Eating junco food
Monday May 31st 2010, 11:47 pm
Filed under: Wildlife

We have a lot of housefinches at the feeder, and one of the things I’ve learned is that at this time of year, the males feed the females to show they’re good stock to choose from and as they’re raising a family.

Which leads to the daily sight these days of pairs of them at a time hanging off a single oval-shaped perch on the thing, both of them struggling for a grip while I think, honey, you could grab that seed yourself and not have to flutter your wings quite all so pretty like that if you only knew; there’s plenty of sunflower there.

And just every so often you’ll see a male ignoring some strange chick’s entreaties.

I always wondered if it was the same one, if perhaps she’d lost her mate?  We do have a hawk nearby. You never know.

And I wonder if that’s the one I saw today.  She landed on the narrow outside of the window sill–I have never seen any bird do that before–and looked in right at me. (And later, down at the empty Corningware measuring cup on the floor that was just inside that I fill the feeder with. I got the hint.)

But what was even more surprising was what happened next: a junco followed her there and looked in too.  Quite close to her.  That got me to stop and watch them.

And what I saw was that junco staying near her this afternoon and going out of his way to feed that female finch.  The juncos tend to be ground birds here, being peaceable birds, not liking to fight their way in like the finches do over the feeder; fallouts will do.  He would pick up a seed off the patio and feed her with it, and if he found one behind her, would hop around in front of her to get her attention and stretch up just slightly to give it to her.  Over and over and over.

In front of my window. On the chair. On the table. On the ground. Those two were clearly a bonded pair, staying close to each other, and when one flew off the other went with, when one came back the other did too.  It was the oddest thing, seeing a small brown bird and a different small brown bird with a black head and chest out there in the world taking care of each other regardless of their differences because it seemed to them the right thing to do.

And somehow it filled me with just the greatest sense of hope.

7 Comments so far
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I wish we, humans could be as wise as the small brown birds.

Comment by Henya 06.01.10 @ 1:34 am

Well that is different. I wonder if there was something wrong with her, and he knew it. Animals can be intuitive.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 06.01.10 @ 5:49 am

Very sweet! You sure have seen some tenderness between birds of late. Whoda’ thunk it?!

Comment by Channon 06.01.10 @ 7:52 am

we could learn a lot about how we should treat each other here, couldn’t we?

this year we seem to have a lot more birds around our property — or perhaps I’ve just been made more aware by reading your posts every day!

Comment by Bev 06.01.10 @ 8:13 am

Ah, true love knows no bounds! Henya has the right idea. Humans and birds — more alike than unlike.

Humor –

How many psychiatrists does it take to replace a light bulb?
Only one, but it takes 20 visits.

Comment by Don Meyer 06.01.10 @ 9:02 am

How touching. A blessing to witness that!

Comment by twinsetellen 06.01.10 @ 5:06 pm

Lovely :-}

Comment by Diana Troldahl 06.01.10 @ 6:10 pm

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