I’m a Bird Watcher

I must be part feline because I’m quite fascinated with birds. Sunday afternoon I spied a baby goldfinch in my front yard. Unfortunately this little fellow fell out of the nest and didn’t have enough wings to fly. He made it back to the tree but only on the tree trunk about 3 feet off the ground. I couldn’t find it the next day.

baby goldfinch perched on a rock

Today I spied a hummingbird sitting on a very tiny nest on top of pinecones. Thanks to Norm for the neat photos!

hummingbird on nest over pinecones

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Peach-Faced Love Birds

This evening we saw beautiful parrots eating in our backyard bird cafeteria. Enjoy the view. (Photos by Norm.)


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Blessings from Above

This past week some special things happened.  They were actually rather simple and to most people might have been overlooked, but to me they were just extra blessings from God.  The apostle James wrote “every good and perfect gift is from above…” I choose to look for the good things and to recognize where they come from.  That kind of thinking keeps me from focusing on the negative.  So, here are a few things that I experienced this week.

We’ve been feeding birds in our backyard with wild bird seed and I just happened to look out the patio door to see baby sparrows being fed by mama birds just off my patio.  Some of the birdseed had fallen on the ground and the baby birds were big enough to fly but not big enough to figure out how to feed themselves, so they would flutter their wings to get attention and the mama bird would pick up seeds and put it in their beaks.  It was just precious to observe something most people never get to witness.  As I watched this ordinary thing I felt God was speaking to my heart.  I was reminded of the passage in Matthew where Jesus says we should not worry about the “things” of life because God knows our needs and he will provide for us just like he provides for the sparrows.  I know he can meet my needs even when it seems they are overwhelming and I can’t see how it will happen.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get a photo of the birds feeding their babies, but a few days earlier Norm was able to capture this particular moment in birdlife.  I was out in the front yard and I noticed grackles were squawking right in front of my house as if they were upset about something.  There was a male and female and they were quite concerned.  I looked around and found out what it was they were so upset about.  One of their babies had fallen out of the nest in my pine tree and it didn’t have big enough wings to fly.  It was hiding under my front window box.  It could hop around but it couldn’t fly and its parents were quite concerned for its safety.  A few hours later I looked out the front window and saw this image.  It’s the male grackle feeding the baby grackle.  It was late in the day and I wondered that night if the baby bird would find a place to hide from predators.  I went out the next morning and couldn’t find him anywhere.  I felt blessed that I got to witness something very precious, but a little sad that the baby didn’t survive.  That’s life in the bird world I guess and sometimes when you leave the safety of the nest to soon, there’s not a whole lot your parents can do for you.

Well, that’s enough about birds for the moment.  My other special blessing this week was enjoying a most delicious dessert while having lunch with Norm.  We were at Macayo’s, a local Mexican restaurant chain, and since we had a light lunch we decided some dessert was in order.  I ordered the flan and it was one of the best I’ve ever had.  Warm caramel sauce was drizzled all over it along with the syrup and it was like eating toasted marshmallows.  I think I made noise with every bite and Norm said he had more fun watching me eat it.  He likes it when I really enjoy my food and that got me thinking how blessed I am to have such a sweet husband.  Over 12 years of marriage and we still are very much in love and every year I experience more sweetness in that relationship.  That’s definitely a blessing from above.

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A couple of weeks ago I saw a new bird in my backyard, but couldn’t quite make out what it was.   I’m not able to hold a pair of binoculars, so I must rely on being able to see the birds closer.   I got my chance couple of days later when same bird appeared again in my backyard, only this time closer to the house so I could see him from the window.   It turned out to be a bird that I had never seen and I had to look it up online to make the identification.   It was an Aberts Towhee.

It would be nice to have some sort of binoculars that I could use.   I’ve often wondered if something like rifle scopes, mounted on my wheelchair would be something I could use.   I’ll have to ponder that some more.

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The Empty Nest

Tinkerbell, our resident hummingbird, has done a marvelous job raising her babies.   On Tuesday I noticed one of the babies sitting on the edge of the nest and flapping his wings as if he were about to take off.   Apparently this was a test flight maneuver because the next morning there was only one baby bird in the nest.   And now this morning, Thursday, there are no babies in the nest.   Norm and I were concerned that perhaps the baby bird had fallen out of the nest.   We went outside to look around the ground near the nest.   Suddenly I heard a familiar peeping and looked up to see one of the baby birds fly towards us and land on a branch not far from their nest.   He sat there for a minute as we looked up at him.   I think he recognized us as we came outside and wanted to let us know he was okay.   In the past few weeks I went outside often to sit near the nest and talk to the baby birds, so he must’ve recognized me.   Norm and I went back inside the house.   While we were in his office I saw another baby hummingbird, or perhaps the same one, land on the branch of our other pine tree which is in front of his office window.   He sat there for a few minutes.   I’m sure it takes them a few days to get used to flying around looking for food on their own.   I think we might put a hummingbird feeder in the front yard so we can watch for them.   I miss them already!

This first video was taken on Tuesday.   You’ll see one of the birds sitting on the edge of the nest testing his wings.

[flv width=”540″ height=”438″]http://www.normradio.com/video/finaltestbeforeflight0504.flv[/flv]

The second video was taken on Wednesday.   This is the baby bird who wasn’t quite ready yet and stayed another day.

[flv width=”540″ height=”438″]http://www.normradio.com/video/lastdaymaybe0505.flv[/flv]

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Taking a minute away.

Here I am (Norm) again, taking a minute away from video taping the baby hummingbirds that are just outside our from window.

They are so small and so cute. Unlike humans, they don’t look for such things as the   best eye creams and they still are cute.     To be so lucky.

If you want to see the latest video, take a look on www.normradio.com and there they are.

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