Birds. Once you start paying attention it’s all over. Calvin Simonds is a pen name, so who knows who the real author is but whoever they are they are paying attention to our feathered friends. COVID and Woodhouse Scrub Jays were the ticket for me. Plenty of time to notice.
Private Lives of Garden Birds covers a lot of the usual suspects but does so in a way that unlocks keys to bird behavior. Why did that jay buzz my head this morning? Was he/she after my coffee? Does he/she know my wife hates anything that flies? Actually, no. Not even close. Jays, robins, chickadees, sparrows, crows and more. Simonds shares his encounters while gardening on his rural Massachusetts farm. As I was reading this at sunrise in Northern New Mexico I was observing the crows, jays, sparrows and robins around me thinking “Okay, got it.”
Birding feels like a second career, but a quiet career running parallel to my “normal” life. Anywhere, anytime, it’s there waiting for me. Simonds combines science and observation in a simple, constructive way. I especially loved the chapter on hummingbirds. If you like birds, of course you are going to read it.