Flight of Fancy: Gardens Filled with Song
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!
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.
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