Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 5: Birding After Dark

As I carried our supper dishes to the sink tonight, I was surprised to notice a hummingbird visiting the bee balm outside the kitchen window. Dusk had fallen, and it seemed way past that bird's bedtime. Perhaps visiting our garden was like "last call," a final pit stop before roosting for the night. The bird had to be a neighborhood regular that had fed at these flowers before, because in the half-dark, it obviously wasn't the red of the petals that had attracted him.

Even later I was surprised to hear the distinct "pip" call note of the cardinal, making his evening rounds. As my husband pointed out, he's still showing up at around the same time at day's end, but it's getting darker earlier so it seems like he's here later. If that makes sense. In any case, when he made his last visit to the window feeder tonight, I could barely see him. If he weren't so loud, announcing his arrival with such advance fanfare from across the street, we'd never have noticed him on the shadowed feeder.

His voice precedes him.
Cardinal's last visit at dusk--
dark bird, red hot song.

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