The Birds Are Watching

Up until a few years ago, I never noticed birds on my balcony. When I first started consciously paying attention to the birds at the start of the pandemic, I would occasionally hear a Dark-eyed Junco serenading me, but I never saw it unless I went onto my balcony and looked.

Then one day, I noticed a House Finch feeding on some chickweed growing in a pot with the dried up remnants of a neglected houseplant I had killed many years earlier. If a pot of weeds could attract birds, I wondered what native plants might do. A few weeks later, I populated my balcony with native plants and also put out a bird feeder.

Now the birds come every morning, even when I forget or can’t feed them. But when I do put out seeds, I am always amused and amazed by how quickly the birds come. They are obviously watching and listening.

The Dark-eyed Juncos are the first to arrive, followed by House Finches. Later in the morning, the doves arrive, eventually followed by the crows. I know most of the smaller birds are hanging out in nearby trees, although I wish I knew exactly where the juncos come from. The bigger birds are far less conspicuous.

After I put out my bird seed, I sometimes like to turn the tables on the birds, peering out into the neighboring landscape to see if I can spot them. The other morning, I decided to bring my camera with me to document some of my larger winged friends watching me from afar.

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