Cheerful cardinals, chickadees and Carolina wrens lift my spirits on a snowy spring day.
The bite of winter lingers on this March day, but seeing my feathered neighbors outside cheers me up. I savor my coffee in the warmth of a south-facing window while they gobble the seed and suet treats.
Today’s snow has brought a flurry of activity, and I am captivated by the birds’ quirky personalities. An upside-down dining nuthatch arrives first, and he spreads the word, “Breakfast is ready!”
Soon at least 50 birds are vying for a spot, like diners with a punch card they can’t wait to fill.
The cast changes throughout the day. At noon a flock of goldfinches comes to snack on the thistle seed, while brilliant red cardinals prefer tranquil, late afternoon dining. Chickadees and titmice stay all day, sampling every feeder, afraid they might miss a tasty morsel.
Two tiny chipmunk birds share a block of suet. They’re lively little fellows with reddish brown backs and white stripes over their black eyes. Although the bird books call them Carolina wrens, I think they look like feathered chipmunks.
Most of my visitors are content sharing—they occasionally flutter and fluff at each other but then settle down and eat peacefully.
This harmony is only disrupted by the raucous blue jays that behave like cranky children who don’t want anyone else to play with the toys, even though there are enough for everyone.
The bleak day speeds by as I return to my cozy spot, delighted by the outdoor entertainment. As the light begins to fade, I venture out to restock the buffet. Two chickadees stay for a talk; perched near my head they chatter, as if to ask, “Where have you been?”
When the feeders are full, their tone changes: “Chick-a-dee-deedee,” which I translate as, “Thank you for the yummy food!”
Cardinals and an upside-down nuthatch (left) are among Debbie’s frequent visitors.