family life, gardening

A bird party, a big bird party!

“To the tree! To the tree! … What is up there on top of that tree? A dog party! A big dog party!” P.D. Eastman, “Go, Dog. Go!”

When our daughters were little, they could recite Go, Dog. Go! from memory, the lines above being their absolute favorite. And, why wouldn’t they be? It’s hard to not enjoy the humor of crayon-colored dogs driving themselves to a tree-top blast.

Ah, good reading…

I have to wonder if P.D. Eastman had berries growing in his backyard, though. The party scene he drew had nothing on the raucous goings on in our juneberry tree. Birds of every color and size are having a bird party, a big bird party. They’re after a small berry, that if they would actually allow one to fully ripen, is a deep purple and tastes like an unlikely blend of cherries and almonds.

Not that we’ve had much opportunity to taste the things in the 11 years we’ve lived in this home. The birds begin checking the tree daily when the berries are still hard, green nubs. As soon as the berries are red, they’re on them, making it almost impossible for the human residents of this household to get a single ripe berry much of the time.

This year, all sorts of species are enjoying the spoil. Red-bellied wood peckers, cedar waxwings, starlings, house finches, cardinals — you name it. One year, however, a male robin my husband called “Macho Man” somehow took over the entire tree. He would fight off all comers, sometimes working so hard he would have to sit on a branch and pant with exertion during a break in the action. Who knew birds could pant?

Macho Man was impressive, but I like the party mode better. The tree is practically flapping there are so many birds in there. And, noisy! It’s hard to sleep past 6 a.m. there’s such a commotion.

The birds’ fun reminds me: Berries, like many of the joys of life, are ripe for a brief moment and are way, way too good to miss. “To the tree! To the tree!”

3 thoughts on “A bird party, a big bird party!”

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