Wednesday, June 9, 2010

bird watching

Some of you will already be familiar with this fading pink flamingo from pictures of it in the snow. Indeed, I'm looking forward to this winter, and the possibilities in store from the fact that fifty feet away, a whole patch has been planted with its more brightly plumaged mates.

But it's not flamingos that capture most of our attention, or exert pressure on our nerves. Our bluebird house is again home to one or more - I think I can hear at least two - baby [eastern] bluebirds. They are now around fourteen or fifteen days old - so with luck, it won't be long before they fly. Their parents go back and forth with all kinds of grubs. Yesterday we bought a little pot of wriggling mealy grubs for them - but this seems to have been a bad idea, since they, in their turn, attracted three territorially aggressive mocking birds. Least pleasant task of the day - moving mealy grubs from one end of the walled yard to the other. I was nervous last year - and then there was a tragedy: the baby bird - and I think there was only one that reached near-fledgeling stage - just collapsed and died in the nest. Pesticide? So I am watching constantly to check that it's sticking its beak - by now, whole head - out to be fed; that the parents are diving into the house to clean it by carrying out the little white fecal sacs... and keeping my fingers crossed. But this isn't good for more academic forms of concentration.

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