While working from home during quarantine, I was able to observe the birds and squirrels from my window. One morning I witnessed a bird chasing away a squirrel who was picking up things. It made me so happy at such a depressing time. On one of the days that I visited the office, which was very empty except for a handful of us, I saw these birds perched on the fence and I had to take a picture of them. Because the world was so quiet and humans were holed up inside their homes, the birds were out enjoying themselves. Thank you, Suzanne, for being there during such a sad and lonely time. — Marlene
We were just on a camping trip last week. We were walking around one of the trails and came upon two families of Canadian Geese. There were four parents and eight fuzzy green babies all together. Two of the babies wandered too close to the wrong parents, and one of the adult geese "shooed" the babies back to their own parents. Soon after they all decided to go for a swim. I have loved this week's bird stories.
Jennifer G, Technical Services Manager
Rolling Hills Consolidated Library
It was a sunny afternoon and my daughter was brushing our neighbor’s Golden Retriever in our backyard. I was sitting on the patio and we both noticed a Blue Jay nest up in our birch tree. We could hear babies chirping, and the mama was busily flying in and out with food. As the dog’s hair flew off in huge clumps, I suggested to my daughter to place a few clumps inside our row of Azalea bushes for the birds to use as nest material. (I grew up with horses and our barn swallows loved using horse hair in their nests, so I figured our birds would relish the silky dog hair.) Fast forward to the next day and Tropical Storm Cristobal was moving into our area, Southern Louisiana. As the sky darkened and the misty rain started to pellet our windows, my daughter looked out and exclaimed, “Look, Mom! It’s the baby blue jay! He’s snuggled up with the dog hair.” Sure enough, a baby blue jay was hunkered down inside of our azaleas, snuggled right up next to that clump of dog hair. We watched in wonder as his mama came regularly to feed him. He remained there for two days and when the sun appeared again, he flew away with his family. — Brandi
My grandson, Sam, almost four years old at the time, heard a bird hit our window. He quickly ran to look and found a chickadee had fallen to the deck in a crumple. "Oh, Grandma," he said, "may I go out and help it?” I explained it might just be stunned, and we should leave it be and give it some time. Sure enough, the bird hopped to its feet. Then it just stayed there for a minute or two. "Oh, I think it needs some love to feel better, could I just pet it so it knows someone cares?" Sam asked. I figured the little chickadee, hearing the door open, would fly away but nevertheless I told him, "Yes, be quiet and gentle." I was really surprised when Sam moved silently and slowly toward the bird, and pet it ever so softly a couple times. The chickadee turned his head to look right at this little boy as if to say, “Thank you,” and flew away. —Jolaine
I was at a local discount store and there were 30 sea gulls just sitting in the parking lot, and some flying around. But most were just sitting in the parking lot, I saw them several times, and then they were just gone. Not sure why they were there, or where they went. They were really pretty and made me long for the beach. — Jeri
Years ago, we lived in a house that sat up on a steep slope. It had a very long driveway, about 55 feet. We had a large male cat, semi-long haired, black and white “tuxedo” coloring. His name was Schwartz Und Weiss, German for black and white. We called him Schwartz. He spent his days in the woods around the house. Although there were lots of birds of all types, he never hunted them. There is a photo of him sleeping under a patio table while birds enjoy seeds on top of it!
Each day Schwartz would make his way home in late afternoon, up the long driveway. A mockingbird was always waiting for him. It would swoop down and give Schwartz a peck on the back, which made the mockingbird jump, or hop alongside him screaming, all the way up the driveway! Schwartz just looked straight ahead, putting one foot in front of the other! He never took offense. — Linda
So we also have lots of birds visiting us this year in Jacksonville, FL. It has been nice watching all the activity around our bird feeder and backyard, while we’ve been home so much the past few months. Our back and side yards are on woodlands, so we also occasionally have visits from raccoons, rabbits and turtles. On a couple rare occasions, over the past 10 years we have lived here, we have even seen some bobcats. But I digress- back to the birds. This year we were lucky enough to have a couple Carolina Wrens build a nest in my poinsettia on the table on the pack patio. The nest was built so one of the poinsettia leaves somewhat covered the entrance, but I checked on it daily and it didn't seem to upset the adult birds. And eventually this leaf fell off since I couldn't water the plant. We ended up with four eggs and eventually four baby birds. Then one morning when the babies were about a week old, I noticed the porch seemed eerily quiet. I checked the nest and the babies were gone!!! About an hour later we noticed both parent birds flying to the porch and squawking over and over again. This went on for a few hours and then all was quiet again. We think a raccoon came during the night and... you can fill in the rest because it's too sad to type. I was so sad, but realized this is how nature and wildlife works. On a positive note, last week we noticed a pair of Brown Thrashers building a nest in our Viburnum bushes, so hopefully these will do better (I read Thrashers can get pretty aggressive protecting their nest). And while my husband was trimming some trees in our yard, he discovered a Mourning Dove nest in an oak tree, and immediately stopped trimming that tree. —Susan
There were four blue robin eggs in the nest early May. This picture shows one egg that did not bear a bird. Three survived, and this is the final photo. Soon after, it flew out to begin a life in the real world. So happy to have been home to see the family grow. Your reader friend, Kathryn.
I want to share this photo of the Blue Heron that lives in my neighborhood. I live in an apartment, in a retirement community, in Olmsted Falls, Ohio and we have at least two of these beautiful birds living here. This is the view from my window. I took this picture yesterday, but was unable to capture two of them as they took off over the lake. They have beautiful wing spans and were gone so fast that I couldn’t even pick up my phone camera in time. One of our residents said he has seen three of them. I’m hoping to see all of them myself someday.
I so enjoy reading the books you recommend and reading your wonderful messages. — Audrey