Porching It…

Three hours spent on my front porch being quiet and watching the birds today just made my life that much richer… and what entertainment!

Many of the birds were out, including the oropendas hooting and cackling. You could hear them scooting from one end of the farm to the other through the myriad trees.

Each morning this week I’ve been awakened by some big type of bird I don’t know the name of attacking himself in my bedroom window… he thinks he sees a rival, but he’s seeing his reflection. And he does not give up. All day he comes back to make sure ‘the other guy’ is gone, only to discover him still there! Poor guy. A bit obsessive.

The social flycatchers (pictured) were particularly busy today and there were many of them perching on the tops of stakes and sunflower stalks, all the sudden swooping and sometimes diving into the soy plants for insects. I could see the tops of the plants moving, but not the birds underneath.

On the other hand the swifts were way way way up in the sky swooping for their own insects. So many of them, they looked like a huddle of knats up there swirling from one end of the field to the next. I’d no idea they’d be hunting that far up in the air, but they were as high as the vultures’ lower soaring range.

Since we’re in the farming community here, there are plenty of wild animals and other types of prey the vultures smell on the updrafts. These guys are huge and get as high up as to make them specks in the sky. On the ground their wingspans are at least 5′, possibly 6′. Impressive.

So, today I spent a good deal of time simply watching the show. And it was glorious and entertaining, reminding me of the social mores of humans so much as small flocks waited their turn at the hanging fruit delicacies, or were just insolent enough to grab a limb next to an elder in a challenging move that ended up putting them in their place. It was a busy place today; lots of discussion amongst and around many different types of birds, sometimes even hanging out in the same tree.

Maybe I haven’t taken the time before to simply be on the front porch as a quiet observer of their world. But today felt different somehow, as if I’d been accepted. The birds flew by within a couple of feet, a butterfly landed on my chair and stayed for a few minutes. It was just a perfect Buddha Day on my front porch.

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