Bird Roll Call: February 28, 2018

  • American goldfinch1
  • American robin1,2
  • Blue jay1
  • Brown creeper1
  • Canada goose2
  • Common grackle1,2
  • Dark-eyed junco1,2
  • Downy woodpecker1
  • Eastern bluebird2
  • European starling1,2
  • House finch1
  • House sparrow1
  • Killdeer2
  • Mallard2
  • Mourning dove1,2
  • Northern cardinal1
  • Northern flicker1
  • Pine siskin1
  • Red-bellied woodpecker1
  • Red-winged blackbird**1
  • White-throated sparrow1
  • Yellow-bellied sapsucker***1

Locations — in my backyard and at Meadowbrook Park. A double asterisk indicates first sighting in my yard. A triple asterisk indicates first sighting of the season.

1. Seen at home
2. Seen at Meadowbrook Park

Twitter: Road Ends in Water

The snow is frosting sprinkled with nyjer seed.

Geese fly by so low I’m afraid they’ll get snagged on the sweetgums.

Crack. Crack. Swallow. Crack. Crack. Swallow. A blue jay shells peanuts and caches them in his expandable throat.

What is the yellow-bellied sapsucker still doing here?

There’s a sweetness to birders, like the time two women barreled across Heritage Park to make sure I’d seen the bald eagle.

Sign: Road ends in water.

Ice on a lake sings like someone playing one thousand saws.

Next to a white horse, a brown horse with a white face.

Out in the freshly tilled field: meadowlarks.

Through the dead grass, I see a man fishing.

A funeral procession passes as I stand in the field looking at meadowlarks.

Because the water is frozen, snow geese have landed in a field.

From a sparrow identification guide: The field sparrow’s song “sounds like a ball bouncing down to rest.”

I met a birder today on top of a dam. Her name is a combination of the words candelabra and mandolin. We saw pelicans.

Meadowlarks and starlings fly back and forth — low in the field — as if performing reiki on the earth.

Home: glass strike; no body. I am lousy with concern.

The woman with the beautiful name taught me how to pronounce the word merganser.

Rock pigeons stand on a frozen marsh.

Rural Kansas: the geometry of utility poles and power lines.

Twitter: Erratics

I love the maple more because of the cardinal, and I love the cardinal more because of the maple.

Black cattle rise from the ground like basalt erratics in a limestone world.

You do feel alive. You just don’t like how that feels.

What is an extra hour in sky-time?

It’s as if the entire red maple has become the female cardinal, a form of reverse camouflage.

Dropping conditioning is, in itself, a form of conditioning.

Shhh. The squirrels are napping.

Water that reflects the sky is full of sky.

The juncos are wonderful company this time of year.

My love of birds started years ago when I released a starling from my father’s trap.

I came home to a Cooper’s hawk perched on my fence.

I think it was a sharp-shinned hawk. And I think a blue jay imitated the alarm cry of a Cooper’s hawk when the sharp-shinned hawk arrived. (Update: This accipiter was later identified as a very young female Cooper’s hawk, so the blue jay used the right call after all.)

Two great horned owls appear to be competing for territory in our neighborhood.

These days with birds are magical.

I woke to ice in the birdbath and a mantle of apricot leaves in the still-green lawn.

I topped the birdbath off with water that wasn’t frozen. Within minutes, dozens of birds came to get a drink or take a bath.

I live between two flyways, so there is a lot of interesting stuff going on here birdwise.

I just saw a yellow-bellied sapsucker in our backyard. A downy woodpecker and a red-bellied woodpecker were back there, too.

I’m ready for my arms to serve as branches.

My neighbor is walking down the street with a large shamanic drum.

Every night, the sky turns into a stigmatic, bleeding from sudden wounds.

The birds have entered my dreams, pale and wandering.