I am appreciating the companionship of birds today. They land on the silent branches of the sleeping apricot tree outside my window. They have come to eat the seeds I’ve filled the feeder with; the apparent generosity really a formal invitation for their feathered company. They are House Finches after all.
The females appear similar in their humble brownness, subtle markings indistinguishable as they flutter about. The males with their flourish of orange are easier to identify in their flashy uniqueness. One has a band of orange above his beak which extends around the sides of his head like a bold racing stripe.
Another has two thick puffs of orange feathers on his forehead like misplaced eyebrows, since his little round eyes are actually on the sides of his head. A third has a cap of orange covering his head with what appears like a bald spot in his feathered orange hair, brown feathers showing through on the top of his head. Or perhaps his little knit cap is simply in need of mending.
A Meadowlark suddenly proclaims the brightening day from some unknown perch, the song of it calling out to beckon spring.
A shiny Red-Winged Blackbird alights at the table of birdseed, joining the other guests. They enjoy the morning feast and then depart to the welcoming depths of the Spruce tree to chatter together and wipe their beaks. Whenever I feel glum in these last clinging days of winter, the cheerful happiness of these song full creatures lifts my spirits and centers me in unquestionable knowing. Spring is near.