A Phoebe’s Song

The day began with a spring-blue sky veiled in thin white clouds, and birdsong. Cardinals, Chickadees, Titmice and Bluebirds have been singing for several days now, and this morning a Phoebe joined them, singing its lisping song for several minutes at the edge of the woods.

By noon, thick gray clouds had moved in and almost covered the sky. Two Red-tailed Hawks swooped low over me as I started out on a walk, startling me with how close they came. In a strong southeasterly wind, they skimmed the tops of the trees and dipped low over roof-tops, then glided away, swiftly and silent, toward the west.

A noisy flock of about a hundred Common Grackles and Rusty Blackbirds fed on a brown grassy lawn in the area where I’ve often seen them this winter. The Rusty Blackbirds still show a good bit of cinnamon coloring, and distinct dark streaks through the eyes. One showed no rusty coloring, but a dark streak through the eyes across a grayish face – and it might have been a Brewer’s Blackbird, but I am not certain. I’ve only just begun to become familiar with the Rusty Blackbirds this year, so I’m not confident enough to be sure this one was different. But it caught my eye. I’m hoping to see them again.

So even a very ordinary looking flock of Blackbirds in a yard in a subdivision can turn out to hold surprises and mysteries.

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