"The Brown Thrashers are back," said my husband this weekend. One of the treats of spring is the return of birds we haven't seen since fall. We love our year-round birds...the Northern Cardinal, various types of sparrows, several varieties of doves, "Ammah Grace's Blue Jays", and the occasional woodpeckers and owls, to name a few. But it's always exciting to see those we've missed all winter. Two of our favorite returnees are the Brown-Headed Cowbird and the Brown Thrasher.
The Brown-Headed Cowbird has been back for several weeks now. I'm planning a post on this interesting bird soon. However, this week's excitement has been the return of the Brown Thrasher. Billy saw them over the weekend, I made my first sighting on Monday, and this afternoon I finally managed to snap a few pictures. (I tried several times Monday and a couple of times on Tuesday before I was actually successful, much to my neighbors' amusement, I think, as I skulked around our front-yard hedges stalking the Thrashers building nests inside. I missed a great shot yesterday of one dragging a huge piece of dried vine around the hedge to add to its nest. I'm still sad. :))
I've said this before, but God's creativity in creating birds astounds me. Seriously. He could have made one, two, or even just ten species of birds, but instead He made somewhere around 10,000. 10,000 species of birds! Not to mention all the other types of critters He created. It's really a breathtaking thought.
Not only am I amazed by the number of species He created, but I am amazed by the intricate design of each one. Different markings, different calls, different personalities, different behavior patterns...as I try to learn the calls of even our familiar birds, as I try to identify different types of sparrows by their markings, and as I watch their different behavior patterns, I am more amazed all the time at the Creativity of our amazingly glorious Creator.
A few cool facts about Brown Thrashers:
* Thrashers are beautiful birds who seem rather shy compared to some of the other birds in our yard. However, they can be extremely aggressive, as one of our dogs found out last year when she got too close to a Thrasher's nest. Brown Thrashers are serious about guarding their young, and they will attack dogs, snakes, and even humans if they feel the nest is threatened. Their attacks are often severe enough to draw blood. (Darcy and Wili beware! :))
* The Brown Thrasher population is shrinking somewhat, probably in part because of the decline of fencerows, hedges, and shrubby areas. These are the areas in which they like to nest. We have had them in our back, rather wild, fencerow, and in our front hedge.
* Brown Thrashers are quite the songbirds. They have over 3000 songs in their repertoire. No wonder I have a hard time ID'ing all the calls in our backyard! :)
I am amazed at the attention to detail evident in God's creation of these fascinating birds.
|My first view when I finally managed to get out the door with my camera without scaring one off. I kept muttering under my breath..."PLEASE turn around, Mr. Thrasher."|
|He finally did. :)|
|Digging deep for worms/bugs. :)|
|And down again!|
|Brown Thrashers always seem to be strutting.|
|Posing in the sun...|
Bonus for today's post...I found this article on Brown Thrashers written by John J. Audubon, and thought it was fascinating...perhaps some of you will as well. :)
Be sure to visit Tauna's blog to see her focused on Glory post! Can't wait to see what she posts on this week!