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February 24, 2021 - Life circle in our backyard

Updated: May 7, 2021

Ever since the grand visit of the Amerian Robins in a late January afternoon, they never really left. Some days, it was just a couple of them; while on a particularly fine day especially after the rain, you could see tens or twenty-some of these "crazy-eyes" (that's what we call them after watching a lot of gangster movies recently). I guess in the late Georgian where most of the open ground is either barren or covered by thick oak leaves, our winter crops in the back yard are notably attractive.

American Robins in the yard

They seem to be quite picky about the food source. We often found dead grubs lying on the top of the soil, being completely exposed by the sun, sometimes even on our deck. Someone must have dug them out from the underground and ditched them with disgust. We just let these juicy and fat grubs stay put and let nature do its thing.

Life circles even in our little backyard garden. Last Saturday, we found a tiny Pine Siskin under our birdfeeder. It was almost dusk. All the other birds have gone home. He just stood behind a big flower pot, with his head buried under his wing, quivering slightly. Noticing our approach, he was so scared and tried really hard to open his wings and leaped in the air, but eventually did not have the strength to fly away.

It was still quite chilly in the evening. I cupped him in my hands and brought him to our greenhouse. We left some water, bird food, and used some dry grass to make a simple bed for him to rest there. In case he got better and wanted to leave, we also cracked the window open so he would not feel that he was trapped. Sadly, the second morning when we went to check on him, we only found a little hard body at a corner...

pine siskin watercolor
pine siskin watercolor by Gloria M. 2-21-2021

We buried this pine siskin in our woodland area. Matt cleaned the birdbath thoroughly in case there is any bird disease being spread around. We decided to plant a perennial flower on its spot to memorize that a little soul once visited us shortly.

On the same day, a different bird friend cheered us up. We left a dead tree standing by our pond for woodpeckers to frequent. Apparently, a Brown Nuthatch also took a great interest in it and decided to make a nest out of the tree cavity. We stood under the tree, using a pair of binoculars in turns to watch the bird widening and tidying up his new home using his thin beak. A female brown nuthatch appeared later, peaching nearby watching her partner doing the job. Hopefully, we will be welcoming a new family to our garden this Spring.

brown nuthatch picture
This brown nuthatch has moved into the oak tree cavity

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