Thursday, April 02, 2015

Love in the springtime

I made a quick trip to the beach to pick up eelgrass for my hermits, and on the way back to the car, stopped at the duck pond to watch the redwing blackbirds nesting in the central island. They're busy in there, chattering contentedly, but visible only in snatches as they bustle about in the reeds.

One male came out to take a breather on the fence, where a crow had already settled in.

"What do you think you're doing? This is MY fence!"

And I witnessed two birdy conversations that surprised me.

While I was still out on the sand flats, a gull flew overhead, making a strange, muted sound, almost musical. I looked up, and saw that he had a big clamshell in his beak; maybe that accounted for his voice, I thought. He flew out over the water, then curved back to a sandbar, coming in low, too low to drop a clamshell and have it break. Odd. And then he landed beside another gull waiting there, and handed over the clam.

A gull sharing food? Now that is love!

Back in the park, the sun was setting, and a robin high in a cottonwood was telling the world to "Cheer up, cheer up!" Good advice; I stopped to listen for a moment. And heard a quieter voice from somewhere near the trunk, a simple series of chirps, repeated every time the male robin took a breath. A female in the nest, wanting something? She was insistent, and finally the male dropped to the lawn and went hunting for worms. The chirping stopped. She'd got her point across. Supper would be served soon enough.

That's love, too.


  1. I love it when all the birds return. In the winter I really miss their calls. - Margy

  2. A lovely story, beautifully told.

  3. Love seeing the red-winged blackbird and crow on the fence. Spring is such a wild time of the year. The air does refill with song.


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