Here at the Manse we are starting to get a little more serious about our relations with the local birds, as you can perhaps tell from the woodpecker feeder (photo above) that Raymond just installed on the front porch today. I am very eager for Woody to come visit! How exciting would it be to have a woodpecker right outside our window?
This latest feeder is in addition to two others on the front porch…
… and all the pieces of past-its-due-date bread that we throw out onto the snow below. I don’t think the birds have any reason to complain that they’re not getting their nosh at the Manse. (Even if the blue jays, at least, seem to prefer the bounty put out by our neighbours across the way, Bob and Peggy.)
I imagine is it a natural part of country living to start to pay more attention to the birds than one did when one lived in the big city. For one thing, you just get to see and hear them a lot more. I have taken to pausing as I go out to my car on the way to work each morning, to listen for whatever bird songs may be breaking the early-morning stillness of Queensborough. It is lovely to hear.
There’s one bird, however, that makes a sound that I find highly amusing – because every time I hear it I think of a squeaky clothesline. You know, the sound your clothesline makes when you’re pushing it out to add more clothes. The first many times I heard this bird, the sound didn’t even register in my brain as birdsong; my automatic, unconscious reflex was to file it under “Someone’s doing the wash.” It was only one day a month or so ago, when perhaps I was paying a bit more attention than usual (or maybe was more awake than usual) that I realized how silly that was: hardly anyone hangs out clothes on the line in February and March, certainly not us or any of our neighbours; and even if somebody was doing that, they probably wouldn’t be at it before 7 a.m.
Okay, so here’s a recording I made the other day of general birdsong at the Manse after I threw out some of those breadcrumbs I mentioned. (That always gets them chattering.) You can hear the clothesline bird at regular intervals starting about halfway through the short recording:
So: can any of you excellent readers who know more about birds than I do suggest what might be the real name of the Manse’s Squeaky Clothesline Bird?