Sunday, August 28, 2016

8.28.16  Bird Nerd Moment - My backyard
Yarmouth, MA

Sipping coffee on a sunny Sunday morning on Cape Cod...I'm mentally choosing to ignore the tug of the school year, and the routines that await all of us in just a few days.  I don't drink a lot of coffee, but it is the morning ritual that I enjoy most of all, and I'm getting to enjoy every sip, outside in this weather, that just won't quit!  This summer's weather on Cape Cod has been incredible.  I know, I know, there's a drought, and we need the rain...of course we need rain.  One of my favorite Cape Codders commented on this: "We really need the rain."  He said, "Yes.  On Cape Cod, we need summer rain on Wednesday night, once a week, while everyone is sleeping.  THAT is when we need rain here."  I couldn't agree more, and Mother Nature has pretty much stuck to that plan for most of our summer here.  It has just been spectacular.  Hot Hazy Humid - perfect.  Why and how are coffee, rain & birds all coming together here... and WHEN?!  Now.

SO - I'm sipping my delicious coffee, enjoying some warm sunny peace on our back deck, which is surrounded by oaks... the trees' leaves are sparkling with sunbeams and for a few minutes, I haven't heard anyone calling me from inside the house.  All is quiet...until a small flock of Common Grackles arrives, one after the other. They fly in rather quietly and perch - about 10-12 of them, here and there all around the branches in my yard.  The photos I've posted below are less than great - but all I had to snap a few shots was my phone camera. (double click photos to enlarge)
Common Grackle

Common Grackles - dark forms here and there
in the branches 

Birds who flock, are beginning to flock again, be it for migration, shelter from an approaching storm, keeping their family groups safe & close.  So these grackles are bouncing from branch to branch, making their tell-tale calls & inspecting all that they please all over the oaks.  I believe some of them MUST be juveniles, though I can't see all of their eyes from the distance they're at. Juveniles do not sport the yellow iris the adults do.  For a beat, I think about what the heck it might feel like to be fearful of birds, because I'm surrounded. It's a grackle ambush!  I don't know why it popped into my brain, but it did.  I have heard that story over and over again and I have also heard that for many of the folks who have ornithophobia: an irrational fear of birds; that it is common that some frightful occurence involving birds has happened to them at a young impressionable age.  Perhaps they'd inadvertenly wandered too close to a nest or into a territory a bird was feeling particularly protective about.  I know people get dive-bombed by birds - I've SEEN it!  I suppose if you were the young human at a tender age and that happened to you, it would freak you out too. 

I think of it at that moment I guess, because I feel surrounded...surrounded by grackles and watching their behavior and feeling like I'm in a sort of heaven.  I also understand that my comfort level with essentially every living creature ( save arachnids ) does not translate into euphoria for most everyone.  This moment below, from Ace Ventura - Pet Detective sums up MY happy place essentially... I would sing too if that were me...

I'm at home with them.  I'm in my glory.  I'm loving being exactly where I am, surrounded by Common Grackles and watching them, and listening to them as the summer breeze sways the branches and rustles the leaves.  All I'm doing is having a coffee on my back deck, and I'm transported by the birds.  They really are magical in that way... I know not for everyone, but for so SO many.  It's such a special gift... the existence of birds.  I hope you've been able to enjoy their company recently too.

Happy Birding!

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