Sunday, March 07, 2010

If The Birds Can't Get To The Beach, Bring The Beach To The Birds

Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma rufum
(Click picture to enlarge)
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"The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings." ~ J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens)

The brown thrasher is a moderately large bird that loves to remain earthbound and prefers rustling through the underbrush to flying out into the open space. They don't often make trips to the feeders but when one graces our patio, he heads straight for the suet but is quick to disappear if I make any sudden move to a camera. I can hear them in the brush and their song reminds me of a mockingbird although it is more melodious and really more variable than said mockingbird.

At one point during our construction they delivered a dump truckload of light sand.. for the mortar and for lining the floor of the crawlspace. I was taking pictures of the days work and sitting at the edge of where the doors were to be when I saw this pair. They had ventured out of the woods and on to the top of the great white sand pile. The sun was shining and it was hot and a bit humid... the perfect time for a romp.... a sand bath. They scratched and pecked and fluttered and rolled in the sand; in some pictures turning into a smudged blur surrounded by wild sprays of sand captured in a still frame and in focus. They kept at it for several minutes with joyous abandon, not caring that their feathers were all out of place, just enjoying the warmth of the sand. All too soon they hopped down the small hill and back into the brush.

Moral: If a bird's too shy to go to the beach, he still expects that someone will bring the beach to him. Glad to oblige.

(end of post)


Beverly said...

How kind of you to provide that beach for the birds!  I did not know that about thrashers.

kenju said...

I know so little about birds that any small tidbit of info is interesting. What a nice color they are. Nice of you to provide the sand for them...

pathdoc said...

I think that I might include a shallow sand area when I plant and till up along the back of the property.  I still have iris from the other house to put in and I want to get some more Joe Pye weed going and some wildflowers back there.  Include a ground level waterbath and a little sand pit and it should take care of the shy groundfeeders.

Vicki said...

I love these birds! The fluffed up one looks like it's still a youngster but maybe it's just the fluff that makes him look that way.

colleen said...

The birds have become my winter pets.  If I run out of feed I feel so responsible I run out to get more.  I especially love photographing my red cardinal and pileated woodpecker.

I wish my feet could get in some sand too! said...

I love this story. Made me happy.
Brilliant photos.

Simply Col said...

I always love it when an unexpected sighting brings smiles and good photos. Love the story and the pics. :-) Such cute little birds.