Eating like a bird

We’ve moved a lot over the past 30 years: from the Midwest to California to Pennsylvania to Georgia and Florida. Be it north, south, east, or west we’ve always had to say goodbye to favorite places, comfortable routines and of course, friends. That won’t be any different this time when we move across the Atlantic except we’ve already started wishing one set of friends a fond farewell: the birds.

In this part of north Georgia the winters are generally just warm enough that birds who would normally fly further south during those cold months will stay here as long as there is an adequate and consistent food supply. That’s the problem. Since we don’t know if the new owners of this house will want to continue feeding the birds as we’ve done for years, we’re slowly tapering back the seeds we put out. It’s currently still the middle of summer but want to make sure that everyone realizes the food supply is drying up and it’s time to move on.

One especially gregarious house wren, whom we call Chirpie, sits on our balcony and greets the rising sun every morning with his happy song. We have lots of potted plants out there and he hops from one to the other, seeking seeds and insects, with his characteristic springy style that gives us hours of enjoyment. At night he sleeps out there, under the eaves, often being joined by one or two of his fellow wrens, huddled together with only their tails easily visible. Last spring we saw Chirpie feeding what appeared to be a very large baby wren, bigger than the adult. Upon closer examination we realized that he was actually feeding a juvenile mockingbird that had apparently found its way into the wren’s nest. We hope that the birds in France are just as friendly.