I stare out the window a lot these days. Particularly on gray, rainy days of late. The warmth of the sun seems scarce this spring. The days when it shows up are glorious, but, seriously, we need more of them.
Even so, I'm thankful for my room with a view. Our bedroom windows look out on our city backyard, and we are lucky to have habitat that is visited by birds and critters alike. This is our second spring in this house, and I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring migrants. Last week saw the arrival of Chipping Sparrows, and a small flock of White-throated Sparrows. We even had a Wild Turkey visit! The White-throated Sparrows are still here, flitting through the habitat, and singing in the rain. This is the beginning...
Last year our biggest migrant day was May 10. I watched in amazement, through the window, as migrant after migrant, and many feathered residents, arrived. I counted a total of about 20 different species, in multiples, throughout the day, and in the few days after as well. Birds I had seen in the wild before, but not in our city backyard.
There were Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Indigo Buntings, Clay-colored Sparrows, Song Sparrows, a Gray Catbird, Baltimore Orioles, Downey Woodpeckers, Hermit Thrushes, a Common Yellow-throated Warbler, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, along with some of the usual summer residents: American Robins, Common Grackles, Starlings, Cardinals, House Sparrows, Gold Finches, House Finches, and Mourning Doves. Crows, too. I was so overwhelmed, I actually cried. It was incredible.
We've added many native plants to the garden since then, several native bushes, a brush pile, and a leaf compost bin. And a couple more birdbaths. I'm hoping these added elements will entice more migrants to visit our avian Airbnb. At the least, I'm hoping visitors from last spring will visit. And bring friends.
The prospect of Spring Migration has been a major balm for me in these Covid-19 times. I try to get out a couple times a week for a walk in local parks and nature trails, but being able to enjoy the comings and goings of wildlife in our backyard habitat has been a welcome distraction as much as a passion.
I'm looking forward to working on the habitat in the coming months, too. We started some plants from seed, a first for us. We shall see how that turns out. I'm sure we will do some curbside pickup from local garden centers as well. Evenings in the backyard surrounded by flowers and birdsong will be a welcome retreat from the stress of current times.
I'm aware that bird watching is not everyone's cup of tea, but in times like these, the melody of bird song, and the beauty of nature might help to fill your cup. No matter where you live, there's bound to be some wildlife in view. Just look out the window.
A traveler, singer, novice photographer, humane gardener, and nature lover.