Friday, July 20, 2007

Silent No Longer

Silence! Stilllness! No movement or flurry of wings or feet scurrying into the tall grass. Silence and a slight feeling of sadness.

We arrived home last Sunday to an empty yard. The normal activity of birds and rabbits visiting the feeders and the water was missing -- but, I expected this because I had removed the feeders and let the water evaporate. I tried to find someone to come to the house during our absence to feed and water but was unsuccessful.

Prior to our trip we had several birds as regulars -- Jays, Finches, Lark Sparrows, Mourning Doves, Black-chins, Bullock's Orioles, Scott's Orioles and others. I wondered how long it would take to recover the family.

Rabbits daily come into the year to eat below the feeders but they were missing also. For the last 2 summers, Julie has been putting out celery. They learn fast and it's not unusual to be having supper on the deck and a rabbit will come close and look up expectantly. Try as I might, I have get to get one to take a stalk from my hand but they will wait 3 feet away until I give up and put in on the ground for them.

Rabbit and Pinyon Jays
A rabbit and Pinyon Jays compete for food. (Larger version)

We filled the water and put out feeders before unpacking our bags. On Monday a few arrived. On Tuesday 2 hummingbirds showed up. As the week progressed, so did the crowd. As I write this, it's Friday evening and about 2 dozen hummingbirds are accosting and verbally threatening one another at the two feeders on the deck. Others are challenging a constant stream of orioles at the oriole feed several feet passed the fence near the safety of a Juniper. The constant drone of wings and calls is music -- welcomed music. Rabbits are below the seed feeders on the west of the house and a Cowbird -- probably the most beautiful I've ever seen -- is mingled with other species.

Black chinned Hummingbird
A Black-chinned takes a break and a long drink. (Larger version)

Before we left, we had only Black-chins at the nectar feeders. I was curious why Broadtails and Rufous were missing. Tonight, most of the battling, jostling crowd are Rufous.

Day before yesterday we had the first decent rain of the monsoon season. It wasn't a large rain but it was enough to put some water in a pond to the east of our property. A few frogs, surprising large frogs, emerged from the normally dry pond and began courting one another. We went to bed listening to the songs of the frogs.

The silence is gone. Can life get any better?

Two orioles share a feeder. (Larger version)


Blogger anna said...

I envy you and the beauty that surrounds you everyday. I'm glad the silence is over and the birds and other creatures have welcomed you home with their songs.

7/22/2007 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

Ah, now I know where our Rufous go when they head south. They are a raucus bunch. It's nice to know the birds come back to the reliable food source even after a lapse. I'll remember that.

7/26/2007 07:27:00 PM  

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