There is something about the unique stillness and quiet that winter brings. I love the full moons that happen this time of year, making any little bit of snow or frost sparkle like millions of diamonds right outside my window. I am a creature of the sun and can already feel her slow return. My internal clock is starting to reset and I am looking forward to getting in some walks and runs outside (the treadmill and elliptical are just not cutting it).
I sense a change in the birds too. Ever so gradually I hear them singing a little bit more which truly does make my heart happy. I have been watching for a little kestrel every morning on my way to work. He sits so patiently on the power lines waiting for food to make an appearance, tail bobbing away. This is also the time of year when our larger birds and owls are pairing up and repairing their nests for the upcoming baby season. We are so fortunate to have some Bald Eagles here in Pittsburgh that have become quite popular and are photographed, monitored and even have their own web cam.
Even in my own home I can sense the change with my bird, a cockatiel, Monroe. He came to me about 15 years ago when the songbird organization that I was volunteering for got a call about a pet bird that was flying around outside and landing on people’s heads. They had him contained and said that if we didn’t come to get him they were going to let him loose. So I drive about an hour, reach my hand in the cage (so silly for someone that didn’t realize at the time the damage that a small bird could do) and tell him to “step up”. Bless his little heart and what does he do? Steps up onto my hand and looks at me, tilts his head and says “prettiest bird”. Even with attempts to find his original owner, from that point on he has been mine. He has been with me through some pretty tough times including four moves, one terrifying escape, the addition of 3 cats and a huge construction project. He is bonded to me, in his eyes and tiny brain, I am his mate. About 3 weeks ago he began to become much more vocal with me around, and not the cute chatter that he normally does, but the screaming that any bird owner knows all too well, that seems to say – “Hey look at me I am over here waiting for you! Hey! Hey it’s me!”
More recently I could hear him digging around in the newspaper on the bottom of his cage. The next morning when I was changing his water I saw the most adorable ….. gift. He made me a nest, because I am his mate, and he for sure, 100% loves me.