While Phil was visiting earlier this month he introduced us to a family he knows through teaching at Loyola. The daughter, Judy, still teaches with Phil and was up here to hunt turkey. Her parents Paul and Bernadette, have retired and built a home on land they bought years ago a few minutes drive from here along one of the branches of the Kickapoo River. Paul and Bernadette are retired biology teachers, each formerly the science department chairperson of their respective schools. There new house is built on the top of a slope with a marvelous view in front and the back looking up the ridge. Outside the back windows are several bird feeders which were being heavily visited while we were there. I saw my first Oriole that evening and many hummingbirds. That encouraged me to put out my hummingbird feeders and to refill the thistle seed feeder so I could watch the goldfinches again. This time right outside the living room windows in the front of the house where they'd be shaded from the hot sun. The feeders hadn't been out but minutes when the first Oriole appeared! Of course I had to run to Nelson's and buy an Oriole feeder (which is not in any of the following photos.)
We are delightfully surrounded by birds, as you can see, and not just our domesticated babies.
Here are a few:
We've got a nest in our potting shed with 4 robin babies. There are swallows nesting in a bluebird box in our meadow. There is a Redwing blackbird nest in the meadow with 5 eggs, so far, in a gooseberry or current bush very near the ground. At night we hear owls. Yesterday 3 Turkey vultures were performing their important duty cleaning up a roadkill raccoon on our road. It's not at all uncommon to see hawks and eagles. I took this photo while Anne was gone in April. She thinks it may be a young eagle.
And these are just the birds we've been prepared to catch with our cameras. There are so many others we see and hear regularly: bluebirds, jays, cardinals, catbirds, crows, of course the goldfinches, and more and more. They've provided us with song and good company while we've been working away on the orchard, the vegetable and flower beds. I am grateful for every one of them.