A Red, White & Blue Celebration…in March?
March is not generally a month particularly known for patriotic celebrations in the US, but the early arrival of Spring brought forth a lot of colorful activity of the avian variety here in the Rocky Mountains. While working in Colorado for a couple weeks, I was able to schedule in a little time at Barr Lake State Park. Located near the airport and hotels I normally base from, Barr Lake is convenient to visit and relatively inexpensive. The weather was extraordinarily windy during my visit, so there weren’t very many critters out-and-about, however I did get several miles of exercise and a few photos for my efforts. During my visit I got my first Red-Winged Blackbird of the season, as he was crooning a hopefully seductive tune.
A number of birds remain resident year-round here on the 20-Acre Wood in the Bull Mountains of Montana, among them is the White-breasted Nuthatch. These busy little tree-clingers rapidly forage from branch to branch, searching for bugs, seeds and nuts. They will commonly place a seed (like the one this fellow is carrying) into a crevice of a limb or bark, and then pound the seed with it’s bill to open it. These courageous birds frequently fly directly at me when I am taking pictures, and will often land within only a few feet of my position.
In my March 10th post, They’re ba-a-a-a-ck!, I mentioned that the Mountain Bluebirds made a very early return this year. And, as is normal, it didn’t take them long to settle in and become relatively at ease around us. I haven’t seen them hauling nesting material yet, so perhaps they are still seeking a location to raise their young. This fellow’s mate remains camera-shy, but she is generally not far away.
So there you have it, a RED-winged Blackbird, WHITE-breasted Nuthatch, and Mountain BLUEbird celebration! There is a lot of social and economic turmoil happening in the world, and right here in the U.S.A. In the midst of an election year, it is easy succumb to a jaded-attitude regarding our country, and thoughts of patriotism may elude us. Patriotism can be defined as “devoted love, support and defense of one’s country; national loyalty.” While the colors of these birds may remind of us the colors of our flag, they should be an even better reminder of the love and loyalty our Creator has for us. He makes Himself known to us through His creation, and by other means. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse...“ (Romans 1:20). The many frustrations we may have about life and the world we live in are really only temporary distractions to us. Our Lord has provided us an escape route, so that we may enjoy eternal salvation with Him in Heaven. The best part is that it won’t cost you a penny! Acts 2:21 cites a passage from the book of Joel, “And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Yes, it really is that simple; come to Him in prayer, serve Him, and devote yourself to Him. That is patriotism anyone can afford, and it will last forever!
- It’s Opening Day! (howtospyonbirds.wordpress.com)
- A Break in Winter’s Monotony (bigskyken.wordpress.com)
- Mystery bird: Mountain bluebird, Sialia currucoides | @GrrlScientist (guardian.co.uk)
- Red wing Blackbirds are Mating (cottonwoodaz.wordpress.com)