Monday, February 11, 2008
What Is Kentucky's State Bird?
Three out of these four pictures feature Kentucky's state bird, no less than six pair of which visit our bird feeders every day. The cardinal is a striking bird, even more so against the backdrop of the first measurable snow we've had around here in a few years. The last picture is a mourning dove, a recent and very occasional visitor. However, it is so pretty I included it's picture along with the more showy birds.
The bird feeder still continues to fascinate us, even after a year of having it outside our window. We have added a few feeders and some suet cakes, too, as well as a thistle sock for our friends, the goldfinches. I think to date we have counted about 20 kinds of birds that have been to visit. The finches, cardinals, chickadees, and slate-colored juncos are the most frequent winter visitors, and they are here much of the time. I have taken to buying my birdseed in the twenty-five pound bags and my suet cakes by the dozen. The feeders need to be filled every 2-3 days, so it's obvious that the birds feel welcome here, in spite of a cat in residence. The cat doesn't seem to bother the birds much, probably because he gets enough of other things to eat and has lots of field space to roam around and catch rodents.
However, while the cat isn't much of a problem, the old guy saw an amazing sight out of the window a few weeks ago. The cardinals and friends were busy feeding, both from the feeder and off the ground, when a large hawk came swooping out of the sky and landed on the ground next to a cardinal, which apparently didn't notice him. Too bad because suddenly the hawk grabbed the cardinal and flew off with the poor bird in his talons. You would have thought that this would deter the birds, but it hasn't. Even though we have one less male cardinal, there seem to be plenty left out here to take his place. They are thriving, just like the U of L basketball team, which is named after them. I wonder if the birds will follow us to our new house--of course not. However, the feeders are going with us, so we will get a whole new crop of birds, maybe even some new kinds. Meanwhile, life is good....