The bird feeder three feet from my desk had gotten gloppy. When the seeds get low, rain blows in and mats them down. I raked the muck out, leaving the stuff scattered on the deck. Coming back with coffee mug in hand, I saw a very blue bird among the seeds. At first I thought it was a bluebird, since we see them fairly often in the bushes close to the house. The bird turned, and I could see it was a deep blue color all over, front and back. It was an indigo bunting, a bird I’d never seen close enough to identify. The bright yellow pansies near the rail quivered in the wind, looking as excited as I felt. This was a blue ribbon day!
Neighbor Shawn said she had seen a hummingbird on her porch, so I boiled sugar water and put out our two feeders. The very same day I saw a hummer at both feeders. That was rich reward for very little work.
I didn’t get photos of the indigo bunting or the hummingbirds, but I did get a pair of courting doves on the deck and a pileated woodpecker. We had doves billing and cooing on our railings last year, making me wonder if this is the same pair. They are never far from each other.
I was most excited about the big woodpecker. It was one of my mother’s favorite birds. She always talked about how shy it was, and the only time I saw one with her was in a thicket way at the back of our property. She would have been thrilled to know I’ve seen one on a tree beside our road and now this one at the side of our house. The pileated woodpecker can be 16 to 19 inches long and is the largest woodpecker in the US.