Friday, June 29, 2018
One of the things I love about our home in the desert is seeing all the wild critters that come by -- bunnies and birdies, in particular.
We have a hummingbird feeder that hangs where we can see it from inside the house. Of course, it isn't just hummingbirds that enjoy the sugar-water. House finches and several species of desert-dwelling orioles have a sweet "tooth," too!
This is probably my favorite birdie to see (although hummingbirds are awfully cute, too!) This is a hooded oriole, Icterus cucullatus. The males around here are a brilliant, almost fluorescent, yellow with black and white markings. They're so colorful!
One thing I've noticed about these and other birds -- they're incredibly cautious! Whenever they land on the feeder (which is out in the open), they sit there and look in all directions, carefully making sure nothing is going to attack them while feeding. Once they're satisfied it's safe, they'll take a quick drink, then return to looking for predators.
They'll repeat this routine several times until they finally get enough sugar-water, then they fly off.
It reminds me of the advice given to humans -- be aware of your surroundings! With so many human predators in the world, we need to be cognizant of who is nearby and what they may be doing. As the birds instinctively know, it's a dangerous world, and while an attitude of fear isn't necessarily called for, we must be ready to respond to anything that may be dangerous to us.
The birdies know. They woundn't live very long if they don't follow through. We should do the same.
(Someday, I'm gonna have to paint a hooded oriole!)