Monday, September 15, 2008

Bye Bye Birdie

It's mid-September, the time we say goodbye to our hummingbirds for the season as they prepare to migrate south. When we moved and set up John's sculpture restoration and repair studio out into the country an elderly neighbor told us that "out here" the hummingbirds have always arrived about the 15th of April and left September 15. Give or take a day here and there, she has been correct! It is so interesting and fun to observe the birds - from the first time we hear the buzz of the tiny wings in the spring until the last drip of nectar has been sipped in the fall, they provide better entertainment than any money can buy!

The season starts with a few birds - hungry and active from their long trip from South America. The activity slows down in early summer while they are nesting and finding nectar from real flowers. At this time we always wonder where the tiny, thimble-sized nests are, if we'll ever be lucky enough to see one and ponder how really tiny the babies must be.

Wondering is soon replaced with watching again as the babies start feeding, buzzing, bombing and chasing each other around the house. Occassionally they will hover at our window to let us know the feeders are empty and then play guard and chase when it is refilled. The little bird on the right, who we nicknamed "the Queen" stood her ground on the feeder for days in late August. Perhaps she was feeling the shorter days, cooler nights, or whatever magic it is that tells the birds "it is time to get plenty to
eat and plenty of rest because you have along journey ahead." God bless you and protect you on your trip little birds - we look forward to seeing you next year!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Splish Splash Birds Love Taking a Bath

It's been a beautiful summer here at Masterworks Studios and as September arrives it is still warm but the season is definitely winding down. Leaves are turning colors and although we can still hear various bird babies calling parents from their hidden perches in our giant cedars, all of them have left the nest. Looking back over the season one of our most joyful bird memories was the day John decided to turn over the old cement birdbath we had down at the Studios many years ago, scrub it out and fill it up with some refreshing cool water. It did not take more than an hour before a few of the little bluebird babies from an early nesting were enjoying a nice bath! Many birds have enjoyed it since including these two big fat robins that took a dip just yesterday.

We have provided water to the birds for several years in a heated "bath" close to the house but the birds do not visit it nearly as much or seem to enjoy it as much as this little retreat out in the more secluded "woodsy" area of our property. We may have to consider adding a heater to this special little watering hole over the winter!