In the mornings when I’m not rushing off to school, my dad and I enjoy sitting at the kitchen table with our espresso watching the birds. Often I have to go re-heat my coffee we are there for so long, enjoying the morning, skimming the paper, laughing at cartoons, and chatting. Our eyes are always on alert at the feeder. Sometimes I’ll nudge him or whisper, ‘come quick!’…fearful that any movement will scare our birds away. We are never far from our morning bible, the Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America. We even have a cheat sheet my dad created that lists the birds we commonly have seen, complete with size ranges and page numbers. We often joke that seeing a new bird at the feeder is the best day of our lives. We think we may have seen a Lark Bunting a few mornings ago but they aren’t common to our area so we aren’t sure—please come back to visit us little bird—we must know who you are!

Just the other day he called me on the phone to tell me that there had been 4 bluebirds on the feeder at once. His voice couldn’t contain his excitement. We love bluebirds and until this past month they rarely visited our feeder.

There is something very grounding and calming in waking up to the birds. Some birds we recognize morning after morning, others come only once and we sit for what seems like hours only hoping they will come back for more seed. I’ve tried to take photos of many of them. At first the pictures weren’t all that great, more of a quick shot photo diary to document which species we had seen last winter. After getting a great zoom lens I can now sit back without scaring them and get some better shots. It’s amazing how beautiful and small they each are.

Mornings with my dad and the birds are wonderful.