One has to sit very still for a long time to be a bird watcher…I learned this today. I had in my lap a bird book. I have never done that before – sit with the book in my lap. I had always watched a bird and then gone to look in my book trying to remember the details of what I had seen. Crazy.
I sat on my back porch and noticed the little birds picking at the seeds that had fallen to the ground. Brown with white striped hats. Nuthatches? That is when I fetched the book. It is true that the nuthatch has a striped hat, but they are not likely to be seen picking seeds on the ground. That is what sparrows do. I sat for a long time and the birds returned. I watched closely and could see that these little birds had short stubby beak, unlike the nuthatch with a long pointed one. The sparrows are passing through, I read, and come in groups. I counted six and they picked alongside the chipmunks who wore stripes on their backs. Then I spotted a nuthatch properly hanging on the side of a tree, striped head, long pointy beak. It’s back feathers were slightly blue as it showed in my book.
There were woodpeckers that came, also. These went right for the feeder, then tucked their seed into a space in the bark of a tree and started hacking away as they should. There was even a piliated pecker…big and magnificent.
For some reason I cannot explain, I started to cry. My tearing lasted only a few seconds, interrupted by the chatter of Chip and Dale.