Farm Babies

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The birds are going crazy at the farm.

They are mating.

They are incubating.

Cycling from mating, egg laying, to fledging.

And then they start again.

Sometimes I miss most of this cycle, knowing evidence of its occurrence from the bits of egg shell, sprinkled on whatever surface lies below their nest as the naked babies hatch. And then, poof, in no more than a couple of weeks, the nest is vacated, the hatchlings flying around on their own or victims of natures culling.

And then it starts again.

A lot of the birds at the farm apparently have more than one brooding season.

It was a cacophony of bird calls at the farm this weekend.

It was a busy weekend in bird world.

The male and female red tail  hawks that have a nest on the Buddhists property next door,  count our middle pasture as theirs. They flew around the tops of the old pine trees, screeing madly that we were interrupting their day. The male called to the female and she back at him.  I guess they were hunting mice and rabbits. We were scattering their forage. Either that or they were hoping to get at my Mother’s little toy poodles. What must it be like to have the space between ground and the tops of tall old trees and even a bit beyond, yours to command at the beat of a wing.

The old barn has at least three nests of wrens, one secreted away in a basket on my workbench peg board, one deep in the clothes pin holder, and the last in the big plastic bag with work rags. I wish our movements in and out didn’t interrupt their nesting but we do. I blame them a little bit. It’s not like they aren’t taking advantage of populated areas and the various environments we create. I probably worry about this way more than they do.

The bluebirds captivate me. There are more than a dozen that flit all over the front pasture. The males are starting blue, their almost indigo feathers bright in the Texas sun. One pair revisits the same little blue bird box near the electric panel multiple times a year and multiple years. Right now there are four little blue eggs that the female is sitting on. When she isn’t divebombing and eating ground bound grasshoppers minding their own business.

I noticed that the bluebirds and the mockingbirds were having major arguments on Saturday. If I disturb the wrens by my barn activity, the mockingbirds and blues are constantly arguing over who gets the bug on the ground and whether or not the mockingb’s are going to usurp the blue’s cavity nests. I don’ get the last argument. Its not like the mockingb’s even use cavities for their babies.

Obviously pecking order is part of social structure across kingdoms.

I am a terrible bird watcher. Despite that I still have fairly good eyesight, silhouettes and fine color juvie markings and distinctive beak shapes are not something that are parts of my observational abilities.

But the sounds of the morning and late evening on the farm when the air is filled with the sounds of a jays and flycatchers and crows and Mexican ducks, to mention but a few, making their presence known… that I can appreciate for the sheer music they provide.

There is nothing else like it in the world. Or on other worlds, that we know of.  Really. Nothing.








One Response

  1. Beautifully written.
    Even though we live in town I always enjoy the early mornings and Sundays when the sounds of human activity don’t drown out the music of the birds.
    My husband’s a good bird watcher.
    He knows the markings, the beak size, the calls, the habits and migratory patterns.
    He has that zen kind of patience with the ability to tune out man-made noises and tune in to the other creatures that surround us, that most of us barely notice.
    When we were first dating he was standing by his kitchen window one morning. I was in another room and he called out, “Come quick, there’s a flock of bohemian waxwings!”
    I knew then he was a rare breed.

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