Fleeting Greetings of 2017


Millennium Park Cardinal 12-30-16

This year is off to a slow start. I very much wanted to do a blog post honoring my indoor crowd which has been getting along fine, or so I thought. At least they seemed to be doing fine for a while.

Below is a short video I was able to capture in the gloom of the afternoon’s diminishing light just so I could isolate my Zebra Finch Arturo Toscanini singing his song, which starts with an arpeggio and goes from there. Below that you can hear him again before I start playing the Adagio to the Ravel Piano Concerto in G which may put you to sleep if you listen to the whole thing but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I went back to the Portage on New Year’s Day. It was much colder and sunnier than the week before and the birds were harder to find, but I counted as many species with a couple variations from last week’s list. All I have to show for it is ice and a distant Downy Woodpecker.

The birds in the backyard have returned to the feeders. I’m convinced the numbers of House Sparrows have fallen drastically, but they tend to fall off anyway in the winter. It was nice to see a couple Goldfinches and my own Downy Woodpeckers.

Before I went out birding, I chased Emerald Greenwald away from Dudlee’s latest nesting attempt (I gave in to Dudlee’s badgering me weeks ago and let her have the mug back but didn’t make it comfy for her) – not sitting down with myself long enough to figure things out, like the fact that Greenwald herself had approached reproductive age – and hoped for the best.

I came back to a bloody mess. Nobody had hatched but the eggs were broken open and bloody, nesting material the doves had accumulated themselves was everywhere, and Dudlee and Drew were looking the worse for wear.


Emerald Greenwald, covered with evidence


Drew and Dudlee, still in shock  – “How could you do this to us??!”

This has created a terrible silence. I don’t know when if ever Drew will start singing again. I had grown quite fond of his chiming in with any pretty music he heard on the radio all weekend. I like to imagine he might get over it but I don’t know if Dudlee will. To make matters worse, she seems to have a damaged right wing – it’s droopy. She was hiding in the kitchen last night, I’m sure she doesn’t feel safe anymore, even though without a nest I don’t think Greenwald is interested in bothering her. I may try to catch Dudlee and put her up in an infirmary cage for a few days, since she can’t fly very well anyway.

On a happier note, it’s always fun to watch a Society Finch tackle a piece of corn.

And there’s always time for a good bath in the pie plate.

I hope to be back soon on a happier note. Best wishes to everyone for a healthy new year. Whoever thought we’d make it to 2017? Stay tuned!


7 thoughts on “Fleeting Greetings of 2017

    • No, this is the price I pay for living in an aviary. I expect the birds will adjust somehow but it’s not the Garden of Eden by a long shot. I should have listened to myself years ago when I said “I’ll never do budgies again, they’re too difficult.” They’re too much like people!

  1. Your avian family seem to be increasing Lisa. Soon you’ll have more birds than the Portage! I listen to Ravel’s music myself, he was great for musical arrangements and composing beautiful melodies. Happy 2017 my friend! 🙂 <3

    • Happy 2017 to you too! I had to memorize the Ravel so I could own it, otherwise it was going to haunt me forever. As for population increases there better not be any more inside, I think we’ve reacher a critical mass. Here’s to an interesting year. 🙂

  2. Sorry to read about your home-front, pets of any kind can really play havoc when we’re not around, sometimes out of our surprise. Great captures at the portage, and Happy New Year, Lisa!

    • Thanks, Donna! Happy New Year to you too! Yes, the uproar was disturbing but I think the birds are pretty resilient and we’ll go back to our lousy imitation of a Peaceable Kingdom soon. It’s still easier than psychotherapy. 🙂

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