Friday, July 13, 2007


BIRDWORDS


For the barnswallow family (Mom, Dad and the two post-nestlings), the becalmed evening sky isn't offering much in the way of soaring insect snacks, so the four spend the time preening. For the parents, that means routine elegance of motion; for the gawky newbies, who don't yet know how to do a professional job at the beak-through-feathers thing, it's an awkward business. And they really need some preening: from here it looks like they still have a lot of poky kidfeathers.

Then when that's all done to respective satisfactions, from their darkling perch atop the wire the four whir down and scour my plum and weeping cherry trees, their wing flutters and bouncy bustling rustling up small insects from the leaves and twigs as they venture in along the branches toward the trunks, looking for gourmet caterpillars along the way, chattering as they go, about all sorts of important things. I wish I had a barnswallow dictionary.

3 comments:

Annette said...

They must have a billion words for caterpillar and the like, not to mention the way they taste!

Maya's Granny said...

Mostly at my house it's cick-a-dees and ravens and crows, with the occasional magpie. Lots of singing, some more melodious than others. Lots of young birds about.

Bob Brady said...

So much to learn from them...