There it was, the first guest at the birdfeeder, perched on one of the tiny posts adjacent to the feeding hole. The feeder had been hanging full for three days and no customers. I was starting to wonder. The little thing is twisting its little neck to peck the grains. I get my binoculars. It has a dark hood, and non-descript brown elsewhere. It’s probably a dirt common bird but since it’s not a hummingbird, a seagull, pigeon or robin, I don’t know what it is. Not a finch, I’m pretty sure. No red or yellow breast. You can bet it’s not something intriguing like a grand tit or a dickcissel. Make that great tit.
Nondescript, I say lamely. I could take a picture if I had a camera with a lens and let the digerati twitter info. It’s cute, with its black hood, like a little Franciscan. Does that help?
Now there are seven of them them pecking through the mat of last year’s leaves for the seeds I broadcast according to the advice on the paper inside the feeder. It was good advice and I’m proud of myself that I read it and took it. Now none of the birds are using the feeder. If I were a nondescript ounce of feathers I’d prefer grubbing in the soft leaves and soil. Who knows, might be some protein in there. (Why did I buy the feeder?)
Maybe the bird is a vegan. There’s so much (everything) I don’t know about birds and I have an enormous urge to say, oh forget it. When I take down the Peterson Field Guide to Western Birds, I look at the pictures when instead I might read the section, “How to Identify Birds.”
Is it among the VAGRANTS or STRAYS FROM ASIA? Nope. Is it an ACCIDENTAL WARBLER FROM MEXICO? Nope. Does it chitter or chirp? Can’t hear a thing.
But maybe…yes, maybe, there, a junco. A lucky find. Good fortune is on the wing.
What shape of wing?