Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Birds in the morning

I love sitting outside on the back veranda in the morning. Right now it's cold, but clear and sunny. The bird sounds are all around. I'm finally used to our 12 hour days. Dawn about 6am, dark about 6pm. I haven't much knowledge about birds, so am constantly thumbing thru "Birds of Belize." What's that one? So many look almost alike.

At first light the parrots start trying to decide where to go for the days forage. It's a group meeting with everyone having a voice. Pandemonium and then they're gone. Out to decimate some farmer's corn.

The two groups of Chachalacas seem to call to each other. The blackbirds, kiskadees and brown jays are always around, noisily flitting about, hopefully working on the bug population.

I keep my camera handy, but both it and I are too slow to catch so many of the little birds. A tiny Black & White Warbler and (I think) an American Redstart tease me by dancing up and down and thru the trees, always moving before I can locate them with the lens. There are so many tiny, li8ttle warblers, variations of yellow and greenish brown. Our resident hummingbird keeps busy with our few flowering bushes.

We've been frustrated that most of the flowering plants we've started have been stripped bare by ants. This will be an ongoing battle.

I had a surprise and thrill a couple of days ago, when I went into the bodega (concrete storeroom under the guest house) and was met by a beautiful blue/green bird which flew past me and out the door. It was a fairly large bird and at first I tho't it must be a parrot. Luckily it hung around for a couple of days so that I could identify it as a Motmot. What a thrill. I suspect that, because we're on the top of a hill, lots of birds pass by, but don't stay.

I wish I had a bird authority at my side to identify all the unseen birds by their sounds. There's chirping and singing all around. A constant variety of sounds, coming from the canopy. I may not see them, but I do love that they're there.

A sadness for both of us is that Art's hearing is getting worse and he can't share in the joy of all this music. We're truly blessed to be able to enjoy this gentle place, at least for now.


Wilma said...

Hi Gale,

great photos of the motmot, hummingbird, and brown jays! I love to watch and hear the birds. Like you, I am not very good at identifying them by sound except for the obvious ones like kiskadees and parrots. We had tons of immature and/or female redstarts down at our place that look like a yellow and brown version of the red and almost black colors of the adult male.


sandy a. said...

I just love to watch the birds around our Belize house! I need to pick up a copy of Bird of Belize

Bill and Debra said...

Great pictures of the birds Gale. I can only imagine how beautiful the sounds are. I look forward to hearing them all one day. Keep the pictures coming.

Sherry said...

Gale,love your web site! We too built our own log cabin but on the East Coast have 12 acres,have 3 children 5 grandchildren
With the economy we too are having a tough time in USA. have checked into Guatemala Costa Rica and Panama as well as Belize. Your area seems to strike my soul. Would love to keep in contact. Housing is not selling here either and unemployment in SC is about 12.5.
It is a bit sad the state of things But darn at my age I am happy to just be alive.