"Hello there, little one." This, my comment to the wee bushtit perched in my neighbor's vine maple.
In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm kind of a bird geek. I love birds. Love love love them. Long before they were cool and "put a bird on it" meant sale-able.
Walking over to Movie Madness (yes, a shout out to my entertainment mecca, owned by the mercurial Michael Clark, who is lucky to have the great people behind the counter that he does-- one guy offered to buff out the dvds I rented today "if you have a few minutes". I love that place.), I spied black-capped chickadees playing in a neglected apple tree, which had been allowed to grow sucker shoots and sprawl low everywhere in full, pale pink flowery bloom. Amazingly beautiful in it's untended state. Before that, I was caught by a gray bird nearly robin-sized, with a tapered needle beak. I consult the Audubon Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest (this book would be in every family's swag-bag when parents left the hospital with newborns, if I had my way.). Checking the measurements on the robins (10"), I then browse the pages for a matching image. Townsend's Solitaire fits the bill, at 9" but I'm surprised to see that this little guy is not quite the city bird. Wonder what he's doing here?
In the meantime, we have a song sparrow out back we've dubbed Sweetie Tweetie, and we were happy to feed the juncos until the rat and mice started getting bold and stealing out in daylight hours to eat seed. They've taken up residence under the garage, so some death is going to have to happen, sad to say. We've already procured the rat trap. Rat and Mice are both cute, but I'm not unaware of the plague, so we'll be saying "adios" to them soon enough. We've also been watching Obi-Robin ("Obi" is short for "orange-breasted") and his hen having a heyday eating the worms and bugs out back. Obi-Robin catches them for his lady, who is sometimes busy on the nest, though we aren't sure if eggs are in there yet. Maybe she's just letting him do a little work while she ponders pushing those eggs out.
So, yeah, the BirdBrain in me is always busy, watching, interested. I'm thinking that maybe, one day, Kiddo will be interested too. But if he's not, that's okay. I'm happy making these small discoveries about those wonderful, colorful fliers in my neighborhood and beyond. And sometimes, yes, I'll say a few words to them too. I'm so thankful for the birds, bugs, squirrels and other critters in my environment. Well, maybe not the raccoons and opossums I encounter at night-- their glowing eyes still make me think they might jump on my back if I turn around, so I walk away from them slowly, backward. Overall, though, even though mankind encroaches on the animals, I'm glad there are a few birds who are happy to stick around.