My backyard seemed to transform into a bird haven this morning; it also attracted an unusual avian visitor. The cold weather must have stirred up their desire for feeding, because within a one-hour period, I was able to witness a wonderful variety of birds. One type of bird would put in an initial appearance, make a curtain call or two, and then exit the backyard stage for the next bird act.
I’m pretty sure it started with the red house finches and a few goldfinches who have lost their summer yellow. Then, along came the juncos, tufted titmouse, and sparrows. Next, it was the nuthatch and the noisy wren. The woodpeckers took over to start the second half-hour of my impromptu bird haven. The male and female downy, the flicker, and the red-bellied woodpecker all made a visit. The starlings flocked in and shooed everyone else away, only to be replaced by the blue jays and mourning doves. There were crows flying by and one lone turkey vulture circling off to the left. This sounds great for birders, but it’s a problem for me. It’s distracting! Hey birds, I have work to do. Stop your trilling calls and your swooping fly-bys and let me focus on the projects at hand. Instead of kick-starting my day, I’m standing shoeless in my socks on the frosty back porch, with no coat, taking photographs.
Just when I thought I could get back inside to my work and the warmth, an unusual visitor made an appearance. I spotted a flash of white near a small group of finches toward the top of the neighbor’s tree. I thought maybe it was the nuthatch again so I walked closer. Unbelievingly, the white bird looked like a parakeet! Now I had a serious distraction — was there really a white parakeet flying around outside of my house? I took a few quick photographs before it flew off with the finches. Most of the birds who visited during my one-hour bird haven were frequent visitors. I never expected to see anything unusual. Do you think the white bird was a parakeet? We welcome your comments.