Thank you to the birds.

At our school, we started a weekly notebook challenge a few weeks into distance learning. We created a few weekly invitations and invited students and staff to create in their notebooks and share on a community Flip Grid. It has been fun to see who posts and what they post.

Last week, Peter created the invitations, inspired by a Two Writing Teacher post on journaling. He invited us to take a look at objects around our home and categorize them. What has gained more importance since we’ve begun quarantining? What has become less important?

I immediately thought of the birds. I’ve been watching the birds for months now. I’ve always noticed them, but not like this. I notice them before I even get out of bed, their songs call me from my bed. I watch as I wash dishes, prepare meals, and unload the dishwasher. I lose focus on my tasks, lost in the noticing. I’ve been watching, thinking about how I could weave them into a story, a deeper meaning.

Today, I realize, I mostly want to express my gratitude for the small joy I’ve found in the watching.

Thank you to the proud robins, dutifully searching the lawn for worms while watching their nests carefully tucked into the corner of the kids’ treehouse and another nestled in the bush near the gate. To the sweet mother bird who sat watch over her nest and the one lone egg that sat unhatched long after her babies flew away.

Thank you to the shy cardinal who lurks around our bird feeder attached to the kitchen window. I’m grateful for your brave attempts to visit when I’m alone in the kitchen. I hope that one day you’ll feel safe enough to stay for a while…enjoy the birdseed.

To the sweet finches who have once again found the birdhouse hanging near our front door. I’m sorry we disturb you every time we open the door, causing you to flee your nest. I see you hovering close by. I promise we won’t hurt your babies.

Thank you to the blue jays. You have me wondering. I often notice you being chased out of the yard by the robins or the cardinal. What kind of mischief do you cause? Are you just having fun, teasing all of the other birds?

Thank you to the birds for choosing our yard to call your home. Thank you for showing up each and every day, adding new highlights to my day. I’m grateful you’re here.

12 thoughts on “Thank you to the birds.

  1. It sure has been a great time for noticing! Billy and I noticed holes in a tree across the street and we heard tiny peeps and chirps. We walked closer and heard the faint chirping in chorus. We figured the next must be inside the tree! Yup, I’m grateful, too!

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  2. Birds have really had their time during this pandemic. I’ve read so many articles and essays about how people are enjoying birds in a way they never have before. I think when we slow down, we start to live that wide awake life we always talk about during writing workshop! Remind me to send you the NYT essay on watching birds. I also just finished the children’s book The Someday Birds. You might like it!

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  3. Oh, I loved your post! We have lots of feeders, too, and we love watching the birds in our backyard. The hummingbirds are visiting the sugar-water feeders, but we planted more salvia and canna lilies for them. Love the specificity of your poem – the sweet mother robin story will stay with me for a long time. Great idea to post invitations and have a community share each week. I am so glad I visited today.

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  4. So many of us are noticing the birds! I think (at least for me) the lack of traffic makes their music audible and then I watch for them.
    I love the way you give the birds personality. I often find Jays annoying, but you gave me a new way to look at them! Thank you for that and for reminding me that nature revives us all.

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  5. I wish we had more birds. I seem to have bees instead- so good for the environment, but not as pleasant! Good noticings!

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  6. Watching the birds yields such rich rewards and you describe them beautifully! I find the feeder activity mesmerizing and endlessly entertaining. My husband and I now consider ourselves fledgling birders and actively go out to find new birds. Today I spotted a black-billed cuckoo!

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