Category bird business

Today’s silver lining is gold

As anyone in north America knows, this has been a long and difficult winter. Even now, 10 days into spring, the thermometer is hovering around 35, rain falls steadily from a leaden sky, and 3 more inches of white stuff are due tonight.

BUT … the nyjer feeders, bustling with traffic, offer up one unmistakable sign of spring: the male goldfinches are molting their dull winter plumage and donning the brilliant lemon “gold” of mating season. A great lining for a leaden day.


Many thanks to John Rakestraw for the photo above. Check out his latest, Birding Oregon.

No Trace

“The migrating bird leaves no trace behind and does not need a guide.”


Of both earth and heaven

I am awed by the intelligence that flits through my back yard on a daily basis. I hang 2 ounces of sugar water from the awning in a tiny plastic tube, and a ruby-throated hummingbird finds it in a matter of hours. How does he do that? What sense leads him to this little tube in the midst of the vast world? Ditto for the chickadees who know when I’ve replenished the nyjer seed and the downy woodpeckers who drop in when the suet feeders are full. How do they know this? Do they instant message each other?

Here’s another mystery. I have lots of travelers, especially in the spring and fall.

Look what the breeze blew in

At noon, I walked into the kitchen for a cup of coffee. A front was coming through and the winds were gusting to 30 or 35 mph. I glanced at the thistle feeder. This time of year, an occasional chickadee shows up, but the heavy traffic is at the feeders with millet, sunflower, and suet. Today, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The other feeders were empty. But at the thistle feeder were not one or two…

Backyard bonanza!

Everybody’s headed for their summer digs, and my back yard is in the flight paths. What a treat!!