The cold dreary weather does not hinder the spirit of the tiny birds at the feeders outside my ‘art gecko’ studio window today. If it weren’t for the birds, I would be staring at the two story home across the street with absolutely no landscaping. The brown house with a dark brown steep roof line sitting on brown Bermuda grass is like a blank page of writing.
Luckily, we decorated the outside of my window with green bushes, purple and yellow pansies in colorful pots, and a two-tiered bird feeder. Our home with large windows on the east and the west gives us the perfect opportunity to become curious bird watchers. In the past I might have said "look that’s a UBB!", meaning an unidentified brown bird.
But curiosity and time has changed our UBB habits to names and IDs on some of the birds. The easiest to learn were the doves because of their size and distinct markings. The white-winged dove is well described by his name and most beautiful. When he sits at the feeder and there’s no food, he is the most likely to turn to the window, scratch in the feeder as if to say, "no food". I faithfully leave my computer and feed the birds.
The sparrows, finches, wrens, and cardinals seem to feed at the same time daily, together.
I most enjoy the daily cheerfulness of the wrens. Somedays I think they know I’m at this window, and how much I love their music. I watch as they pick and toss at the food, and when their tiny bodies–smaller than the palm of my hand–turn to the window and with their tails angled upwards they sing no matter the season, no matter the weather. I stop my writing to listen. When I’m outside, on warmer days, I stand still between the fence and bushes. With patience, the house wrens and Carolina wrens will creep to the edge of the bush or to the top of the fence and sing, like Broadway stars with the world as their theater. I suppose when the bird books described the wrens as nondescript brown birds, that nature gives voice to these tiny little brown birds.
One day, when my mind drifted from the written page I noticed a dark eyed-junco with his slate grey top feathers, but instead of the whitish bottom half, it had a rusty pink underbelly. Two hours later, and with the help of a local birder, I jumped with joy at seeing my first Oregon male dark-eyed junco. A new bird in my life fills my heart with joy and clears the mud from my brain, so I can write once again.