In order to see birds, it is necessary to become part of the silence. -Robert Lynd

Last week, the rose-breasted grosbeak left for South America and it broke my heart a little. The red-winged blackbirds flew off Sunday night as I slept. The songbirds will flit away in the next few weeks after they decimate the feeder, bulking up for the journey. The robins will continue their sweet morning music and then abruptly stop – always around 8/8, though they won’t migrate for awhile. And the hummingbirds — my aggressive little fighters — will stick around until the last phlox, then follow the path of flowers south to the Amazon. I always pray that there are kind souls who provide food and sanctuary for them.

Eventually the juncos will return from Canada and join the bully blue jays who will be shocked to find that birdfeeders have come a long way with security. The crows will muscle around the maple far above us but they have bigger designs and keep a wary eye out for hawks and ravens. The nuthatch and titmouse will creep their way up the pear tree while the woodpeckers intimidate everyone. The chickadees, of course, will flit past as I fill up the canister while my cardinal couple — who expect dinner promptly at dusk — follow me around the yard. I never grow tired watching the male seek out the best morsel and then feed it to his mate. My birds, I think. My birds.

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