wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Red-breasted Sapsucker

This info paragraph is taken from allaboutbirds.org

Red-breasted Sapsuckers eat sap, insects and other arthropods, fruit, and seeds. Their tongues are shorter than those of other woodpeckers, with brushy tips that help them lap up sap. They spend far less time drilling into wood than many other woodpeckers [do], and instead pick insects (especially ants and beetles) from crevices in the bark or from sapwells. They also fly out to catch insects in midair.

It seems as if these sapsuckers show up here around Christmas time. I did another blog post about them five years ago when they showed up in my backyard. https://wordsfromanneli.com/2016/12/17/a-christmas-tree-party/

Now, desperate for food, they must be finding what they need in the big firs in our area. I took this picture one day last week.

A day or two later, he had hit a window at my neighbour’s house. Luckily they managed to save him after a bit of R&R time in their avian intensive care unit. See the bird resting below.

 

All I wanted was to fly

Higher up into the sky.

Now my neck is oh so sore,

Thought that window was a door.

 

Giant branches of the trees,

Beckoned me to “Fly up please,

Pick these insects off my bark,

Go ahead and work ’til dark.”

 

But between the trees and me

Shiny glass I did not see.

Like a wall it smacked me down,

Dizzy trees spun all around.

 

Then a lady picked me up,

With her hands shaped like a cup,

Put me in a warm, soft box,

I was trapped, but not with locks.

 

Somehow I was free to go,

Once my neck stopped paining so,

With a squeak I called goodbye,

Then flew up into the sky.

 

Thank you, lady, thanks so much,

For your kind and gentle touch,

But remember for next time,

I prefer my glass with grime.

 

***** If you are interested in writing, grammar, copy-editing, books, etc., why not check out my other blog which is dedicated to that kind of thing? https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/


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Golden-crowned Sparrow

Sadly, this golden-crowned sparrow is no longer with us. He hit one of my recently cleaned windows yesterday, and reminded me why I had put off cleaning them for so long. He looked so lifelike when I found him in a planter beside the front door, so I thought he deserved to be remembered as he might have been only moments before. I propped him up to sit on the snapdragon stem.

He has dirt on his beak and his feathers are a bit scruffy from his fall into the dirt, but he still looks beautiful to me, except that he’s not alive anymore. I feel really bad when I lose a bird on my windows.

Golden-crowned sparrows have a mournful song, and today I had the distinct feeling that his friends were looking for him.

If you listen to this very short video clip, you’ll hear his friends calling for him, saying, “Where are you? … I’m so alone.”

I heard that awful sound again,

A bird has hit the window pane.

Emma perked up at the sound,

Barked and stood up, looked around.

 

On the landing it was clear,

No dead birds, not far, not near.

Maybe he survived, I thought,

Just a headache he has got.

 

Later as I watered flowers,

Wanting to avoid the showers,

I looked down to place my feet,

When I saw this bird so sweet.

 

Feeling faint, I lifted him,

Knowing that his chance was slim,

Broken-hearted, I could see,

No more would he sing for me.

 

Beautiful, he looked in life,

Wonder if he had a wife,

Soon I heard her calling sweet,

Hoping that her love she’d meet.

 

One last perch upon a stem,

Such a beauty, such a gem,

As his soul wings high above

We’ll remember him with love.


48 Comments

Deadly Windows

I wonder how often you think about your windows and skylights and the bird traps they can be.

Yesterday the Captain was doing some jobs in his workshop. He had the regular door and the garage door to that building wide open as he was going in and out a lot. After he’d been in the house for a bite of lunch, he went back out to the workshop and saw this little nuthatch flying against the workshop window, trying to get out.

The nuthatch had come into the shop and then, fooled by the light, thought he could get out through the window. He kept flying at the pane of glass, trying in vain to escape, even though the door and the garage door were both still wide open. All he saw was the window and he couldn’t get through it.

The Captain used a soft trout fishing net to capture him and bring him outside. I noticed that his beak had a lot of spider webs on it. The Captain acknowledged that his workshop window is a bit cobwebby.

Luckily the nuthatch was only a bit stunned, and not seriously hurt. He sat in the Captain’s hand for a few extra seconds after I took the picture and then he flew away. I think he was one happy bird!

Do you have a skylight in a breezeway or in the covered entrance to your house? Check it for trapped birds.

If you hang a basket of flowers there, especially pink ones, you’ll kill countless hummingbirds. Even without the flowers to attract them, hummingbirds can fly in and then not realize that the sky above them is blocked off with a glass pane. They will try and try to fly up and out through that closed skylight, sometimes injuring themselves and exhausting themselves until they fall down and often times die.

This fellow is one of the two lucky ones that I helped rescue from a neighbour’s skylight.

It also reminded me that I should have kept my hummingbird feeder up especially in this colder weather. We have had hummingbirds overwinter here on Vancouver Island in the last several years, so it helps to supplement their diet when their natural food is scarce.

Flying up into the sky,

I was stopped and don’t know why,

Up I flew repeatedly,

But it soon defeated me.

I was panicked, I was tired,

Minutes more, I’d be expired.

Holding on for life so dear,

I saw Anneli coming near.

Up the ladder she did climb,

Capturing me from behind

Softly she held onto me,

Wobbling down so carefully.

Dark and warm and safe I was

Then she let me go to buzz,

Back to my own territory,

Now she’ll tell the world my story.

Please beware the window pane

Skylights fool us time and again.

Please don’t kill us with these traps

You don’t mean to kill perhaps.

But we birds are easily tricked

By the choice of panes you’ve picked.

Meanwhile we’ll be careful too

Knowing what these panes can do.