I was working in my studio, the window of which looks onto our balcony and my little birdbath, when I heard an especially loud and insistent finch song. I slowly turned my head to look at the balcony and watched a male finch trying to get the attention and approval of a female finch.
He lowered his tail and dropped his wings to reveal a bright red rump patch, while simultaneously raising the red cockade feathers on his head. The female seemed to ignore him as she drank from the birdbath. He hopped down to be close to her and she hopped three rails up and away from him. For a few seconds they continued to hop from balcony rail to balcony rail; he getting closer to her, she getting farther from him, yet giving him a coquettish fluff of her feathers. Then she flew away. He followed.
I always feel blessed when I am witness to the natural behavior of nature’s creatures. The house finches that live in my immediate neighborhood continue to thrill me, as those of you who follow my blog know by now. However, I am also hearing rufous-sided towhees as I walk to the train in the mornings, and blue jays and chickadees.
Jim and I have been to our favorite natural areas during the last month, but have not scared up any bluebirds! Our friends in Montana tell us that they have ALL the bluebirds this year – both mountain and Western – that’s why we don’t have any. We’ve seen meadowlarks, song sparrows, swallows, kingfishers, killdeer, goldfinches, and many ducks, but it’s the bluebirds that tell us it is spring. Our trip last week to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal wildlife refuge was a bust for birds and bison babies. We did see some big bulls though.
Lilacs have been in full bloom for weeks now; I wish you could smell the sweetness of their flowers.
A late snow and frost made short work of the pink and white Japanese cherry and crabapple blossoms. Tulips are blooming, many surviving the snow, and trees are leafing out.
Chokecherries scent the air.
We are off to Rocky Mountain National Park this morning. I’ll get back to you.