They're back and I am convinced that they are having a ceilidh!
The "they" I am referring to are tiny, brown sparrows, thirty or so of them. They decamped last spring when the warm weather arrived, but now that it is cold again, they have returned to the forsythia bush at the the front to the house. It seems that they come every year to spend the winter in the tangle of the over grown bush.
Small birds are rarely thought of as intelligent, hence the derogatory expression "bird brain" for someone who is behaving foolishly, but I for one, am impressed by the fact that these common sparrows have enough smarts to remember each fall that my forsythia is a great place to spend the cold winter months.
In the morning, I can often hear their noisy chatter as they flit back and forth from the protection of the forsythia to the copper feeders just inside the back gate. A "ceilidh", at least by my Nova Scotian understanding of the Scottish word, is a kitchen party with lots of village gossip. Sometimes, when I am making breakfast in the kitchen, this gang of brown sparrows are so cheerfully talking to one another that I am convinced that there must be an awful lot of things to gossip about in the bird world.
Chickadees are also regular patrons of our bird feeders. They are so tame that they will land and take seed from the palm of our hands.
News spread quickly when there is a special treat waiting in the copper feeder. The sharp, urgent cries of the jays echo back and forth through the tree tops as they called out to one another.
Jays are smart too- I watch them sort through the peanut pile. They scoop the peanuts up, examine them, reject the unworthy nuts and then fly off with their carefully selected prize. They don't eat them all at once either, but rather, stash some of the best nuts away, so they can retrieve them later.
I hope that you have a great weekend!