bird watching, birds, life

the birds

It’s the beginning of May, the perfect time for bird watching, and with so many bloggers writing about the birds in their yards, I couldn’t resist adding something to the conversation. One of the positives about being cooped up at home is there’s more time for sitting still with a cup of coffee, time to listen and watch the birds coming and going, and handling all they need to do over the course of a season.

The cardinals have a nest in the bush right next to the gadget that holds the garden hose. She (the mom) lands at the top of the hose, every single time, before she returns to the nest. She perches there on top of the hose for about ten seconds and makes those cheep cheep noises. Like here I am, I’m gonna go to the nest now. Seems like a rather blatant announcement to the crows, but hey, I’m not a bird, I guess she knows what she’s doing. Based on her back and forth trips, I think there are babies she’s feeding.

The cat birds have a nest in the burning bush, not far from where I sit. They nest there most years. Cat birds sing beautifully at times. They sing like they invented music. Such incredible improvisational melodies. But now I mostly hear that unpleasant call that sounds like an angry cat.

I love the catbirds. [pictured]

The robins are nesting somewhere further back in the yard, on the left. I’ve seen some particularly nasty territorial encounters with an intruder, a male I assume. When I sit outside after dinner, though, the robins sing their settling down songs … it’s evening, this is my territory, I’m happy, we’re almost ready for sleep. Robins are so comforting. If you watch them, you can see that whatever is happening in this artificial existence we currently call life, the robins just do what they’re supposed to do.

The humming bird feeder is ready. No takers yet. I hear the towhees, I see the blue jays.

I have too many bird stories, and my bird stories aren’t ever short. Or sophisticated.

If you never watched birds, isn’t this the time to do it?


Watch from a distance. Never get too close to the nest if you can avoid it. Crows and other predators are smart hunters.

bird watching, birds, life, nature


I’m a casual bird watcher. I don’t study the books, their feathers, their habits. I’m just a backyard observer.

But if you have the time right now, if you have a porch, if you have trees outside the window, then this is the time.

Now. Like NOW.

The thing about bird watching is that it takes time and it takes patience. You can sit there, reading your book. You can relax. But you have to get the observational part of your brain ready to notice. Notice the repetitive movements of a bird flying back and forth. Or a song. Oh, those sounds. Those sweet, sweet songs…going on, and on, and on. If you want to embrace the best meaning of passion and purpose. If you always wanted to get in touch with that part of our existence, this is the time. There are robins already with nests, making their ‘time to rest for the night’ songs. There are frantic cardinals making their nests. And if you’ve never seen a female bird hell bent on getting a nest ready by the end of the day, then maybe you don’t know the definition of focused. Or goal-oriented.

I know I’ve spent too much time looking at a computer screen. Tomorrow, yes tomorrow, it’s time to get part of me outside. Safely, appropriately, socially distanced and all that. But the statistics won’t change because I look at the maps or the circles on the maps or the numbers. I’ll have no impact on the way the world spins as long as I keep my distance.

Birds have bird brains. They’re not smarter than humans. But they can show you something about life that you didn’t quite get. About trying with everything you’ve got. About constancy and determination.

Anyhow, just my pitch for bird watching.


But … an important but … don’t interfere. Watch from a distance. Don’t draw attention to a nest.