Posts Tagged ‘feedling birds’

Red-breasted nuthatch

It’s always fun to feed the birds. I first fill the feeders–two seed feeders and one suet feeder–and then scatter larger seeds and peanuts on the ground for the jays and squirrels. As soon as I leave, the Steller’s jays will swoop in, followed by the scrub jays. They gobble down the peanuts, one at a time, flying off to eat one, then back in for another. Sometimes they try to jam two in their beak at a time, which seldom works. The jays are quickly followed by the smaller birds–and usually a squirrel or two.

But today, the fun began before I even reached the feeders. When I was about six feet away, a little downy woodpecker–a male–alit in the tree. There was still a small chunk of suet left in the feeder, so I froze in place and watched. Mr. Downy approached the feeder one branch at a time. Then he landed on the feeder and started eating. I held as still as I could. I love the little downies. But then I made a small movement, and the little woodpecker was gone.

I replaced the suet, then turned toward the seed feeders. And who should flit in but the sweet red-breasted nuthatch. “Hello, little guy,” I whispered. “I’ll have your feeder filled soon.” But he (she?) wasn’t feeling shy today. He landed on a branch a mere two feet from my head and sat there, studying me as I studied him. I could see all the details of his body–the rusty breast feathers, the white strip on his head, the sparkling black eye. It felt magical. After a couple of minutes, the nuthatch flew off, and I finished putting out the seed. But the feeling of magic remained.

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