My Friends, The Birds

Broad-Billed Hummingbird (Male), Santa Rita Lodge, Madera Canyon, Near Green Valley, Arizona

Recently, and for some time, I have been discovering small “gifts” left for me by birds accustomed to feeding at my sunflower-seed feeder.

Since I installed the feeder years ago it has been the target of local birds by the hundreds.  Sitting close-by at my writing desk, I can observe the small creatures swooping down from surrounding treetops and bushes; then gliding to a perfect two-claw landing on the grill enveloping the seed silo. Each landing is a delight to witness the perfect agility and flight control exhibited by these tiny navigators of the air.

Every new day brings an audience of what I can recognize as flocks of different species and families.  The species vary according to the seasons, but mainly consist of smaller birds that winter throughout the year here.  Others are plainly migratory and land here in my backyard to feed after long sky-journeys from warmer climates or distant regions.

The hummingbirds are, to me, the most interesting of all my visitors.  Apart from the seed-feeder, I have also installed a hummingbird feeder filled with sugar-water nectar. The sun-reflecting clear sweet water attracts tiny hummers who flash their iridescent colors coming in for a helicopter landing. They often hover close to my face to check me out.  Eye to eye with a hummingbird I may have met before, I have felt an inquiring intelligence similar to mine.

The flashy red bird zooms away horizontally, and then returns to face me again; as if to say, “Now We Know!”

The “gifts” are small presents of shiny objects left on my foot cushion, or on the carpet next to my chair.  Some have been left for my notice on the pathway to my garden, which I pass through every day.

My friends seem to have affection for shiny objects, among which are colored plastic, frosted glass, marbles, and two Jefferson nickels.  The nickels are surprising in that they are obvious gifts from the birds I’ve been feeding; delivered in secret to the human who quietly observes them, and who is watched over by a bevy of air acrobats, wild birds.

Just call me Saint Francis, or Snow White.  Wild forest creatures of Nature’s universe circle around me, protect and guide me.  What an honor it is to receive their gifts of shiny objects.

Eye-to-Eye With My Hummingbird

A wild, tiny creature hovers close
Sun-reflecting red feathers flash in my face.
“This way”, beckon the wide eyes.
“Mind meld in a mutual query.”

Eye-to-eye we recognize our equal,
In one life-affirming moment.

2 thoughts on “My Friends, The Birds

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