The birds of spring are out, and I can't be happier with their appearing. One of the best things about moving to a new state is getting to know all the new birds that frequent my feeder each spring. Some birds don't frequent my feeder, but keep me company as I garden. Three of my favorites are the wren, the robin, and the woodpecker.
I noticed an unusual amount of bird droppings on the door of my SUV about two weeks ago. I thought it a little strange that there should be so much in one spot just behind my rearview mirrors. I kept a sharp eye out the next day and discovered a cute little wren preening, pecking and otherwise eyeing himself in the mirror. Every day now when I drive home, that little guy greets me and proceeds to check himself out in the mirror almost before I put the car in park. Lately, he follows me around the property and even into the barn when I feed the horses. Perhaps he hasn't been able to locate a mate yet, and I seem like the next best thing. I can't help thinking what a vain little critter I have here. He sings beautifully, though, and I find him a welcome addition to my farm chores.
The first sign that spring was around the corner was the robins in my back yard. I remember when we arrived in state last year I was thrilled to see a robin. We didn't have any robins at our last home. My guess is that it was because we had few bugs for them to eat. On a military base, pest spraying was routine. While I was thankful at times for the lack of mosquitoes nibbling my neck, I really missed the birds that thrived on those insects. I also worried that so many chemicals in the air and soil couldn't possibly be a healthy living environment for any living creature, including me. Here on Rainbow Farm we have an overabundance of earthworms and other beneficial insects, which brings my favorite spring bird, the robin, out in force. This bird really takes pride in his work. With his shoulders back, a dignified little hop and tilt of his head, the robin will wait patiently as I till up the ground in preparation for planting. As soon as I walk away, he helps himself to the uncovered buffet.
Jack hammers have nothing on my last flying friend, the woodpecker. I don't always see them, but their busy work is heard all over the farm. Last year these hard-headed birds pecked a hole clean through my house trim. This year they are working heavily on the trees in the back pasture. No doubt, they are looking for all those mounds of carpenter ants that make a mess of the wood around here. I say, have at them. The hairy woodpecker in my picture is just one of the many different kinds of hammer-heads we have here. The large flicker, cousin to the woodpecker, keeps the air thumping with his antics. I love to watch them all. They remind me that hard work pays off in the end - and sometimes leaves a lingering headache. ;-)