So many things going on during nesting season if you’re paying attention. The trill of victory, the agony of de tiny little feet! Everywhere one soap opera after another is playing out. Studley and Marge plumb disappeared shortly after the scrub jay incident and didn’t show up for worms even though we extended our beer-thirty hours JUST for them, and we had no idea where they went or even if they still…were. The resident crows are just past the stage where their baby has plummeted from the treetops and been grounded for a few days, and we knew that because every so often we heard a great cawcophany from the neighbor’s yard followed by two little kids screaming their heads off and dashing back into the house. It was very satisfying. Now the crow baby is aloft for good and pecking around the garden beds with its blue eyes and gape-remnant lips and it will soon be the best-looking one of the bunch, because the adults are all about to go gappy and drop their feathers.

Then Studley came back with three of his little guys in tow! They’re not any littler than he is, of course, but they’re beebling away in the trees waiting for Daddy to show up with snacks, and we couldn’t be relieveder. They too can be recognized by their shiny new suits and I do believe they outweigh their father too, because as usual he has worked himself skinny. His molt will start any day now. Last year by this time he had a ragged cheek bib and a bald spot on his head. This year his head feathers look okay but he’s had this one feather sticking up on his back for weeks. I tried to smooth it down once but Studley has stopped just short of allowing me to touch him in a personal fingery way. And I know this because it’s everything I can do to keep from chucking the little dude under the chin.

wayward feather

And because it is not enough to have a private tit to show off to your friends, my niece was inspired to try to entice a pair of juncos that were nesting in her yard, and succeeded in getting them and their babies to take food from her hand, and start a new brood, and get those babies to do the same, and, what the hey, the local song sparrows seemed to show an interest too, and what with one thing and another, she is basically encrusted with birds every time she walks outside. Dave shakes his head. Brewster girls, he says, without elaborating.

It’s not a competition, but I will point out she doesn’t have a chickadee yet.
And so I’m happy that I’ve made my garden a destination resort for the feathered set, and contemplate what more I can provide, because birds are awesome in every way, but I would like to mention that I the hell did not mean I wanted freaking pigeons nesting under my solar panels with their stupid breathy cooing like they’re fat little Olivia Newton-Johns in a world of opera stars and all walking around like they do with their tiny stupid heads poinking along behind them like they’re trying to catch up to their own plumpety bodies. But there they are flapping down to the rental house’s gutter and coming back up to our roof with big old sticks because not only do we have freaking pigeons committing lavish poopination under our solar panels but sure enough we didn’t get around to clearing out the gutters last season and thanks for reminding us.

I know I’m supposed to be more even-handed about this as a bird lover but I really don’t care for pigeons much at all or the whoop-whoop-whoop Three Stooges routine they do or their unmatched outfits, the best of which look like a motor oil slick in a puddle, walking around all dumb and eating white bread preferentially, and I know they have plenty of admirers and can do some amazing things such as find their way home even from a very great distance, which they can go ahead and do any time now as far as I’m concerned and I hope it’s way the hell across the ocean.