Haven’t seen or heard a “calling bird” all day, let alone four of them. Nor have I seen a partridge, or a turtledove, or a French hen, or geese, or swans of any numbers. There were, however, crows pecking away in the daylily bed this morning, and blue jays eating from the cats’ dishes. But they are there everyday. My sister has shared a concern about the lack of birds at her feeders in her backyard, and we have not had the numbers we usually see at this time of year in our yard either. Maybe the weather has been too mild and there are enough seeds and berries in the fields and woods for them to get by on. I will check out Bill Uhrich’s column in the Reading Eagle in a few weeks about the Christmas Day bird count which takes place all over the country, and is very enthusiastically carried out at Christmas time in Berks County. It’s a indication of the health of our environment.
To help make our little grandchildren more aware of the importance and beauty of birds, I decorate a tree in our sunroom with birds. We hold our own bird count of those birds every Christmas. I’m happy to report that the sunroom environment is flourishing, thanks to a sale of ornaments (including birds) at Esbenshade’s on December 24. Our bird population has increased this year inspite of the fact that a few got knocked down and done in during the undecorating process last year. Won’t say that out bird count ranks up there with other Christmas traditions for our little grandchildren…like getting presents, finding candy, eating pumpkin pie and poppyseed bread, and playing games the day after, but they remember the counts from year to year and are happy to see that our birds proliferate. I keep looking for a partridge to add to the tree. Who knows…in 12 days there could be…hundreds? You can do the math!