Dear Jasper and Kestrel,
It is spring, and all the birds are getting ready. Here at Uncle David’s house, there are two different groups of birds, and it gets interesting.
Over the back patio and the front porch are small areas of roof that are totally sheltered from the wind and rain. Each isn’t much bigger than a loaf of bread, but every spring they become home to several nests of birds….bluejays in the front, robins in the back. Uncle David calls it the Bird Wars.
The wars start in late February, when the birds start collecting twigs and grass for their nests. The blue jays will be in a bush collecting bits, and a robin will fly in. Whoosh! All the jays fly out in a blue cloud. When the robins are done, a jay flies in and the robins create a reddish-brown flurry as they fly away. The birds never seem to fight each other, but there is a lot of bird-language yelling going on. I have no idea what they are saying to each other.
Once the nests get built, the baby birds come, peeping all day long, front and back. I look forward to the noise! Baby birds sound like spring, hope, and life.
In addition to the jays and robins, there is a flock of sparrows that flies around. They fly to a bush and then hop around on the ground underneath, eating bugs and tiny seeds. The blue jays and robins ignore them, as though the sparrows were too small to be part of the bird wars.
There is also a crow who is making a nest in the tall eucalyptus tree behind an apartment building. The other day I saw her (or him, I can’t tell with crows) snipping little bits of branches from a curly willow and letting them fall to the sidewalk. There was quite a patch by the time I noticed. I am guessing the crow will come back later and collect the twigs to make her nest.
This is a good neighborhood for birds. The lawns all have lovely worms, the schoolyard has leftover sandwiches and chips, and the eucalyptus and palm trees are like bird condominiums. In the morning and evening, the trees seem to be shouting at each other.