Birds are so much like us. They are always more active before a storm. So are we. A few inches of snow in the forecast and the grocery stores turn into dry runs of Black Friday mayhem. They are meat eaters, while some prefer the vegetarian meal plan. They sometimes flock together, while others are more solitary. Introverts and extroverts. Some have neat and tidy nests while some are more of clusterhoot of this and that.
I can usually predict what birds I am going to see outside my windows based on the time of year or sometimes even the time of day. What I can’t predict though is where they go when the sun goes down. I have a few regulars at dusk that appear for one last visit to the feeders (if there is anything left.) But once they leave in the darkening twilight, I lose track of them. I can presume they find a safe spot someplace. As I see them go about their early morning several hours later, I know they made it through the night. But where? Where do they go to roost?
Last night, I discovered at least a partial answer to my question. A few years back we planted a small garden with the sole intention of providing a “hiding spot”. But it was not intended to be used as a hiding spot for birds. It was a hiding spot for our large garbage can that we no longer wanted to store inside our garage. One stout Dogwood tree, a small evergreen shrub, a few low growing shrubs, and voila, our green garbage receptacle blends right in. I have the ability to take out the garbage by leaning over the deck railing carefully, and conveniently, so I don’t have to change into outdoor shoes to do so. (We are a slipper friendly house).
I was actually spooked to the point of blurting out an expletive. When I opened the lid to the trash, that small evergreen shrub came to life all of a sudden like a scene from The Wizard of Oz, as at least 3 maybe 4 small birds flew out in a flurry of a hurry.
A evergreen tree planted with the intention of hiding our garbage can is hiding something else
A Hiding Tree
I was shocked, but coherent enough after ducking like I was avoiding a snowball to yell out in their direction: “Sorry buddy!!! Didn’t mean to scare you!”
So now I know. Some birds hang out close to home….and seek a little quiet night’s rest right next to our home. In a shrub. A hiding shrub.
Judging by the high pitched squeaks I hear around that area at twilight, I am thinking it’s the White-throated sparrows that call my house their little rest spot for the winter night. Come summer, I will have to see what other feathered friends play hide and beak. This Junco I spotted just about ready to hunker down but he will be migrating north soon….