Friday, March 28, 2014

Morning visitors

We had several visitors this morning, two of which I'm posting pictures of here. One is a red-tailed hawk trying to get to my chickens. The other is a Northern Flicker (Yellow Hammer, in Alabama), beating out a warning call to let the other birds know the hawk is close by.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Laysan Albatross LIVE webcam up in Kauai, Hawaii

"To a Redbreast--(In Sickness)" by William Wordsworth

Leucistic Robin in my backyard

by William Wordsworth

          STAY, little cheerful Robin! stay,
            And at my casement sing,
          Though it should prove a farewell lay
            And this our parting spring.

          Though I, alas! may ne'er enjoy
            The promise in thy song;
          A charm, 'that' thought can not destroy,
            Doth to thy strain belong.

          Methinks that in my dying hour
            Thy song would still be dear,                             10
          And with a more than earthly power
            My passing Spirit cheer.

          Then, little Bird, this boon confer,
            Come, and my requiem sing,
          Nor fail to be the harbinger
            Of everlasting Spring.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

William Wordsworth's "The Redbreast Chasing the Butterfly"

Thomas Bewick's 'Redbreast'

                     by William Wordsworth

        ART thou the bird whom Man loves best,    
          The pious bird with the scarlet breast,
              Our little English Robin;
          The bird that comes about our doors
          When Autumn-winds are sobbing?
          Art thou the Peter of Norway Boors?
              Their Thomas in Finland,
              And Russia far inland?
          The bird, that by some name or other
          All men who know thee call their brother,                   10
          The darling of children and men?
          Could Father Adam open his eyes
          And see this sight beneath the skies,
          He'd wish to close them again.
          --If the Butterfly knew but his friend,
          Hither his flight he would bend;
          And find his way to me,
          Under the branches of the tree:
          In and out, he darts about;
          Can this be the bird, to man so good,                       20
          That, after their bewildering,
          Covered with leaves the little children,
              So painfully in the wood?
          What ailed thee, Robin, that thou could'st pursue
              A beautiful creature,
          That is gentle by nature?
          Beneath the summer sky
          From flower to flower let him fly;
          'Tis all that he wishes to do.
          The cheerer Thou of our in-door sadness,                    30
          He is the friend of our summer gladness:
          What hinders, then, that ye should be
          Playmates in the sunny weather,
          And fly about in the air together!
          His beautiful wings in crimson are drest,
          A crimson as bright as thine own:
          Would'st thou be happy in thy nest,
          O pious Bird! whom man loves best,
          Love him, or leave him alone!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I've spotted two of the eight species of Woodpeckers of Alabama in my backyard (or neighboring yards) so far this spring: a yellow-bellied sapsucker and a male red-bellied woodpecker. Read more about Woodpeckers in Alabama here.

Male Red-bellied Woodpecker

Yellow-bellied sapsucker

Yellow-bellied sapsucker

Green Singing Finch (Serinus mozambicus)

The 'Green Singing Finch' vintage cigarette card from the 1920/30's

Read more about this species below:

The “Other” Canary – the Green Singing Finch or Yellow-fronted Canary, Serinus mozambicus