My husband has taught us all to look out the window once in a while. This week it paid off because we got to observe multiple cute birds feasting in the dandelion patches in the lawn just beyond the back patio. Tuesday it was house finches, including a predominantly pinkish-red male. I tried to step out and get a photograph, but they were gone before I had quietly opened the sliding door 3 inches. I then tried to sit out with the camera for a while, but they never came back down from the gorgeously green mature maple,oak, and locust before I got chilled and had to go in.
Today we spotted what we think is a Lazuli Bunting. I am reasonably satisfied with a few photos I obtained through the window and was able to compare it with information in a book specifically about birds in Idaho. I’ve never heard of a Lazuli Bunting before, but this book is organized by what color stands out on the birds. It was very easy to use; it makes me very nearly feel like an ornithologist! My “studies” have also lead me to this website that has recordings of the bird songs.
The trouble is that I was just getting ready to kill the dandelions. I’ve been feeling terrible guilt for years since ours is THE dandelion nursery in the neighborhood. I’m sure the neighbors hold up their crucifixes (or the equivalent) as they go by. This year there was time and energy to begin eradication. But the bird experts say that the little guys really like the dandelions, greens and seeds. Oh, what to do?! My 17 year old son suggests maintaining limited patches so that it is safe to go barefoot in the yard in most places. My 14 year old points out that the back yard, where most of the bright yellow is, is not visible from the front. I think I’m leaning toward maintaining bird habitat, at least for now.