Thursday, January 26, 2012

Life In The Treetops

As I walk outside I am constantly watching the sky and tops of trees to see what wonderful flying creatures may be visiting. I would love to see one of these magnificent birds (sigh).  If you haven't heard of or thought about these birds, check this video to learn more.

Do you walk looking down or looking up? Check yourself. There is so much to see when looking up - magnificent birds, incredible beauty of the sky. I learned that before I retired, I tended to look down when walking outside.

One day on the ranch I heard these lovely sounds coming from a tall tree so I stood quietly and looked up. There in the tree were several brilliant red Cardinals chatting with each other as they flitted from branch to branch. I had never seen or heard a real Cardinal before; for me, they were just pretty pictures on Christmas cards. From that day on, I looked up when walking about outside and now it's a habit. From that habit, I've embraced more natural beauty in birds and colorful skies that I had missed before.

I always thought the Robins migrated south for the winter. Well, apparently, they come to our ranch to winter these days! Check out the bird bath below which I was refilling 4-5x per day while the Robins were here.
Robins at the bird bath and guineas
checking the ground under the bird feeders
At the water and waiting in line
I think this is an amazing sight
I've learned that robins do stay in areas where the winters are milder. They stay in flocks during the winter but in spring they become independent again as they set up their nest and prepare for breeding.

There seems to be interesting visitors who land at our feeding station among our 'regulars' which delights me.
Red-bellied Woodpecker...outside its
winter habitat which is the eastern most
part of Nebraska
The Project Feed Watch count started in November and goes until April; so I've had three counts so far this winter. It is so fun to participate in these bird counts. All of our regulars are here in great numbers...Black-eyed Juncos, House Finches, American Goldfinches, Cedar Waxwings, Blue Jays,Cardinals, White-breasted Nuthatches, Black-capped Chickadees, and Mourning Doves; along with the occasional visitor, like the Red-bellied Woodpecker!
Black-capped Chickadee
Photo by Mary Batcheller
Isn't this amazing? Love it!
Here's to tree top and sky-high worlds,

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