Saturday, February 17, 2007

Eye on the Sparrow

Much of this week has been spent clearing away snow from around the little blue house in the village. We laboriously shovelled shovel after shovel of white stuff from the cobblestone walk and driveway at the front of the place, from the sundeck and railings at the back on the south side of the property. When we began our Herculian endeavours, one couldn't see cobblestones, driveway, sundeck (or much of the railings either), but before we did anything else, we cleared the railings and filled the bird feeders. That is the place where the wild birds come to call at first light, and we knew they would be hungry after waiting out the blizzard in the big spruces nearby.

From time to time, the avian clans who visit us in winter include cardinals, chickadees, grosbeaks, siskins, jays, nuthatches and colourful house finches, but always there are house sparrows (passer domesticus), and we have much affection for these tiny stalwart feathered spirits who visit us every single day and chirrup appreciatively, even in the most inclement weather.

The sparrows are our wandering northern winter bards, and this is not the first time they have made an appearance here - I wrote about them on a cold morning in November 2005, when one tiny guest flew into the house and made himself comfortable in the sunlit dining room for a few minutes, flying away into the garden when he had warmed up a bit. Sparrows are as numerous here as they are in most urban areas, but it is always a pleasure to spend time with them in the depths of winter when other bird kin have migrated to warmer climes.

Depths is an appropriate word in these circumstances - we are almost drowning in snow at the moment.


Suzie Ridler said...

I am so glad the birds are finding you during this cold time and keeping you company.

Val said...

I live in such a warm part of England that we rarely see snow. I find it difficult to believe that humans can survive in such a harsh climate, even though beautiful. Keep warm and dry!

Unknown said...

This is a beautiful tribute to the friendship between humans and animals. Birds have such a way of lighting up my spirit. Thanks for those lovely photos.