nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘bird song’ Category

Safe place for a nest

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No surprise to me … a robin has built a nest in the eaves of our house. Eighteen feet above the ground, this is a safe place for a nest. The robin does not think so. When I sit on the deck for my daily cup of tea, the robin sits in a near-by tree and scolds me. He gives a single annoyed chirp. If a robin could scowl, he is certainly scowling.

Written by jane tims

May 28, 2018 at 7:00 am

winter wren and the morning bird chorus

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This morning, just after sunrise, I listened to the song of the Winter Wren. This little wren and its tiny tail shiver as he sings.  I call his song a scribble-song. Its powerful trills and whistles last for several syllables. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website All About Birds describes it as “a rich cascade of bubbly notes.” To me it celebrates the busy joyfulness of our Grey Woods in spring. To hear the song of the Winter Wren, go to https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Winter_Wren/overview

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I have listened to the morning bird chorus every day for the last week. This morning I heard:

Black-capped Chick-a-dee

Northern Parula

Winter Wren

Eastern Phoebe

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I often include elements of the morning bird chorus in my poetry.  This poem, written about the Salmon River Covered Bridge, is in my poetry book in the shelter of the covered bridge (Chapel Street Editions, 2017). To obtain a copy of the book, go to Chapel Street Editions or contact me through the comments.

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The Salmon River Bridge, near Sussex, Kings County, was built across the Kennebecasis River in 1908. Today it is used as a rest area. In the absence of traffic, wild life has occupied the bridge. Virginia creeper covers one corner of the roof and rose bushes crowd the edges of the road. In mid-May, when we were there, birds were busy in and around the bridge, preferring to be left to their own springtime activities.

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scribble

Salmon Bridge

Kennebecasis #7.5

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The robin, chary. Her beak drips

with wet meadow grass and chickweed.

She clucks, longs to add another strand

to her nest in the rafters,

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woven with the trill of a scribble bird,

a winter wren delirious. And downy

woodpeckers, wing-flare and scrabble,

flirt in the willows, weeping.

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A warbler (yellow blur-bird)

and a red-wing, toweeeee.

Pink roses, meadowsweet

chip, chip, chip, so-wary-we

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and beneath the bridge

in soft mud beside pulled grass

the bleary track of a black bear

claws and pads

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Published, in the shelter of the covered bridge, Chapel Street Editions, 2017

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All my best,

Jane

natural treasures – gems from a day in early spring

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After a wet spring, we were not certain when we would be able to reach our camp this year. Although the snow is gone, we don’t want to risk getting stuck or damaging our lane.

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just a week ago there was still snow on the road and the ruts we could see were very spongy

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We were so happy when we were able to drive all the way to our cabin door. We did a bit of tidying, put markers at the base of the little cedars we lost in the tall grass last fall and my husband did some clipping of trees over-growing the road.

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I did a small display of two of the treasures we found last year, a big pine cone and a chunk of pinkish stone.  But I can’t display the best treasures of the day:

  • the back and forth banter of two Barred Owls. This is the big owl who calls ‘Who cooks for you?’
  • the tremolo of a Common Loon on the lake. The tremolo is one of at least four distinctive vocalisations from this bird. The vibrating ‘who-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo’ is usually a call to warn of intruders or to announce arrival at a lake.
  • the ‘I love dear Canada, Canada, Canada’ of the White-throated Sparrow or the nasal ‘fee-bee’ of the Eastern Phoebe.

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I love our trips to our cabin and the treasures offered to us by nature every time we visit.

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Hope you are enjoying the spring season.

All my best,

Jane

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by jane tims

May 2, 2018 at 7:00 am

a new bird feeder #2

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I have given up manufacturing. In the last month I built two bird feeders: one from a two liter Coke bottle and one from coconut shells. The squirrels bounced on the bottle feeder and broke it, bad squirrels. And the snow filled up the coconut shells, bad snow. So we went to Co-op and bought a new feeder. Metal, very fancy, a simulated lantern. No anti-squirrel technology (our squirrels puzzle out every one).

The birds are delighted. A day after our big snow storm, they are here by the dozens: goldfinches, chickadees, nuthatches, lots of blur-birds (my photography is not stellar).

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chickadee at the new feeder (sunflower seeds)

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chickadee and goldfinch at the new feeder

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

March 16, 2018 at 7:01 am

Posted in bird song

Tagged with , , , ,

a new birdfeeder

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My coke bottle bird feeder finally succumbed to the weight of our colossal grey squirrel.

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My next attempt at a home-made bird feeder – a feeder made from a string of coconut shells. I cut the shells in half and removed the coconut many years ago, in an attempt to make a wind chime. They have been hiding in a bag in the closet and are part of my latest de-cluttering effort. I drilled a hole in the bottom of each half and strung them on a nylon chord. Let’s see what the birds think of them.

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Back to my writing. Enjoy your sunflower seeds, birds (and squirrels).

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018  

Written by jane tims

March 9, 2018 at 2:52 pm

bird feeder visitors – personalities

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I put my feeders up late this year, but the birds have found them. So far the diversity is low, but the numbers are high. We have chickadees, goldfinches and nuthatches. I know from my bird diary of other years, redpolls, purple finches and blue jays will come later.

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I spend a little time each day watching the birds. And, as in other years, I am amazed at how different are the  personalities of these birds.

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Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) – sings ‘chick-a-dee-dee-dee’ or ‘fee-bee’ 

  •  the chickadee hoards food, storing food in times of plenty under bits of bark or a patch of lichen. Canada’s Hinterland Who’s Who says a chickadee can remember where it has stored its food up to 28 days.
  • the chickadee is a grab and go kind of feeder. They zoom in on a sunflower seed, pick it and leave.
  • chickadees hang out in flocks, and have a hierarchy and a ‘pecking order’. The birds are very aggressive with other birds, chasing away other chickadees, nuthatches and goldfinches.

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Red-breasted-Nuthatch (Sitta Canadensis) – sings a nasal ‘yank-yank-yank’ over and over

  • the nuthatch walks head-downward after it lands and in Newfoundland is called the ‘upside-down bird’.
  • nuthatches are very solitary at the feeder and are easily chased away by chickadees.
  • they get-their-food-and-get-going, not hanging around even for a second.
  • nuthatches also hoard and hide food.
  • Hinterland Who’s Who says these birds carry tree pitch to build their nests!

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American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)  – sings ‘perchickoree’ and flies in a series of hanging loops, potato chip, potato chip.

  • at this time of year goldfinches are dull olive-yellow.
  • they hang out at bird feeders, staying put until they are chased away. They arrive at feeders in flocks and feed quite happily side by side.
  • although they eat sunflower seeds, they seem to prefer thistle seed.
  • Hinterland Who’s Who says goldfinches go into feeding frenzies before snowstorms, putting on significant weight before times when seeds are scarce.

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Do you feed the birds and what kinds of birds come to your feeders? Do they have distinct personalities?

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Copyright 2018 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

February 20, 2018 at 7:00 am

blue jay on a fall day

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Our cabin is a great place for relaxing. Sometimes we have work to do, but sometimes we just sit back, read, watch birds or talk.

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Often the birds come to us. I have had a hummingbird hover in the open door, just to check out what is inside that peculiar box on the hillside. We often see waxwings in our big pine trees or catch a glimpse of a goldfinch sashaying by.

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This past week, a blue jay came to call. It perched on our grape arbour for a while and then examined our ATV trailer thoroughly. I don’t think he had a clue he was being watched and photographed.

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dark choke-cherries, scarlet keys of ash

hang, counterweight to summer

blue jays strip the branches, berry by berry

v-beaks and hollow throats

                         (from my up-coming book “in the shelter of the covered bridge”)

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

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