I have a couple of bird houses and feeders, and while the squirrels help themselves to most of the seed I put out, we still get quite a few feathered visitors. The feeders are on poles in the yard, and the birdhouses are under our roof eaves. At the moment we have a male and female cardinal nesting in the oak tree (apparently the females are not red; they're shaped just like the male, but are brown and yellow and grayish in color.)
The cardinals and all the other birds who visit have been snubbing my birdhouses. Sometimes other things move in, but mostly they stay empty. We clean them out every couple of months to get rid of mud dauber nests and lizard droppings, but I was thinking about taking them down this summer and putting up squirrel-proof feeders instead.
After three weeks of road trips and my friend's funeral, I came home and went out to sit on my porch and enjoy Nature as usual. I also brought the camera out with me in hopes of getting a shot of Red and his lady. Almost as soon as I sat down, I heard very faint, high-pitched cheeping coming from someplace close. I looked around for the cardinals or another nest-jumper, and then jumped as a small, beautiful blue bird with an orange breast flew right past my face. I'd never seen a bird like it before, so I grabbed the camera and took this rather blurry shot:
The green thing in her beak was a worm. The cheeping sound I'd been hearing suddenly got very loud, and then Mama Blue went inside the birdhouse. While we were gone, she'd moved in and hatched her eggs. From the cheeps, I figured at least two or three chicks.
We've stayed a safe distance and not bothered them, but I've kept the camera handy in hopes of another shot. Mama is wise to me now and won't perch outside for long, but this past weekend one of the chicks decided to have a look outside:
So why am I so excited about some blue birds? See, I used to have this blue glass bird paperweight on my desk. It was a daily reminder to find happiness in the little things. A few years ago I decided to give the paperweight to another writer who had lost everything. Sometimes you have to open your heart as well as the wallet. And I thought about that, too, when I saw Mama Blue had moved in. Maybe I needed the reminder. Or maybe she was desperate and the frog had moved out. Either way.
That's all from my corner of the world this week. Anyone have some questions for me?*
*Added: would help if the comments were turned on, yes? Sorry about that.