Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Fine for Finches

Fine for Finches   

In the summer our forsythia bush is green and full, creating a private nesting environment for a host of our local House Finches. They are the little birds that flock around the feeders and serenade us with song.

The bush is pretty bare, now that winter has arrived. A few leaves are hanging on in homage to the warm weather we had this fall but otherwise it would not seem to be a particularly good place for protective covering. Yet the finches find it to be a good spot to hang out.

And it is understandable. Look at the forsythia’s winter coloring, all grays and browns, perfect blend for a finch. At least for the female House Finch. Male House Finches are more colorful, with splashes of red feathers on their heads and chest. But even so, the inside of the bush is a tangle of branches, easy enough for such a small bird to move through but hard for a larger bird, such as the predatory hawk that has been hovering around the treetops recently, to navigate. It seems that the bush’s qualities are just fine for finches. They come out when they choose and hunker in when they need to.
And perhaps that is a quality we humans should cultivate. It is wonderful to be out in the open, to show the world our best, our beauty, our skills. Then there are times for introspection. This year has been rough with storms, with guns, with political stagnation.

Let’s make next year safer. Let’s be proactive in the face of natural threats. Let’s be protective of our public spaces. Let’s work together for the good of all. Let’s make 2013 a year of cooperation and caring so that we can sing our own beautiful songs.

Listen to the finches:

Some finch facts:

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