Rural Life in the UP of Michigan Some stories about life on 160 rural acres in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

May 28, 2013

I Like Birds

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin0 @ 9:38 pm

I’ve had several neat bird encounters that reminded me how much pleasure I get from our local birds. The first was shortly after we got back from our trip last Thursday. I probably should have put the hummingbird feeder out before we left, but I didn’t get around to it. While we were gone, several people on our birder email list reported male Ruby-Throats in the neighborhood. I like to have food for them as soon as they arrive, as I believe they are more likely to nest if they quickly find food.

I got the feeder up shortly after we got home, and the next morning I happened to be outside near the feeder when I heard the tell-tale buzzing, and saw my first hummer of the year in the trees by the feeder. I’m sure I get a dumb grin on my face every time the first hummer of the season shows up, and this year was no exception.

Ditto for the first tree swallows. I do my best to keep their nesting boxes clean and disinfected to keep the feather mites in check for them. I get the biggest kick out of seeing them zooming around and making their liquid calls. I happened to be in the greenhouse (no cover yet) rototilling when a tree swallow flew directly over me and did a few aerobatics just above my head before it continued along on its journey. I felt honored and humbled. I’ve also tried on numerous occasions to try to observe them flying with their mouths open. I’ve heard they get their name from this behavior, but I’ve never seen it, unfortunately.

The other day I stepped out of the house onto the patio thinking about one thing or another, when a Red-Winged Blackbird came zooming around the corner of the house. He’d obviously made that trip numerous times, because we were goth pretty startled when he almost hit me. He zigged, I zagged, and neither of us were the worse for the wear, although I suspect both out heart rates went up.

Finally, tonight I was outside working on a project, when I saw what looked like a seagull flying over the pond. It surely didn’t fly like a seagull, however, and as it grabbed my attention, I say it was seagull sized, with plenty of white on it, and it was causing quite a stir among the blackbirds in the vicinity. Although I only saw it for a few seconds, my best guess is it was an Osprey. What a tremendous few seconds it was.

There is something special about the seasons in the north where we live. Many of our birds leave for warmer climes, and I can’t say I blame them. Their winter absence makes it that much neater to see them as the ground warms up and the critters start to stir themselves for another summer season.

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