Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bird watching on a dreay, cold November day

So it's cold. I can finally admit it. 4 degrees C is cold. (39.8 degrees F for those of you in the US)
Plus, because it's misty outside, you feel it in your bones. I for one do not want to go outside and merely the thought of it makes me shudder. Brrr.

But, I thought I would share with you what I saw from my window today.

 Les mésanges!
Or, in English, "chickadees"!

The French love bird watching, and I have to agree that I like it too. I just hung a boule de graisse (suet ball) from my patio yesterday and I have had quite a few birds check it out. Good thing I was able to get a few balls for the winter!

He seems to like birdwatching too!

Some quick facts about chickadees:
1. Did you know they can drop their body temperatures up to 14 degrees F to help them conserve energy in winter? 
(Yeah, neither did I!)

2. They are the most vocal of all birds, never ceasing to stop singing unless there is a predator nearby or entering another chickadee's territory. They are known for their "chick-a-dee-dee" sound, hence their name.

3. They can gain up to 10 percent of their body weight in one day by eating and then lose it all over again over a cold night. (hence why they seem to always need to eat at the feeders during winter)

This is one is honing in on the goods...almost a sneak attack.
Aw, look, the  mésange charbonnière and the mésange bleue shared! The black one is a "charbonnière" and the blue-headed and slightly smaller one is the "bleue".

Black and Bleue, must be a bruise...
Please excuse my attempt at creativity here.  I was hoping to get a better shot through the lace curtain.

"What's this?" he seems to say...

"A bird on the prize? Never!"

 I'm just amazed at how well he can hold on to the food from this angle.

Anyway, these are the "wild animals" outside my window today.
(I don't know if I can survive these savage things...I mean, they are pretty fiesty.  Just look at how this one latches on!)

I enjoyed sharing this with you.  Now you have seen my patio in France!

Thought I would end today with a bit of a poem. Seems fitting enough!

"Then piped a tiny voice hard by,
Gay and polite, a cheeful cry,
“Chick-a-dee-dee!” saucy note
Out of a sound heart and merry throat
As if it said, “Good day, good sir!
Fine afternoon, old passenger![...]"

~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Chickadee

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