I can't imagine a better bird blind than our kitchen window. From the warmth of our breakfast table on a cold winter morning, our attention is drawn to dark silhouettes against the sky in synchronized flight, darting and pivoting together as if connected by invisible strands. Cedar Waxwings swoop our way and line up, briefly, on a supplejack vine over our bird feeder.
These sleek birds must have just picked up their jackets at the cleaner's; not a feather is out of place, and in their early morning flight, they dipped each wingtip and tail in the waxy glow of sunrise.
They leave as quickly as they came, and the others replace them, nuthatches and goldfinches, tufted titmice, chickadees, cardinals, and downy woodpeckers. They come for the sunflower seeds, and on frozen mornings, a mix of peanut butter with oatmeal and seeds and raisins. How could they resist?
At the piercing cry of a Red-shouldered Hawk the small birds scatter, but moments later, we discover that it is only a Blue Jay doing his best hawk imitation. He raids the feeder, gulping one sunflower seed after another in swift succession, lifting his head after each swallow. Don, who's fond of counting things, established that this one broke the old record for sunflower seeds consumed at one sitting, which was 50, with a whopping 76 seeds. It's a wonder he was able to lift off.
Our breakfast is finished and the day's work is ahead of us, but there's nothing like starting the day with an arial display.