Friday, January 14, 2011


Birds are remarkably resilient and single minded in their pursuit of survival and happiness.

This past Wednesday (1/12/11) Connecticut got socked with a classic nor'easter. You know the kind: three feet of snow, shallow bumps of where cars used to be in your driveway, no school, and no work (at least for me. the beauty of being non-essential). Anyways, while I was wandering around the quiet house revelling in the fact that for the first time in a quite a long time I was truly alone with my thought, I happened to glance outside my front dining room window to admire the sinister beauty that is winter, when I noticed an unusual disturbance at this tree.

A flock of birds were hanging ten there.

Not only were a flock of birds hanging ten on a snow covered tree in the middle of a raging nor'easter, but they were busy gorging themselves on the birdseed that my wife had thoughtfully stashed in the feeder that was hanging from the tree.

And not only were they gorging themselves at the feeder, but they were also feasting on the spillage that surrounded the tree as well.

This was actually going for a quite a while prior to me seeing them from my front window and in fact just before I started writing this particular sentence (I first wrote this post out by hand), they all finished their breakfast and (hopefully) took off for a warmer climate.

However, I just noticed before starting this sentence that there is still one bird sitting on top of a snow encrusted shrub merrily oblivious to the elements around him.

Another example of this single minded pursuit was the very large murder of crows/blackbirds that chose to use my end of town as one ginormous rest area for their travels. For the past month or so, I would notice on my weekend walks hundreds upon hundreds of crows/blackbirds chattering up a storm in the bare trees, on telephone lines, multiple front and backyards, multiple houses and multiple streets. It really was a sight to behold and I was fortunate enough to take some pics that will pop up later in the spring.

Meanwhile, the previous flock that I wrote about has now returned and are busy once again hanging ten on the tree and gorging themselves at the feeder.

Sometimes the magic that is winter can often make you find the greatest amount of joy from just the most pedestrian of scenes.


  1. Well said. Life does not stop for snow, or rain, or anything. It finds a way. We see our feeders, when it rains hard, the birds are still there, or in the trees around. Perhaps the beauty of living truly in the moment. Like on a day when you're not at work and can look out the window and breathe and think for a moment.

  2. I thought you were going to write about how you were studying the non feathered kind of birds.

    Then I realised that Americans don't call women birds do they?

  3. It's nice the way that snowstorm pretty much stopped the state in its tracks. That little bit of downtime was a refreshing change, almost a mini-vacation.

  4. A couple of days ago, I watched a
    huge flock of birds fly over. The wind chill was below zero. How do they stand it?

  5. I remember you mentioning that murder of crows...must have been an amazing sight (and noisy!)

    On these cold winter days, I really wish I had wings to take me to a warmer clime!

  6. I love birds, too. A particularly fat one landed on my back porch and had a look at my feeder (which is for the small birds.) Looked as if he wasn't hurting for food at all. :)

  7. At our old house we had a quince bush right outside one of our living room windows. It was one of my fondest things to watch the birds and acrobatic squirrels at the feeder we kept next to the bush. Between the feed and the bush it kept many critters fed and this person and her cat very entertained.

  8. Charles: Thanks.

    I rarely can get a moment to myself like that in the morning, so when it does come around, I try take full advantage of it.

    Honestly though, I can't wait for Spring to hit because that's when the mountain comes alive again.

    Joe: Perhaps this coming Monday or Wednesday, eh?

    And if Americans do call women "birds", I haven't heard it said around me. :D

    Joanne: To a degree it was. Coupled with a few vacations days I took on Monday and Tuesday, this week is probably the closest I'm gonna get for a real vacation this year.

    Mama Z: I often ask myself the same thing. Especially on that Wednesday when I did see a few crows during an incredibly stupid walk I did that afternoon.

    Talon: It certainly was. At least two or three times during my walks to and fro, I would stop and spend a couple of minutes just watching and listening to them. And more often than not, would quietly drift away in my mind while doing so.

    Lynn: Haven't seen any fat ones as of late, but my wife said she saw a few cardinals later in the morning at that same feeder.

    Jeanne: I was definitely entertained while watching that small flock of birds in a driving blizzard feasting on the bird seed and chirping up a storm in the tree.

  9. Bearman: The wife handles that part right now.

    I handle that during the warm summer months.

  10. I'm glad you're getting a chance to enjoy the simple things, like the window scenery. Weird with all those birds- Guess they're no longer safe flying south for warmth this week!
    I love watching the birds n squirrels.
    I'm always throwing them out stale bread products from work,. What I think is funny, is when the squirrels see me watching them now, they'll turn around on the tree perch to hide their eating from my view- like they think I'll try to steal it back or something! Here the critters are so spoiled n fat...

  11. Snaggle: that is funny. Squirrels who all of sudden need privacy when they eat.

  12. Last year, in the middle of the summer, there was a bird in our backyard that would start singing at 3am. I love to watch birds and sometimes get lucky and see something unique. We get a lot of hawks around here and last year I got a good pic of one perched on the neighbor's roof.

  13. Snow: Now that's a pleasant sound I can wake up to.

    Up until we had our house re-sided, we used to have a rather annoying woodpeck just outside a bedroom window bothering us at all hours of the morning.

    I usually do my bird watching in the spring and summer, once I move my writing activities outside. I will tell that it does help with my writing quite a bit.

  14. That does sound like a nice scene. The most common bird we have here is the seagull. Which is odd, since we live in a fairly urban area. Mr. RK says he has even seen them eating french fries in fast food parking lots!

  15. I've seen seagulls just outside my office window on the rooftops, so yeah, it is a bit strange.

  16. Birds are a wonderful, simple pleasure. My life would be considerably emptier without "our" birds.
    Don't know if you're into citizen science projects at all, but you can report your sightings to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology through eBird.

  17. Lana: Thanks, I'll keep that in mind.

    I mostly enjoy birds for the simple beauty and the simple pleasure that they bring into my life.

  18. I love watching birds hopping all over my deck. It's comical often. Great post G.

  19. Kelly: Thanks.

    I have my moments in the winter. Just wait until spring and sumemr.


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