Friday, 26 April 2013 15:47

Little Drummer Bird: it’s all part of the beauty of spring

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Twice a day, morning and evening, ever since Spring arrived, the songbirds in the neighbourhood gather at our backyard songbird cafe (aka: birdfeeder) and make sweet little swine of themselves.
There're the finches who neatly pick out seeds they like best.


The sparrows and chickadees who swish everything to the ground in their search for just one variety. And various temporary visitors who send us paging through our  "Birds of Canada" book, seeking signs of who they might be.

On the ground, California quail scratch and peck for whatever's been tossed overboard. Doves peck daintily at seed along the fence rail. And the occasional robin drops by to see what the vegetarians are fussing about.

Sometimes, too, an unclever worm worms its way to the surface, and then even the robin finds something on the menu to like.

In fact, our birdseed cafe has been such a success that we decided to open a sister cafe, down-garden from the first.

We hung a little log with bore holes drilled here and there (a feature which set the little log's price a great deal higher than had we simply found a dead stick on our own).

Into the holes we stuffed plugs of suet, and from a garden crook we hung the log. And then, we withdrew inside to watch.

Nuthatches came first. Followed by a magpie who's greedy bulk threatened to bring down the crook, while providing a riot of entertainment for two housecats who could hardly believe their eyes!
And then came the woodpecker.

It's our own fault, really. When we decided to put out suet, we understood that woodpeckers might take interest. They're pictured on the suet packaging, after all. What we didn't consider, however, was that a woodpecker might move into the neighbourhood and decide that what the cafe needed was a little live music.

Which would be fine. It would.

Except that our woodpecker turned out to be drummer in a heavy metal band, preferring the percussion of beak-on-aluminum roof vents to the everyday reverberations of beak-on-tree:

A performance he encored every morning at 5 a.m.

Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap. Our little drummer bird was just warming up.

TAP-TAP-TAP-TAP-TAP-TAP!!!  All the neighbourhood was awake, and would be, until our musical guest was all played out.

Now, a month or so later, our feathered percussionist has moved on.

We suspect our backyard was holding him back, and like to think he's gone on tour. We don't know.

But every day since his departure, we've crossed our fingers and hoped he doesn't return with a band.

Read 4457 times Last modified on Friday, 26 April 2013 15:53