Photo by Sue Wahlert

March 18, 2021

Yes, that is one of my made up words, like nervacited and funtabulous.  It was the word that made the most sense when reflecting on the birds in my yard.  I watch and photograph them daily during feeder season.  “Kidsonalities” would also be a word I use when I watch the kids busy at play when we are in the woods.  

Each bird has their own routine, whether it is a Carolina Wren or a Red Bellied Woodpecker. Some are more aggressive with their pecking at the greasy suet and some just take their time choosing once seed flying away and returning. It reminds me of  the kids who build with initiative and others who circle around until they get an idea.  Such a subtle comparison but it makes sense in my mind. 

I’m getting to know the usuals who come to my feeders each day.  Coming and going all day long.  More often they gather around 10:00 a.m. and again later in the day.  I wonder which other yards they visit around the neighborhood?  The flitting Chickadees seem to grab one seed and leave or the juncos which ground feed most of the day in large groups each have their own “birdsonalties”.   

When I am able, I like to sit in the yard and wait for the birdie visitors to feel comfortable to re-emerge.  I love the sound of their wings fluttering by my head.  The Downy Woodpecker and the Wren are the boldest.  They check me out from the old branches of the rhododendron.  Perched and hungry, they side eye me for any threat.  Flit flit flit… onto the feeder. Peck peck pecking the seeds hidden in the creamy suet. What a wonderful treat for me!

It reminds me of how I behave when I bring the kids to Stickland (an open space full of branches).  I perch myself on a stump and watch the ideas and imaginations of the kids unfurl.  They flutter around me like birds set free.  I only help if asked.  I side eye them from my post as they play.  I know it sounds like I am doing nothing but I am very busy checking all the areas and listening carefully.  It’s a special talent to allow the kids and birds to be who they are.  Untouched and free to do what they need to do.

Next time you are around the birds and kids watch for their “sonalities”!


Photograph by Sue Wahlert
Photograph by Sue Wahlert