Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Morning Friend

One of my birthday/Yule gifts this year was an ornate feeder with a decorative motif of maple leaves, and I placed the new avian banquet facility out among the trees in the garden yesterday with a small scrip of pomp and circumstance, a nod to the turning year and cheerful thoughts about the new winter guests which the graceful addition would invite into the garden.

The first guest to visit was this shy solitary White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis), probably a male as its plumage was vivid, clear and sharply delineated. The little nuthatch remained at the feeder in the garden for some time, pausing occasionally to rest in a nearby oak for a few minutes and scan the neighbourhood for owls and hawks. There are a few large predators in the village this winter, and it is prudent to be cautious if one is a bird of rather small stature.

I am still in that thoughtful "in between" place which I visit every year around this time, and yesterday it felt right to stand by the window with tea in hand and watch the nuthatch wandering up and down the feeder sideways, exploring the contours of the newfound larder and exclaiming in delight over the nourishment provided. I have begun the year by giving sustinence and pleasure to winter birds in the village, and as small as that beginning may have been, I cherished the opportunity to give something back. One should set off on the trail as she intends to go on.

A haiku sequence for the new year is here.


Rowan said...

What a beautiful little bird - we have nuthatches too but they are quite colourful little birds by UK standards. I often see them in my garden ,they like the oak tree.

Anonymous said...

ahhh how beautiful!

thank you!


Suzie Ridler said...

I haven't seen Nuthatches here on Vancouver Island. I admire your photos of them immensely! What a wonderful way to help nature during the cold winter, as well as the perfect Yule present to you as well as the birds.