I am a bird watcher. Never in a million years would I have thought I would be a bird watcher because when I was a kid, I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s suspense thriller, The Birds, and it terrified me! It’s the story of a series of sudden, unexplained and violent attacks by birds on the people of Bodega Bay, California. Things start going a little crazy when seagulls attack kids at a party, and before long, the whole town is under attack, with birds nearly breaking through barricaded doors and windows! I can’t believe my parents let me watch it! They probably wouldn’t had they known how scary it was. For days, I couldn’t walk outside without looking nervously to the sky.
While I still get a little nervous when I see a large flock of birds, I have gotten over my fear and enjoy watching the birds that return in the spring, year after year, to the bird feeder that sits outside my home office window. There is a pair of mourning doves that returns every year. They say that mourning doves mate for life and are considered to be a symbol of hope.
Early in the morning, I’m always happy to see the return of a cardinal, one of my favorite birds. I love watching the hummingbirds, but I didn’t see very many of them last summer. I am anticipating their return this year. I also enjoy watching the blue jays squawk and seeing the occasional woodpecker. Since I work from home and my computer is right by the window, I have noticed that certain birds come to feed at the same time every day. There are also the “bullies” who swoop in, scaring the little birds away.
Since I have several bird feeders in the backyard, bird food is plentiful. Every year, I have a battle with a tiny chipmunk that has made a home for himself underneath the deck. He is a sneaky little birdfeed thief, and no matter where, or how high I hang the bird feeders, that chipmunk finds a way to get to the food. I’ve even seen that pesky critter jump off the roof, into a pot of flowers and fly six feet in the air to get to a bird feeder. My grandson, Noah, named him Jimmy and every spring, he will ask me, “Is Jimmy back, yet?” I sigh, and tell him, “Yes, Jimmy’s back.”
One evening, I mistakenly left an open bag of bird food on the deck. The next morning, I found Jimmy sound asleep inside the bag, half of the food gone! (Sigh.) Even though Jimmy is such a pest, I’m always a little happy to see him. It’s a sure sign that spring has sprung and bird-watching season is about to begin!