wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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The Chill Moves In

Mrs. Flicker is in a panic.

“Did you say the ‘S’ word? Did you say snow?”

 

The Steller’s jay mouths off as usual.

“Oh, I highly doubt that!”

The rufous-sided towhee is trying to be cool. Soon he’ll wish he weren’t quite so cool.

“Now what did I tell you about that? Getting the flocks all alarmed over something that may not even happen?!”

 

The hummingbird, also rufous, is hungry.

“I’m not taking any chances. Anneli doesn’t put this food out just because she’s bored. I think she’s trying to be sure we don’t starve.”

 

The chestnut-backed chickadee gets busy, eating all he can.

“Me too! I’m eating my breakfast to build up my strength. It’s dee-dee-dee-damned c-c-cold and it might snow.”

Above him, the nuthatch is getting impatient.

“Will ya hurry up, Chickie? There’s not much time before that hog, the starling moves in, and I haven’t had a turn at the suet block yet —– Oh too late. Here he comes, the bully!”

 

The starling isn’t shy. Far from it!

“Errr-hem! Move out you little squirts. That suet is mine, all mine.”

The golden-crowned sparrow does his best, singing about spring, but finally I heard him admit,

“I don’t think it’s working. I might have to move south — and fast!”

 

I hope the birds are wrong, but it sure feels like it will snow. I remember how cold and snowy it was last January, so I have plenty of birdseed and suet on hand, and of course I have walnuts and sunflower seeds for Lincoln and Della.

Last January! Brrrrrrr….

But someday it will be spring again.

(No, don’t get excited. This photo is from last May. I just wanted to remind myself that this cold weather won’t last forever.)

 


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Hard Times for Birds

The depth of snow on the railing shows that this snowfall is only beginning. A couple of hours later, it is already about three inches deep and the flakes are still coming down. It doesn’t take long for the ground to be covered, and much of the usual food supply for birds to be hidden from sight and suddenly unavailable to them.

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Every surface, coated white

Food for birds is out of sight.

Feeders overflow with seeds,

But be careful, hawks have needs.

All the creatures need to eat

Just don’t offer songbird meat.

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“Hey! Who put that white stuff on my back?”

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Painful Panes

Today I watched as two little chickadees hit the glass pane in my deck railing. I found a candle and went outside to scribble wax all over the pane so the birds could see it better. I had thought the glass was dirty enough after all the storms so the birds could tell it was glass, but unfortunately they couldn’t. I felt just sick when one of the chickadees lay on his side and looked as if he would die shortly. His brother sat on the lower part of the railing waiting for him to come fly away with him. dscn7427

When I came outside with the candle, the chickadee who was not hit as hard flew away, but the other one stayed on the deck, lying on his side. After scribbling on the pane to prevent more casualties, I went over to the little bird. He let me pick him up. He sat in my hand and perked up a tiny bit. I thought maybe keeping him warm might help him recover. Maybe he wouldn’t die after all.

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He made a little mess on my hand but I didn’t mind. I just wanted him to live. I packed him around for about half an hour and he still didn’t want to fly. Sometimes he let his head droop and I worried that this was the end. I tucked my hand inside my vest with the cloth not touching him, so he would be warm and in the dark. Then I came in to continue writing the next chapter of my novel.

Back on the deck, I tried again to get him to fly away, but he seemed to want to cling to my finger. I paced the deck, wondering what to do. Finally I set him down in the place where his brother had waited for him. He sat there for another ten minutes. When I went to pick him up again, he chirped “Goodbye and thank you,” and off he flew. dscn7433

Maybe this winter when it’s really cold, he’ll come eat at the birdfeeder.

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Chick-a-dee-dee-dee

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One of my favourite little birds (I had to laugh at myself just then, because I have so many) is the chickadee. In our area, Vancouver Island, we have the chestnut-backed chickadee.

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See the caterpillar the mother is about to feed the babies? Yummy (not)!

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They made a nest in one of the birdhouses and I was able to get a video of them the day before they left the nest. At the very beginning of the clip the mother flies in with food, but if you blink you’ll miss it. Also you’ll hear me saying “Yeah,” to answer the Captain, who was talking to me just then. If you play it more than once it will drive you crazy.

I have Adobe Premiere Elements for editing videos but it only allows me to save clips as Adobe clips and they won’t open for anything else. Not sure how to fix it. I didn’t use my Adobe editor because of that.This is why the clip I’ve uploaded is unedited.

I apologize for the unsteady hand. I had the camera zoomed so, unfortunately, every shake is exaggerated.