Nature Photography

The Rhythms of Resident Birds

Many cold winter mornings, I have sat and watched nature’s rhythms. The sun is slowly rising like embers, starting a flame. Barren trees are gently blowing in the sharp winter winds—squirrels bounding about in their early morning routine. The best part of this movement in the early morning symphony of life is coming and going of the resident birds. First, the Black-Capped Chickadee’s test the morning wind and race to my feeder, take a quick sunflower seed, then dart fast to a nearby bush. Then comes the White-breasted Nuthatch first coming to the cherry tree upon which the feeder hangs slowly observing things for a few moments and then taking the plunge himself and staying at the feeder a second longer than the Chickadee before swooping to cover. Then follows the White-throated Sparrows and Tufted Titmice in splendid order. Soon after that, a few Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers gallantly make their way into the breakfast brigade taking far more time on the feeder than their smaller companions. Finally, as the sun has reached its rightful place in the winter sky, the vibrant red Cardinal will bashfully appear in a bush to the left of the feeder and then forage on the ground for any fallen sunflowers. This beautiful rhythm is continued with only slight variations (the addition of a Bluejay, Dove, or Wren) each morning. In watching nature at work, each bird brings me closer to understanding and perhaps even being in time with that rhythm.

By James Vespoli

Writer, Photographer, and Managing Operator of Wild Cape Press LLC

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