nuthatch

A warm morning, and all I hear are the birds of winter: chickadee, nuthatch, pileated woodpecker. A dead cranefly dangles from a spiderweb.

Humid and cool. A nuthatch spirals up rather than down a walnut tree trunk, turning upside-down only when it finds something to eat.

A blue jay skulks through the trees at the woods’ edge but still a nuthatch spots him, and within seconds a mob of small birds assembles.

Warm and windy. Nuthatch and woodpecker calls intermingle with the creaks and rattles of trees, most of which have now burst their buds.

Sunrise stains the treetops. The woods are full of anxious-sounding calls: chipmunks, jays, nuthatches, an endlessly scolding squirrel…

Christmas Bird Count! Crow, junco, white-throated sparrow. Three chickadees, two nuthatches and a cardinal. Nothing in the damn pear tree.