Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Birds Are Back!

I'm not a birder—though I've been birding, and I have a birding book with dates marked when I first saw certain species, but that's from decades ago—but I might as well be, with my levels of excitement about the birds that are in my back yard.

I didn't really notice, during this long, dark winter of a true winter, that there weren't any. The birds that typically hang around all year—sparrows, cardinals, a few robins—have been completely absent. I realized a few weeks ago that we didn't have swarms of starlings, which typically show up in January. Nor have there been juncos (again, that are usually hopping around outside my window in January) or finches or wrens.

About a week ago there was a pair of wrens in my rose bush, and that same day I heard something singing. Tuesday I saw a robin. And TODAY! It sounds like freaking spring out there! I literally dusted off my binoculars to see what was in my tree. We spotted a cardinal family (a male, female, and young male) and a blue jay, but I also saw a chickadee and then completely lost my head over a bluebird.

An actual, real, bright-blue-with-a-red-breast bluebird.

I haven't seen any of those for so many years I can't even tell you. I want to say decades. It's unbelievable how much joy I feel right now, with these guys hanging around. We had freezing rain yesterday (with yet ANOTHER day off school) and half my conversations with people are about the devastating economic impact the weather is taking on certain industries. It's still only mid-February. We have a minimum of six weeks when we could get more snow, more ice. We all keep talking about the two feet of snow we got in April sometime in the mid '90s.

But the birds are back. The end is near. And the weight has lifted.

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