Sunday, January 25, 2015

January has flown by . . .

 Being January has flown by I'm dedicating this post to birds. I can't remember a
time when I didn't love them. I'm not sure what it is about them that speaks to me
and maybe I don't need to know . . . They don't even need to be exotic for me to
take notice of them. I can't imagine a garden without them and feel
blessed to have so many visit the feeders and fountain.
Yesterday the dove in the above photo posed for me.

 I've been gifted with 4 nests, all of which are constructed in 
unique ways. I'm pretty sure all of the nests were made by

The one  above is the most delicate and intricate one. One lone dove feather
was caught in it. A neighbor brought it to me after
her dog had sniffed it out on the front lawn.

The top one was created in a grape vine and the one below was in
a vine against the wall.  

Maybe my love of birds started when I was around 12 and had 3 pigeon coops
in the backyard. My father built a small one thinking that I'd have a few birds
and then built a second one and finally built a walk-in one. All of the coops
were full and my brother swears that at one time there were 60 pigeons. I only
remember about 20 which was more than enough. Only 2 were of the grey and
black variety, 4 white ones and the rest were fan-tailed, feather footed, or owl pigeons.
In the afternoons after school I would spend some time in the yard with them, letting
them out of the cages while I cleaned up their messes. Mom would always flee to the
house and it wasn't until years later that she told me how frightened she was of them. 
When we moved from Costa Mesa to Huntington Beach homes needed to be found for
the flock. While at the time is was legal in Costa Mesa to have coops it wasn't in HB. 
      To ease the pain of leaving my friends behind I was give a parakeet who talked some
and sat on my shoulder when I did homework. Following that little blue guy were a few
cockatiels and a parrot all of which I eventually found homes for.
 I much prefer outdoor birds. 

 At the Living Desert Zoo there is currently an exhibit of The
Birds of Australia. Thinking that the birds would be exotic
in nature we went to see them last Friday. While they're calling the
above Parakeets Budgies I don't think of them as exotic. 
Definitely cute though.

Checking us out.

A line-up of cockatiels. I had grey ones so the yellow ones were
"exotic." There were a couple of parrots too. The best part about the
exhibit is that it's interactive. Stacy loved having the birds land on her
while she held sticks of food for them. One 
attempted to climb into my purse, thus
the search for hitch-hikers when 
departing the aviary. We'll visit them again before they
depart in April. 

At the Discovery Center, this fella, a Kestrel, was getting quite a bit of 
attention. Being able to get this close to him was the highlight of the day!

A second highlight was seeing the two Giant Kudos off in the distance 
in route to visit the giraffes. Giant Kudos are native to south Africa.

Some of the Living Desert grounds.

Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she
feels bending beneath her,
still she sings all the same, 
knowing she has wings.
Victor Hugo


queenopearls said...

Gail these are fabulous photos and I always love hearing about your life and adventures. :) The quote is so sweet... makes me smile from the inside out. As do you my friend!!!

Caterina Giglio said...

Fantastic shots.. Just love your photos! Xox

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Great photos and great stories of your lifelong affection for birds...pretty special having all those birds and caring for them!

Julie said...

I love the little dove, such a lovely colour with the bluey hue. We used to have canaries when I was growing up. One used to sing so loudly that we would have to cover it up to hear the tv. We get lots of kestrels in the UK usually hovering over roadside verges and diving for prey. Beautiful birds.