Posted by: atowhee | January 23, 2021


This afternoon my wife and I were out in the front garden doing pre-spring work. Removing some of the ancient roses to make room for blueberries, pulling out plastic sheets previous owners used to cover the ground, weeding, pruning. The while small birds were bust at the suet and seeds nearby. Finches, juncos, Bushtits. Best of all were occasional burst of music from a hiding Bewick’s Wren. This wasn’t the loud “my bush, my tree” you can hear in spring. This was the soft, alluring serenade meant only for the other unseen wren, his mate. As I’ve written before this is the conversational voice that many songbirds have and we big, loud louts rarely hear it unless we have stopping moving or blend into the scene and are ignored. Be-wick, be-witching. Why so much action? We were keeping the crows and Cooper’s Hawk at bay, and we’re so slow-moving the little birds can ignore us, besides most of them recognize I’m the guy with the seed can.

Here’s research that shows how covid had a negative impact on breeding seabirds who’ve gotten used to people. No tourists, more eagles–eeek!

Of course, we are all familiar with the birds that have gotten familiar with us, and adopted nicely. Canada Geese on any and every golf course. Brewer’s Blackbirds in the parking lot. I have seen two fine examples of their people-centered culture. They will jump off the ground, hover in front of vehicle grills and pick the dead bugs off. At freeway rest stops they find those huge, buggy grills on the face of every big truck,. During rain, they will huddle in the dry areas underneath parked vehicles. Many birds now use our structures for nesting–Barn and Cliff Swallows, Barn Owls, swifts, Black Phoebe, Rock Pigeon, starlings, House Sparrow and Wren, et al. Gulls learn to nab fast food off pedestrians. Many predators knw to look for busy bird feeders. Bird baths are used by mammal and bird alike. We are always an integral part of nature, often heedless of the role(s) we play,.

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