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I sometimes imagine I’m living in an aviary, because of all the birds in the ‘hood.

They sing from near-dawn (4 a.m. wake-up calls) to near-dusk, and give us a full-time show in the forest outside our living room windows.

Pileated woodpeckers knock out trees every day; juncoes play on our deck; and we’re blessed with hummingbirds by the minute.

There are so many birds that three bird books are anchored on our coffee table, ready to identify a finch or a wren or …

We thank our neighbors for this.  We didn’t want the mess of a bird feeder, so only put out a hummingbird feeder.  Our neighbors all ’round put up hummingbird feeders too, then newcomers installed a fancy feeder with sunflower seeds, luring all kinds of new diners to the neighborhood.

The crows are huffy because the feeder isn’t designed for big beaks.  They just settle on nearby branches to complain and complain.

The feeders lead to all kinds of delightful distractions at our house.  We’ve been watching hummingbirds chase insects all weekend.

This morning, one turned in mid-flight to hover at the windows, watching me, watching him.  It’s raining ever-so-lightly, and being face-to-face with a tiny creature early in the morning is a thrill, especially when he turns his head this way and that, in mid-flight, no doubt admiring his own reflection.

Yesterday, we had a new visitor that sent us to the bird books.  We meet scrub jays on the forest trails often, but this was the first time we shared space with a Steller’s Jay at our home.

He appeared to be tangling with something in his beak, and it didn’t appear to be tasty. The jay shook his beak roughly, appeared to drop something, and flew off.  We went out to find a new wasp’s nest, no larger than a quarter, torn open and unraveling.

Steller’s Jay (Hadi Dadashian photo)

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