Posts in Category: bird



The Bay-breasted Warbler
at Magee Marsh,
along the Erie Shore,
in northern Ohio,
cocks his head,

I peek into his moment,
privileged to share.

He is aware of me,
(if he is aware at all)
only as an possible obstruction,
(the way a tree trunk would be)
in his progress toward a meal.

I, on the other hand,
am very aware of him
as I swing to keep him in
the narrow view of the lens.

I admire his single minded
approach to life
and have to grin
to see him so intent.

I suspect that, in fact,
to an impartial observer of a third species
I, camera to my eye,
might look a lot like him.

Uncommon Crow


How often do you see
the silvery feather bases
on the nape and shoulders
of the common crow?

Like it has another bird
altogether hidden under there.

Not unlike some people
I think I know,
thought I knew,
until the wind blew
hard enough to ruffle
their neck feathers.

Anna’s at his Bath


The Anna’s Hummingbird
sits, impossibly,
on the rock edge,
the very lip,
where the water falls…

dividing the water
like a tiny Moses,
the rod of his bill
held high.

The gorget flashes
like glory over the waters,
even in the shadows
of the ornamental stream.

You have to wonder
if he could not have found
somewhere more convenient,
more comfortable, more secure,
for his bath.

But then he is, perhaps,
in all his ways,
showy enough
to off-set his size.

The Eye of the Pelican


In the Pelican’s eye we see
the confidence to soar…

to sense ahead of us
the constant upwelling of good will,
of creation, of love
that is the current that should carry us
soaring into a future
where we are all all we can be,
where we matter to each other,
where we each are the upwelling
where others soar.

Preventive Medicine


Catch yourself reflected
in a Woodcock’s eye.

One dose, taken yearly
(or as directed),
for the clarity of your soul.

Tundra Dreams?


The first year Snowy Owl
that is wintering
in the marsh behind the dunes
at our local beach, sits often
at the tip most top
of a three-story pine
on the landward side,
surveying her acres
of open fields, marsh,
the wide mouth of the Mousam River,
and the bit of beach and open ocean
she can see over the dunes.

I have a feeling the treeless tundra
of her far north home
and breeding ground
is going to strike her
as awfully flat.

Do you suppose her summer sleep
will be disturbed by owlish dreams
(if there be such)
full of the piney heights
of her winter in Maine?

Snowy Owls and Gratitude


The roof ridge, or the chimney pot,
to the Snowy Owl, out of its element,
far south in numbers
after a summer of abundance
on the tundra,
is, after all, only elevation
convienently placed in the landscape…
a rock surrogate, the equivalent
of any rise, any height,
simply a vantage point.

If it leaks a little heat,
well, so do rocks on a sunny day.

I don’t think they are the least bit aware
of sitting on someone’s house.

And the concept of gratitude
is certainly beyond them.

And that’s okay.

It is not beyond me,
and I am grateful for every
Snowy I see
sitting on the ridge-top
(or the chimney pot)!



#picturepoem #birds #hummingbirds

The Anna’s sits on the branch tip
at Famosa Slough in San Diego,
chirps, chipps, chatters,
so uncharacteristic for a hummingbird,
so perfectly Anna’s.

And then it turns it’s head:
the sun lights the gorget,
flames the tiny feathers
of the full face helmet.


So. Now you got my attention!



The first in a  series of #picturepoems featuring birds.

The Song Sparrow sits
and sometimes sings
on Red Hot Poker Aole
atop the San Diego sea-cliff,
above the crashing surf,
a song so loud
so insistent so alive,
it makes the poker blush
and turns me bodily
from Sea Lion views:
face to face with such urgency,
so much vibrance, such assurance,
it can only be, however unlikely,  
a Song Sparrow.