Monday, March 1, 2010

It's For the Birds

Spring must be coming, because in the last week suddenly all the birds in our backyard have been breaking into their spring songs. The chickadees are calling, "Sweetie! Sweeeeeee-tieeeeeee!", the cardinals are singing their loopy, drunken-sounding Three Stooges "Whoop whoop whoop!" love call, and various assorted songbirds that I can't even identify are swapping their dull winter chirps for impressive trilling sonatas and arias. Instead of a single blue jay, I can hear pairs calling back and forth - love songs or territorial warnings, I'm not sure which, but without a doubt, a sign of spring.

And of course, this also means that our birdfeeders are being visited by a constant stream of feathered friends, which Ryan absolutely loves. He often plays in his jumperoo chair in the kitchen while I'm puttering about washing dishes or making breakfast, and his attention is continually being drawn to the action at the feeders. The pert chickadees and titmice who announce their landing with a loud PEEP! The bright male cardinal who reminds us he's still there with his repeated chip chip chip. The shy woodpecker who sneaks up to the suet one hop at a time and flies away if the braver juncos cut in line. The cloud of starlings who can't quite stuff their chubby selves into the suet feeder but have to content themselves with the scraps on the ground dropped by the other birds. Ryan is enraptured by all of them.

He has no idea, of course, that spring is coming or that these songs are different from what he's heard before. To him, the birds are just something bright and moving and fun to watch and listen to. But to me, they're the hope of spring, the promise of warm weather to come, and another reminder of all the new joys and excitements that will be on their way in the coming weeks and months.

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