the chickadees is like watching a bunch of preschoolers. I can just hear the blue jays saying, “Enough already”. And speaking of blue jays, they have the worst table manners of all the visitors to the feeder. The sit at the feeder and sway their beaks back and forth spreading seed all over the ground. This makes it easier for the morning doves to get their food so I suppose it is a symbiotic relationship.
It is settling in time now at Marshview. The birds and I spend out time trying to stay warm, dry, and well fed. The choice of seasonal food is rather low, but we do enjoy a few store bought treats to get us through the cold, dark days. As I watch the birds at the feeder, I am watching life being lived around me.
Life at the birdfeeder is not as loud, fast, and colorful as what I see on television, but it is real life being lived around me. So when I am feeling overwhelmed or anxious, I take a few minutes and observe life at the birdfeeder and I realize how simple and beautiful life can be.
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