Albert · Birds, Dogs, Trees, the River · Grace

Barn Birds

Getting out to the barn to ride Angel or care for Albert brings lots of rewards: the companionship of good horses, the constant light breeze on my face, the distant sound of baying of hounds, and the good birds.

How is that watching a mockingbird find a narrow strip of shade between the slats of the mare’s fence makes me feel cooler, too? Or how the sudden appearance of a certain woodpecker lulls my worries into a sweet hush?

Oh, the good birds.  Here are my favorite birds of the barn this time of year, but thank goodness for them all.

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow –

Little daredevil acrobats! Somersaulting in the air. Diving, swooping barn swallows.

Killdeer –

I think of the Killdeer as a beach bird in the gelding field! Busybody bird always running here and there, checking on this and that, and making a fuss.

Northern Bobwhite
Northern Bobwhite –

While I have only ever seen this bird at my grandparents’ place in Mississippi and on my family’s cattle farm in Cumberland, I hear the Bobwhite almost every day that I visit Albert at dusk. I could listen to bob-bob-white forever. This one truly carries me back to my childhood. My granddaddy whistled the Bobwhite call in the truck, by the pond, in the garden. It’s a bird he took with him everywhere and so no matter where I am when I hear it, I’m reminded that Granddaddy is with me.

Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-headed Woodpecker –

You know the rush of breath and wonder you feel when you dive under a white cap? No matter how accustomed I think I am to the great and ancient ocean, the awe of it never wanes. That’s how I feel when I see a red-headed woodpecker.

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird –

The Bobwhite is like a ribbon tying me to my granddaddy, the mocker – the state bird of Mississippi – leads me home to Grammy. She and I loved to watch mockingbirds together.

I guess, I never just watch a bird. Each one holds some treasure – a memory, a feeling, a poem, a story.


2 thoughts on “Barn Birds

  1. Oh, Red-bellied woodpeckers are awesome, too! I always think the red-headed woodpecker should be called a red-hooded woodpecker. That’s great that your feeders are attracting lots of birds. It will be fun to get to know them. Do you know about You can keep a list there.


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