Tuesday, August 8

Garden Visitors


Step, click, step, click... I used a slow, methodical approach and tried to get ever closer to these finches as they dined on my sunflowers last night. I had apparently just gotten too close for comfort for Ms. Finch, though--you can see her in the middle of the picture, about to take flight. Her man, whose back can be seen two leaves up and a little to the left, shortly followed. If you have trouble finding them, click the picture to see a larger version.

They sat on the power line above for a minute or two, chirping up a storm as they waited for me to leave. I have never heard finches before and I don't know what I expected them to sound like... but I was surprised by the urgent, high-pitched, repeating song. It sounded rather more like my smoke alarm in need of fresh batteries, performing at a rave, than anything else!

So they were not quite the vocal entertainers (at least in my garden) that the mourning doves, cardinals, and robins are. I've heard better versions of their songs online, though, so I'm willing to give them another chance--and if nothing else am amused at watching them decimate my sunflowers through the kitchen window!

I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than cherries and very frankly give them fruit for their song. -Joseph Addison

6 comments:

Annie in Austin said...

Lucky you to have finches and to capture them in action. Have you seen or heard them in other years?

My sunflowers are torn, but still exist, in spite of the squirrels - hope I get to see a finch, too.

snappy said...

lovely post.I love birds and have bird feeders for mine.They are secret eaters though..as in i dont see them often.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Annie, I never noticed them at my other house or this one (I bought this place in '04) but then, I never really thought about gardening "for the birds" before this year. I saw them again today, though, and the song sounded a lot prettier. :)

Annie and Snappy, we put a feeder out this winter and I was fascinated with watching the birds... they're very bold around here. So are the hawks--I have cool pictures of a couple who visited my backyard for lunch!

That's part of why I decided to plant sunflowers this year, to see whether I could entice birds year-round. There were some robins that would let me "feed" them in the late spring... they would come around as I was digging, and chirp at me from about 6ft. away until I tossed them a worm or grub. It was so cute. These are the first birds I've seen since, though!

Karen said...

I love your sunflowers, as I have said before. Some have dark stems and are more maroon-coloured, while the ones with lighter stems seem more orangey-red. Did you plant your two types in the same spot or do they change colour as they age?

Are you surrounded by the city rather than wild areas? I hope more birds find your garden so you can enjoy their company. That sounds so sweet, feeding the robins as you were digging.

Naturegirl said...

I have never seen this color in sunflowers! Absolutely stunning...I do see one bird. I posted once my black seed feeder with 7 American yellow Finches feeding!Thnaks for visiting my blog!:)

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Karen, that's a good point... I hadn't noticed the stem color differences before! I'll have to take a closer look at that tonight when I get home, but based on the pic I would guess that the darker stems are from 'Cappucino' and the others are 'Cinnamon Sun' sunflowers. They were planted together randomly and I had (incorrectly) assumed it would be easy to figure out the difference.

I'm surrounded by city, and maybe that's why I'm more interested in connecting with nature here. Lakewood is an older Cleveland suburb, filled with row houses built in the teens and '20s on lots that range from .7-.15 acres. (Except in the blocks by the lake... some of those houses are really estates!)

Naturegirl, thanks for visiting mine, too! I'll have to go back and search for your finch picture...

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