If you have read my blog since the spring of 2021 you may recall the unique friendship I developed with a male song sparrow in the spring. Unique friendships are to be treasured.
Upon my arrival on Whidbey Island in June of 2022, Birdy Boy was there to greet me. At first, he was distant and curious. He would hop all around me and keep his distance. By the end of the second day, there he was, sitting on my legs, arms, and shoulders singing away. This year he has only progressed to my head once.
Since breeding season is over he has shown up with a female song sparrow. She is quiet (they don’t sing) and sits a distance away. I wonder if she is trying to figure out about this odd friendship Birdy Boy and I have developed.
You can click on the photo to enlarge it.
Our close friendship continued until this month. When mating season is over things change. Until yesterday the feeders were quiet. Many of the small birds were gone or infrequently visiting the yard. Last year when this happened I grieved for the loss of my birdy friend. I thought he had migrated. After five days he and many of the other small birds reappeared. They had gone to the bushes to molt. All these little birds lose all or most of their feathers one to two times per year.
I believe that Birdy Boy is once again preparing to molt. He is looking a bit disheveled. His feathers are out of sorts. He has a small bald spot on the top of his head. He spends more time in the shrubs. The little birds go there to molt. It creates a safe place for the birds while they are in a more vulnerable state.
Some days he does not show up. At times he comes but keeps his distance. The closeness of spring is gone. This happened last August as well. With the end of the spring and early summer, his habits change.
I reminded myself that this would happen again this year. Even knowing this I miss his presence. He is a central part of my Whidbey Island Experience. I think often about what brings me joy. This little song sparrow brings me joy right to the core of my heart.
Yesterday he appeared early in the day. I was excited to see him. He came to the deck and stood on the chair back and sang away. During the day when I would be outside, he returned. One time he came to my knee and settled in. I love when he quiets down and just hangs out with me. There is no singing, no chitting, we just sit there like long-time friends enjoying the silence and the view out over Puget Sound. After about twenty minutes he flew off into the bushes and that was it for the day. I was pleased he stayed as long as he did. He brings me comfort.
Friendships come in all sizes, shapes and species. I value this friendship as I do all of my friendships. I continue to learn a lot from this little bird. In the quiet of the moments with him, my heart opens up. It is OK to be patient and soft and quiet. It is also OK to be joyous and sing my song and it is fun to share that song with others. Friendships require trust and commitment. I am glad to have shared this with this sweet little brown bird.
Today I am thankful for friendships, trust, quiet, and my friendship with Birdy Boy.