doodle by andre: ‘no, honestly, it’s not you.’


THAT PHRASE ALWAYS GETS MY FEATHERS RUFFLED, Rodrigo, and I don’t care how cute you are. Stop looking at me with those soulful eyes. Many birds around here are singing that tune right now, as they do every year at the first coldspell, but I’m on to them: I know the difference between a guy who’s got a flight to catch, and one who simply says he does. So does my doodler colleague Andre, who says his migration doodle “is about the summer birds leaving us and how we shall miss them–and how it slightly feels like a holiday romance.” So who’s about to break your heart over there?

  1. Johanna says:

    Every summer I have lots and lots of goldfinches who eat the thistle seed from a feeder right in front of my living room window. When the sun is right they absolutely light up the window. Then suddenly they’re gone, wherever they go, until next year.

    And this year I’ve also had a pair of ruby throated hummingbirds at their feeder at the window. They became quite comfortable here, even zooming right past my head when I’d eat supper at the table outside. They fascinate me, and they don’t stay.

    I’ve seen flocks of geese getting organized, too. Soon we’ll be down to some sparrows and cardinals, and of course the local Great Blue Heron who stays around all year!

  2. Rosella says:

    It’s the catbirds here. There’s a pair that lives in the blueberry bushes, threatening me with dismemberment if I even think of getting some berries for myself, but also charming me with their posturing around the birdbath. Every year they leave without so much as a farewell cheep–I guess they’re not much for sentimentality.

  3. Carmen says:

    We’ve had about 3 or 4 hummingbirds fighting over the feeder by the living room window. You think they’d figure out that there are 4 feeder spots on it…but noooo only one at a time. They are leaving us. So sad. But I’m sure they’ll be back next year.

  4. andre says:

    not a bird, not related to the garden, but I shall miss the fireflies. They just amaze me – I love watching them. We don’t get them in England. I find them quite magical.

  5. Susan says:

    Andre, Fireflies are amazing. I remember my Grams (who is from England) when she would come over and visit, the 2 things she loved McDonald’s french fries and fire flies. Who would figure.

  6. Lynn says:

    I miss the fireflies a lot, but won’t miss the head-swarming gnats a bit! With winter skies so quiet, it’s hard to say whose departure is most heartbreaking. But I do love our hawks especially.

  7. Deirdre says:

    Johanna, are you sure the goldfinches are leaving? They change color in the fall. If you’re seeing olive colored birds at your feeder, they’re your goldfinches. We don’t have a lot of birds that leave our area in the winter. The rufous hummingbirds leave, but the anna’s hummingbirds stay.

  8. catjane says:

    The catbirds are already gone. They’re the last to arrive and first to leave. Many birds, though, just go quieter once the job of claiming and holding territory is done. The mockingbirds, in particular, stop their bravura performances; but they stay around. The purple martins will leave soon, as will the blackbirds. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen or heard the ospreys lately.

    I’ll be hanging the bird feeders in early October. Then the yard will be busy again, and the sharp-shinned hawk will begin hunting for unwary victims.

  9. Wendy says:

    I miss all who leave, but then again, it means others are coming back! (The titmouse, junco, nuthatch to name a few) So the bird feeders will continue to be jumpin’!

    I too, have seen the first flocks of geese and reveled in their squawking farewells!!

  10. Fred from Loudonville, NY says:

    For years I have fed the birds here at Whimsey Hill House. I love seeing them come and go through out the day. It is interesting to watch the mother birds as they take food from the feeders to give to their babies. Sometimes I get so many birds, that they eat two large feeders of food in a day or two. This summer, while watching the little “pigs” devour the seed, I thought that I was offering too much of a buffet for them, and I was taking the place of Mother Nature. At that moment, I decided to stop putting out seed for two weeks, so they would have to look for food, and not depend solely on me for their meals. Even after stopping the feed, some birds came back daily to see if there was now food again. Other birds, that were PICKY about what they wanted from the feeder, and easily discarded food, NOW were on the ground searching for what they had cast off. After the two week period, I started again. BUT, now I don’t fill the feeders us so quickly when they are empty. I want to supliment their food, not be the main provider. As for the migration of birds, I have always wondered if the young birds did the migration, and the old birds, that knew they would die at some time through the winter stayed??????. I have for years seen a time, in the middle end of winter, when the feed is practically untouched. There are no birds around to eat it.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Honey Living. Squirrels are not on my list of preferred wildlife, either (and my cat likes to catch and eat the red ones, gross as that may sound). Thanks for the reminder, and hope we see you soon again here.

  11. Bee Balm Gal says:

    This time of year, I often think of Judy Collins haunting cover of Who Knows Where the Time Goes, the first lines of which are below. I loved it as a moody college student at 19. Love it even more at 59.

    Across the morning sky,
    All the bird are leaving,
    Ah, how can they know it’s time for them
    to go?
    Before the winter fire,
    We’ll still be dreaming.
    I do not count the

    Hear a sample here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001M75PAU/ref=dm_mu_dp_trk5/188-6367026-1712566

  12. salman khan says:

    sometime things said about one topic similarly relates to many other aspects of our life…i felt deeply touched by the quote “please don’t leave me. I love you..”

    it makes me sad when anyone leaves :(

  13. chigal says:

    A female cardinal is presently breaking my heart with her intense chipping at all hours of the day. She had a nest in a neighbor’s awning, and a mate, but he’s gone. So she sits on the wires and calls. Seems like a tough year for the girls, out there. Our kestrels never did hook up in their usual tree, after the female was out there calling for months, this spring. Can’t decide if it’s happy or sad that the cardinal won’t be migrating. No wonder she’s trying so hard.

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