The birdbath outside our kitchen window had several visitors this morning that we don't often see. Two fat Robins drank opposite each other; the water droplets on their beaks sparkling like diamonds in the early sun. They were joined by a Flicker and a small flock of Cedar Waxwings. Waxwings are such beautiful birds, and aptly named. I had the impression this morning, that before they left the shelter of the cedars, they had dipped the tips of their feathers in large pots of hot red and yellow wax. They came as a group, eating a few winterberries from the branches propped by the birdbath, and they left together, moving in one long, synchronized formation.
Our birdbath has a small device that prevents it from freezing in the winter, and when the pond is frozen over, as it is now, the birdbath becomes a magnet for birds. Eight bluebirds came next and lined up close around the rim, enjoying each other's company.
A loud thump scattered the birds, and we saw a Flicker that had just crashed into a window, flopping on the cold bricks. It didn't look good. Don was out the door in a flash, scooped the poor bird up, then cradled it in his warm hands. Before long, the Flicker raised her head and life seemed to surge back into her body. Then she lifted off and flew away. Woodpeckers seem to have a pretty good recovery from such mishaps; their heads must be tough considering all the jackhammering they do.
Don and I have both held a number of birds over the years, cheering them on, and when they make a recovery, we feel like we've gained a friend. We'll keep watching the sky, and the next time we see a Flicker, we won't be surprised if she tips her wings in our direction.