I can't tell if Dan felt I was cheating this year or not, but after a week's worth of starling gaggles (sorry - officially, and quite fittingly, it's a chattering of starlings - isn't that great?) at the feeder, I took my New Year's Day coffee upstairs to stare out the back window, wondering if I'd see anything else for my "bird of the year". I did: a downy woodpecker. All right, it might have been a hairy, but from a distance and with nothing to compare it to, I'm going to say it was a male downy, hopping around our neighbor's tree.
Ani also saw a downy male. Dan and Eliza? Starlings. Which actually none of us have had any of the years we've done this, and it's always nice to learn a little something new about our birds...According to this site, starling teaches us how to behave within a group setting – how to be effective and assertive without becoming a bully. Communication is important to Starling people; however, you must be careful what you say, for people may take it incorrectly or blow it out of proportion. Watch your own sensitivity to other’s words. You might be reading more into it that is truly there. By learning Starling’s behaviors, you can live peacefully within your community of friends and family.
Who couldn't stand a little work on living peacefully within your community? This was a very welcome and positive take on starlings, who tend to bicker and feud over the suet outside our window. They sure are pretty, though, and incredibly smart (go on - spend a few minutes watching starling videos on youtube...it's pretty amazing!) .
Woodpecker wisdom is full of interesting ideas. Opportunity knocking...drumming, being in rhythm with nature...being hard-headed (pecking away at those trees, you know), not giving up easily...One author summed the woodpecker totem up with the power of rhythm and determination. I'm still figuring this one out for myself.
|Ani's amazing drawing of a Downy|