The Bird is the Word.

GRUMPY CAT MAY BE GONE, BUT CHECK OUT THIS ROBIN’S SCOWL.
HMM – I WONDER WHO STEPPED ON ITS TOES?

I have enjoyed birds for many years, from the parakeets and canaries who were beloved pets, to the backyard birds that would line up on the chain-link fence every morning all year around to await their breakfast. In the Summer I’d watch them enjoying a cool drink or splashing in the multiple birdbaths I had in the backyard. It was a sad day when a new neighbor moved in behind and left his dog out 24/7/365 and never cleaned up after it and I discovered rats were visiting my yard. My garden, which had been a bird and butterfly paradise, was no longer a haven to enjoy, and I had to get rid of the bird feeders and birdbaths when a pest control service was brought in to bait the rats.

But I still can enjoy my fine-feathered friends on my walks, or when I am out and about in the neighborhood; they just aren’t technically “my birds” anymore. I love whistling back at them and go note for note. I usually give up whistling before they do when my “whistler” stops working. Try it one time when you’re in the backyard and you hear a bird singing – they enjoy doing this.

I’ve been photographing a lot of birds lately and have amassed many pictures … so, there was a dilemma. Do I have a post on only Robins, or just Red-Winged Blackbirds? And how about those NEW cute cardinal-with-a-peanut photos that you haven’t seen yet? Do I make a follow-up “Nutty Buddies”post? Decisions, decisions … so I decided to solve my problem and continue my run on bird posts, following on the heels of the Canada geese and goslings, and yesterday’s Mute Swan.

We have a new type of bird at Council Point Park – a Baltimore Oriole. I have been reading at the local Audubon and Wild Birds Unlimited Facebook sites, that we have lots of Orioles this year. I saw one flit by me and disappear into a tall tree last week. Another walker suggested I research their song online so I could identify with it before I actually looked for them. I don’t know what Orioles would be feasting on at the Park, grubs probably, but I do know Orioles love it if you put out half an orange for them on a simple feeder that is just a long nail driven into a board. They have quite the sweet tooth and like a little grape jelly or marmalade mixed with some water and placed right into their feeder … no English muffin, toast or peanut butter is necessary for them to show up to enjoy that jelly. Hopefully I see an Oriole this Summer and this stray orange-and-black feathered fellow wasn’t just passing through!

American Robin.

I may not like when the Robins try to build their nests in my front coach light – it is messy with mud, dried grass and bird droppings everywhere, so I have to shoo them away with plastic bags stuffed in the lamp elbow. It’s not a good look as to curb appeal for the house, but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying the Robins who cross my path.

Last month I showed you Mama Robin on the nest and then the hatchlings. I thought she was incubating the eggs originally, but it turns out she must have been keeping those hatchlings warm on those chilly days we had in mid-May. I posted some photos of those baby birds and was monitoring their growth, and one day – poof they were gone. I was a little bummed because I had hoped they would be like the other Robin families and the fledglings would stay near the nest, but they all up and left … they said “bye-bye, gotta fly!” I was sad to see the empty nest and even Mama and Papa were no longer around.

They had usually been close to their young ones, seeming to gaze off into space at times, but one eye was always watching those hatchlings with their mouths gaping open, awaiting worms and grubs from their parents. This was a photo I took a day or so before they became a pair of empty nesters.

I find that Robins have a perpetual scowl on their faces (especially the ones I’ve chased away and torn down their nests in the past). But, despite that stern look, like the Robin is wearing in the photo up top, they are interesting to observe and I love their cheerful birdsong. Here are some of my photos I’ve taken the last few weeks of the American Robin. There are times the Robins land on the perimeter path as if to say “if you’re doling out peanuts, how about doling out some mealworms too?

Since I don’t bring along Robin treats, I get the scowl and often a dive-bomb from one of our red-breasted friends.

Northern Cardinal.

The male Northern Cardinal is so beautiful and at the Park it seems the males are much bolder in their pursuit of peanuts than the females. Very rarely do I see the rather drab-colored female venture to the perimeter path.

Once again you’ll see below that the male Cardinal watched me from the tree as I was feeding the squirrels. So, with that advance notice, I had the camera ready as I knew he was going to soon swoop and swipe, just the same as in all the other photos I’ve posted. I had to laugh as he came down a little too quickly and a squirrel was nearby … it looks like this Cardinal put on the brakes in the second shot! Then he waits patiently on the pathway, as the squirrel, busily noshing on a nut, ignores his presence … in he goes and this bright red bird is ready for his own peanut nirvana.

Red-Winged Blackbird.

The Red-Winged Blackbirds are mean and ornery and will peck any bird, no matter the size, to antagonize it … the male is not defending its mate and the nest when I see these altercations. It just picks on geese or other birds and pecks them on the back or head. This species of bird is a bully, but a striking-looking one. This time I included a few photos of the female. I was walking past the reeds and saw a pair sitting near the bulrushes so I think perhaps they were nesting there. The female may be a dull brown, but her stripes make her easily identifiable. She does not grab peanuts from the perimeter path – she lets her mate do that dirty work because she’s a stay-at-home mom. Both the female and male Red-Winged Blackbirds are pretty vocal – just look at that beak when it’s open.

While the trees were still flowering, I heard, before I saw, this male Red-Winged Blackbird trilling amongst the blossoms. It sure was a beautiful sight to behold.

Even when he was “at rest” you could not help but admire him.

I think they are a force to be reckoned with, no matter where they are located.

Canada Geese.

There will be at least one or two more posts chockfull of geese and gosling photos, but here’s a parting shot of a couple of Canada Geese enjoying a breakfast of spent dandelions.

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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47 Responses to The Bird is the Word.

  1. We have a lot of robins. They are always entertaining to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joni says:

    Those were great pictures, and great commentary – “empty nesters” and “stay at home moms”! I especially loved the cardinal coming in for a skid landing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Joni – I was hoping to catch the robin fledglings teetering on the branches near their nest like I did in a neighborhood last year. I saw the robins I had watched as they grew bigger, had fledged and were on the chain-link fence, not so steady on their feet, and I got right up close to one of them – no fear of humans … yet. Yes they were “empty nesters” and the female Red-Winged Blackbirds never go down to the ground for peanuts … they wait for hubby to bring home the bacon. 🙂 I didn’t realize that cardinal skidded to a stop until I saw the pictures, but I noticed at the Park that he was pretty close to a squirrel when he nabbed that peanut. I think he misjudged his landing space! The cardinals show up in the area where there are lots of trees on the trail. They’ll see the squirrels and there they are and I hear them tweeting, so I look up.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fred Bailey says:

    Good shots!
    Fred

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rebecca says:

    Both of our birds are scowling today. 🙂 Nice variety of bird photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda…………………………….I always whistle with and back and forth with both Robins and Cardinals……………………….it’s fun…………………….you are quite a photographer………………………those close up bird pictures are awesome!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ann Marie – I have been whistling back to the birds for years and it IS fun. And sometimes the birds will follow me down the street while I am walking to or from the Park to continue “singing” or, when I worked in the yard more back in the day when there were more flowers to tend to, etc., the birds would perch on the fence and keep singing after they had their breakfast. They’d perch near where I was working … it was just wonderful to hear. One of the joys of walking in the morning is that all the birds are out and happy. They are running through the sprinklers on the lawns, sometimes taking a bath in a puddle in the street … simple joys for them and me (and you of course too!) I am glad you are enjoying the photos and I’ve been trying to improve my skills a bit and taking more close-ups and having some fun with the camera in the process.

      Like

  6. Margy says:

    You have many of the same birds in your area that I have in my part of the world!
    We have a robin (or a series of robins) that have nested right near our back door for the past three years. They are so funny. If I am outside when one of them is returning to the nest with food, they will sit on the lawn and wait until I go into the house before they will go to the nest. It’s like they think I won’t know where the nest is if they don’t fly to it. When I’m inside the house, I can watch them on the nest through the window – which is 3 feet away. They can see me, but for some reason, that doesn’t bother them at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I love watching birds and used to watch them from the back window, just like you, where it didn’t bother them while feeding or bathing and got such kick out of them. I do miss having them in the yard and felt so badly when I took their food and water away. I think the joy of birds goes around the world doesn’t it

      Like

    • lindasschaub says:

      I may have lost a comment or two of yours Margy – for some reason they were unapproved and I marked approved and can’t find them. WordPress is acting up this morning and very slow. I cannot see why a fellow Canadian’s comments would not come through. 🙂 A friend told me I’d enjoy your site … I’m Canadian as well, but lived here in the U.S. since 1966. would (

      Like

      • Margy says:

        I think I’ve only left one comment, so I think we’re good. Glad you found my blog. Here is my other one, where the birds and bugs live: https://chirpsbuzzes.wordpress.com/

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Well I don’t know what I saw Margy – whew! I looked everywhere as I saw three “pink-colored” comments, then looked everywhere for the other two after I approved them. After six years of blogging here, you’d think I was a little smarter. 🙂 Thank you for the other blog link, I will check it out now. I’m glad Susie Shy told me to check out your site.

        Like

  7. susieshy45 says:

    Hi Linda,
    I loved the post and your descriptions. I am glad you are enjoying them and letting us enjoy them through your posts. I am truly grateful because I am always trying to entice the common dove and small sparrows to my bird seed offerings, they seem timid and scared of my resident cats. I like the braking cardinal- it really looked like he skidded to a stop. The female shy blackbird, is not black actually ? And she is a stay at home mom- so many things to learn from your posts.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Susie – I am glad you enjoyed them. I had collected quite a few photos of these three types of birds and decided it would be fun to make an all-bird post. The female is usually drab in color in most species, except for Blue Jays – hard to tell them apart. The Red-Winged Blackbird female is smaller and brown and she is never on the path looking to grab a peanut. The female cardinal does fly down, but not as often as the male and she is an olive-green color. The cardinal braking was funny – he misjudged his distance in proximity to the squirrel and had an “oops moment” I think. Glad I can share these photos and little tidbits about them. I hope to see an Oriole and on a sunny day to get a shot of him to share.

      Like

  8. Michael says:

    loving this! awesome shots

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Michael – I was getting quite a collection of bird shots, and experimenting with the camera, so figured it was time to share them. These were taken on the few sunny and beautiful days we’ve had … I seized the sunny days opportunities!

      Like

  9. you should photoshop a pair of Granny glasses on that Robin!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Ha ha – is that not the sourest look you’ve ever seen on a bird? I think he had disdain for me taking his picture. Really he reminds me of a French teacher I once had … nicest woman, but she had this rather pinched face, a long and crooked nose and her spectacles always slipped down off her nose … she looked just like this bird.

      Like

  10. Sarebear's Writing Spot says:

    Oh I love the red-winged blackbird pictures. I’ve never really seen a female up close so thanks for that. They are my favorite birds. I love to hear them trilling amongst the reeds in the little swamp area across from my place. I think they have the most beautiful song and as far being mean… heck I’d protect my babies too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I think they have the prettiest song too Sarah. Glad you liked the Red-Winged Blackbird pictures and that is the first time I’ve ever gotten pictures of the female. After our cold Michigan Winters (and our Springs too anymore), it is such a delight to be walking in the park and hearing them trilling while the landscape is still so blah looking. I think the female is rather striking looking too compared to the usual drab plumage of most female birds (except the Blue Jay – its hard to tell them apart).

      Liked by 1 person

  11. A post after my heart! I love the song of the Oriole but unfortunately they would fly off if they heard me whistle! 🤣😂🤣 I not only feed mine grape jelly and oranges this year but I occasionally threw in a very ripe banana. I also read they like apples. Not only are the Orioles eating my jelly, so are the cat birds and finches! I can’t keep enough jelly in the feeder!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      That is wonderful to hear that you are enjoying all those birds Diane. I am hoping to see an Oriole at the Park like I did the other day. I knew they liked oranges but I had no idea about the jelly, bananas and apples. You’re lucky to see all those birds outside at your feeder.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Laurie says:

    That is such a shame about your neighbor, Linda. Both for you and for his poor dog! One of our neighbors moved away and the new neighbor has a dog outside all day every day in a big cage/kennel. I feel so bad for the beautiful Bernese Mtn. Dog. She watches us with sad eyes when we go by walking Benji.
    I am a birder. I don’t go as often as I used to, but I still enjoy birdwatching. I really liked your bird photos, especially the grumpy robin! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I don’t know why people do that with their pets Laurie. Those are beautiful dogs – as big as those dogs are, being cooped up in the kennel would be hard on her. Sure, she is wistful and wishes she had that same escape to the outdoors with her owners like Benji has.

      I have always liked birds, and we had many cardinals and blue jays in the 80s, then West Nile virus starting taking them in masses. We don’t have a wide variety of songbirds around here, so I am hopeful that the Baltimore Oriole returns again or makes himself a permanent resident at the Park.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Laurie says:

    We have an oriole in our mulberry tree. I can hear him singing right now!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Orioles are beautiful and build incredible nests! I haven’t seen one in a long time. Lucky you for having them so close!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Mackenzie says:

    Hahah Grumpy cat has nothing on Robin! That gave me quite the chuckle. What a beautiful bird roundup- you definitely saw some that are hard to usually spot!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. krc says:

    the robin has a judge-like demeanor!
    😄🐦👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Doesn’t he? He looked down his nose (okay … his beak) with such a look of disdain that I wondered who crossed his path to make him so angry! I’ve always said that robins have a perpetual scowl on their faces.

      Like

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