Birds on Film

Hermit thrush on blackhaw. Digital zoom through inexpensive binoculars.

The grackles sent the pin oak acorns raining down on the roof. Splat. Their droppings came down on the porch. We saw them thirty minutes later along Montgomery Road in a beech forest. Certainly it was raining beechnuts.

Grackles through two panes of cheap glass.

Over this week, we've watched several species of birds eat fruit. Some observations:

Cedar waxwings ate pieces of the already minute hackberry, rather than eating it whole. Usually crisp, sweet and just a bit dry, this year's crop of hackberries tastes terrible - mealy and bland.

White-throated sparrows peck at blackhaw fruit, eating just a piece of the flesh. A hermit thrush landed nearby and began swallowing the fruit whole. I've had some particularly tasty blackhaw fruits - fleshy and sweet; while other blackhaws bore "tasteless" fruit - much like a lump of snow.

The winter bird season has officially begun. The leaves are mostly down, winter compatriots have joined their mixed flocks, and blurry, through the window snapshots have been taken.

My mom shared with me her own. This afternoon, my mom, who used to dislike birds very, very much, says, "Oh, did I show you my bluebird pictures?" She flips through dear photos of their trip to Alaska on her digital camera (thank you, Jared, for helping my parents learn how to use that machine. My brother and I are grateful), and finds two bluebird photographs taken from the kitchen window. Two indigo bunting and birdfeeder photographs, one towhee and birdfeeder, one towhee under the birdfeeder. We cooed over the pictures, blurry, dulled by a foggy kitchen window.