Monday, December 27, 2010
The Birds' Christmas
An American Tree Sparrow perched on a rotted stump, its feathers all fluffed out against the cold air. Blue Jays, Cardinals, Juncos, Downy Woodpeckers and Nuthatches moved around on the bare tree branches while keeping a safe distance away from people passing by.
The generous man had placed seed on every post along the boardwalk and soon the sparrows and finches arrived for a breakfast buffet.
The Tree Sparrow left his perch and did not seem to notice the small seeds stuck on his bill.
There was lots of food for those who were not shy and there would be plenty left over for the birds who arrived for a second seating.
Another bird lover hung pine cones filled with peanut butter and seeds on low branches and the Chickadees enjoyed the tasty ornaments. I think my friend Cheryl may have been the one who made these treats.
I talked to the man with the pail on his return trip. He brings seeds for these birds several times a week and buys only the best mix of peanuts, black sunflower seeds and finch feed. He doesn't do it to get a picture or for thanks from anyone but his feathered friends. People like this make our community a special place indeed.
I am reading an old Christmas book which belonged to my mother. The Birds' Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggin is not about birds but is a sad Victorian story about a dying girl who celebrates her last Christmas by inviting a needy family for a festive meal. But the scene today made me think of the title of the book. This was a bird's Christmas carol if I ever heard one.