Friday, July 26, 2019

Baby Birds

I mentioned in a previous post that we had received a large order from days before Lucy died.  We had been ordering from them on a regular basis for years, even before Ellie's untimely death.  They are such a good company, I didn't want them to think we had suddenly starting using another provider.  And quite selfishly, I didn't want to be bombarded with emails asking if we had been dissatisfied with their service or offering promotions to regain our business.  So I wrote a short email to tell them we had been very pleased over the years but that we would not be ordering for a while.  I went on to say that our dog had died but that we planned to get another in the future.  And that when we did, we would definitely resume service with Chewy.  Imagine my surprise when I received a note of sympathy, along with a statement that they would be refunding our credit card with the amount of the last order.  I was really surprised.  You don't find that sort of customer service every day.

I decided to share some photographs of baby birds in our back yard.  We have an ultimate viewing spot for the birds.  Our house is built on a slope (we are in the mountains after all) so our deck is on a second story, above the screened porch.  And the porch is above a 12-foot space under the house.  So the deck is parallel to the middle of the trees.  We hang the bird feeders (five of them) on extended bars that hang several feet away from the deck railing.  As a result, we can easily observe the birds, even while sitting on the deck.  And I rarely sit there without having my camera at the ready.

I love all the birds, but I particularly love the fledglings.  The parents will bring them to trees near the deck and feed them until they learn to fly to the feeders by themselves.  And those first flights are entertaining indeed.

A little Downy Woodpecker sits perplexed on a branch.  For the first time, the parent flew to the suet, grabbed a mouthful and then flew deep into the woods, leaving the fledgling all alone.  It was time for the little bird to make its way to the suet.

"Where did mama go?"

The Red-bellied Woodpecker brings the fledgling to a tree to prepare for a feeding.  Notice that there is no red on the head of the little one (on the right) and how well it is camouflaged against the tree.

It's a bit difficult to tell from this picture, but I think the parent is female.
The red on the head seems broken by a streak of white.

For obvious reasongs, we do not have Barn Swallows in our woods.  However, our community has four lakes, the largest of which is near our house.  And where you have lakes and bridges or other structures you will usually find Barn Swallows.  I love to watch them skimming the lake surface for insects.  And I also love their muddy nests and the little clown-faced nestlings.  So I go down to check on their progress often.

Not a great picture, but they a skittish when people are around.

And what would a bird post be without our favorite birds, the Pileated Woodpeckers.  We have several nesting pairs in our woods despite the fact that they are said to be territorial.  And we are delighted to see them being fed.  We can tell when they have eggs or nestlings because we see the adults come to the feeder and eat, then grab a chunk of suet to take to the nest.  At first the fledglings are fed deep in the woods.  Gradually they bring them closer to the bird feeders to feed them.  The "little" ones are the same size as the parents when they are brought to the feeders.

Mother bird is at the top with the bad-hair-day fledgling below

These represent only a few of the baby birds we see several times a year.  We have always been bird watchers so this deck has been a special place to us.

There are so many wonderful quotes about birds, it is difficult to choose which to post.  So I will post two of them.

The first is from another of my heroes, David Attenborough:
"Everyone likes birds.  What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?"
(BTW:  If you have never seen his PBS documentary on eggs, it is worth a search.  Amazing and well-done.  I promise you will learn a lot.)

The second quote comes from Victor Hugo:
"Be as a bird perched on a fragile branch that she feels bending beneath her.
Still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings."





Barbara Rogers said...

Wonderful birds and babes. It is gratifying that Chewy was so reponsive to Lucy's death. On the quote about the bird landing on a branch which bends, it reminds me of the last time I climbed a tree (maybe 35 years ago) and noticed how the wind above me made my perch also bend.

Anonymous said...

So very thoughtful of the Chewy company to send a sympathy note and a refund. It's good to be reminded of kindness in the world. Absolutely love seeing the birds there. My twin brother is visiting and I showed him your photos. We loved them all.

Vicki Lane said...

Great pictures, Carolyn! We have lots of young birds around now and I've been getting pictures to show Josie. We'll check them out on the computer then go outside to see what we can spot for real.

Arkansas Patti said...

I too use Chewy but must admit that is really above and beyond for any business. Kudos to them.
Love how you get to follow the fledglings. I'm afraid here when they hatch they disappear for I only feed in winter. May have to change that.
I love David Attenborough. He is on my list of people I would love to have a conversation with.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

It's nice to read that there are companies that care for customers. Thanks for sharing this information. It was fun to see the bird photos and we do miss seeing them as we formerly did at our VA home. We had barn swallows nest on our front porch and it was quite a mess to clean on a daily basis until they g=fledged are flew off. We discouraged any future nests after that experience.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

This is not the first time I've heard such nice things about Chewys. They really do care, and are good to their customers and give great service too!

I didn't mention it in a previous comment, but I know that when the time is right for you to add a new dog, you'll just know. It may be a breed totally unexpected that will grab your heart. I went to a dog show several weeks ago, and I loved seeing all the different breeds. I was so inspired by not knowing about so many of them, that I bought a couple all breed dog books to learn about them. While the Golden Retriever will always have my heart and soul, there is room for other breeds of dogs too. I have learned that with Todd and Charlie and the Labs too.

Finally - I LOVE all the bird photos, that is quite a view of the circle of life that you get to see!!

Take care!!

Nance said...

Such terrific bird photos! You really do have a great vantage point.

I've heard so many of those anecdotes about Chewy. They really are a great pet and people business.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love both quotes and bird pictures. Nothing better than witnessing nature at it's finest.
How awesome of Chewy?? I've always heard good things about them!

The Bug said...

That is so wonderful about Chewy! Makes me almost (almost) wish I had a pet so I could order from them. And as always, love the baby bird tales.

KB said...

Chewy is indeed a great company!

I love the Pileated Woodpeckers too! I saw them when I was in California but not here. They are huge. I'd love to see your fledgling in person.

I wanted to explain one thing about Hachi that you might not understand (based on your comment). The choices are to rehab him or to euthanize him. Given those choices, we are doing our very best to help him, while keeping the Duo's quality of life as good as we can. R isn't suffering from Hachi's presence. He's protected from Hachi, and still living the life that he loves. Perhaps the reality of the choice that we face helps you to understand? We hold his life in our hands.

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely to see your bird photographs.

All the best Jan

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

Barbara - Wasn't it fun to feel the wind and sway with it?

Robin - Glad you and your twin both enjoyed our little birds.

Vicki - I'm glad that Josie is already becoming a bird watcher. When our daughter went off to college, she was amazed that most of her classmates could not identify the most common of birds.

Patti - I'm also a big Attenborough fan. His voice is enchanting and I could listen all day. And he knows so much!

Beatrice - I agree. I would not want nests on our decks. We have had to break down nests that were built overnight in our garage. We look carefully every day.

Kim - I do believe Goldens are by nature the sweetest and most loyal of dogs. I wish we were both in better physical shape to manage large dogs. We have been pouring over breed characteristics of middle-sized to smaller (but not tiny) dogs.

Nance - The deck is a perfect place to watch and photograph the birds. They become less and less skittish as we sit quietly out there.

Suz - We are in a good position to watch nature. We don't get as many butterflies on the deck flowers, but lots of them in the front yard, especially around the bee balm.

Bug - You really had an upclose and personal encounter with baby birds this year didn't you?

KB - I do understand about Hachi now. And even when I didn't understand his entire situation, I had every faith in your doing the right thing for all concerned.

Jan - I watch a lot of British TV and I love seeing the various birds you have that we never see.

Laurel Wood said...

We use chewy also and thanks for sharing the story of how kind they've been to you during a difficult time.
I love your bird photos and the quotes. I know you enjoy your deck so much.