When we moved into this house the previous owner left us a note on the counter. Welcome home! she said. And also…..the magpies! The magpies indeed.
For two and a half years now, magpies have been the main bird on the block. Periodically there’s a protest in the neighborhood online bulletin board: WHOEVER IS FEEDING THE MAGPIES – PLEASE STOP.
Magpies are beautiful birds, but loud and obnoxious. Squawky, bossy creatures. And evil smart. They pop around in our tree branches and strut along the grass, tormenting the dog. They swoop close in and perch on our deck rail, staring at us through the window. We often grumble about their rude behaviors and obnoxious noise. Sometimes we sing a little song about blackbirds and pies.
In the summer, gulls show up in the neighborhood too to nest at the Lagoon and then our backyard is a screaming, squawking soundscape.
So it’s been surprise and delight this week when we’ve gone out into the yard and heard an unfamiliar song. An Actual Song!! We’ve been talking amongst ourselves – did you hear that?!? what is that?!!! The RAWK RAWK RAWK of magpies has been turned down and somebody new is out in the trees, singing loud for all to hear. SINGING. Many times this week I stood peering up into the treetops hoping to spot the source of this clear, sweet song. But no luck. Until yesterday, when I happened to see! there!! I snapped a picture. Two. Three….I wasn’t wearing my glasses, so couldn’t be sure, but I hoped I’d caught something enough for Ryan to identify.
Obviously my pictures were not all that was needed. But Ryan is a wonder. Today he got out the books and figured it out.
And so, our weeklong effort to identify the uncommon caroler turned up quite a common character.
Welcome to the neighborhood, American Robin. Please do stay awhile!