Flight of Fancy: Gardens Filled with Song

Cedar Waxwing in Halesia tetraptera - michaela medina harlow - thegardenerseden.com A Young Cedar Waxwing Perches Upon a Carolina Silverbell Branch (Halesia tetraptera) Outside My Door 

I’ve always been fascinated by birds, and enjoy the challenge of identifying them visually, as well as by their calls and songs. This is a pastime I picked up from my parents, who are both avid bird watchers. One of the great joys I’ve discovered on my remote, forested hilltop, is the astonishing number and incredible variety of beautiful birds visiting and nesting here. In my garden room, I’ve started a small collection of fractured eggshells and abandoned nests, gathered on autumn walks. And lately, as my ornithological interests have grown, I’ve become obsessed with bird-patterened fabric, teacups, notecards… Well, let’s just say it’s quite a flight of fancy!

Bird Nest and Bird Patterns - michaela medina harlow - thegardenerseden.comBirds of a Feather, Flock Together: A Growing Collection of Curios, Inspired by Ornithological Interests

At this time of year, trees and shrubs in my garden and surrounding woodland are filled with Cedar Waxwings (above, at top ), Chestnut-Sided Warblers (below), as well as a wide variety of Finches, Grosbeaks, Thrushes and other songbirds. A great garden helper, the Chestnut-Sided Warbler forages for insects beneath leaves and sometimes feasts upon fruit and berries. Read more about the Chestnut-Sided Warbler and listen to its song on my favorite birding website, All About Birds (from Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology). Cedar Waxwings flock to the ripening Viburnum and Physocarpus opulifolius fruits in my garden (find more tempting garden treat ideas for your feathered friends here). Fledglings follow their parents from shrub to shrub, anxiously beating their wings and waiting, beaks wide open, for plum, juicy berries. They are particularly fond of Shasta Viburnum (V. plicatum var. tomentosum ‘Shasta’), fruit. Read more about the Cedar Waxwing and listen to its high-pitched calls and song at All About Birds, here.

Chestnut Sided Warbler - michaela medina harlow - thegardenerseden.comA Chestnut-Sided Warbler Sings from His Perch Within the Betula x ‘Royal Frost’, Outside My Window on a Rainy, Summer Morning

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2 Replies to “Flight of Fancy: Gardens Filled with Song”

  1. Polly

    Here in Bellows Falls, the Carolina Wren has become a featured performer. And up the hill from the village we are seeing the Indigo Bunting at the Community Garden. This year I left my blueberries uncovered, and I learned that the Catbirds and Robins leave plenty for me.
    Thanks for your evocative pieces.

  2. Michaela

    Hello Polly, Lovely to hear the report from Bellows Falls! I was hoping to reply to you with a new post featuring the Indigo Bunting —also flashing us the brilliant blue here— but alas, the beauties are playing coy! I’m happy to hear that Catbirds and Robins are sharing nicely with you. Wish I could say the same for my resident black bear. He seems to think my dear blueberries belong to him, and he sits his bottom upon the strawberries while eating his way down the row. Sigh…

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