I’d get a lot more done around here without my little feathered friends. I glance out of the window by my desk and spot a yard full of robins, most of whom are bobbing (seriously) up and down atop the holly bushes planted too close to the front of the house. They gobble happily at the berries until I lean in for a closer look, then fly off to the trees.

Now I notice a towhee (formerly “Rufous-sided,” now simply “Eastern”) on the ground under the holly. And a male cardinal, bright orange-red in the tree above him. Hmm, who else is out there? At the moment, just the robins, deciding whether or not I can be trusted.

I know if I decide to look harder, I’ll see more: nuthatches (brown and black), chickadees, titmice, catbirds, mockingbirds, thrashers, goldfinches, house finches, purple finches, pine siskins, juncoes, and my favorite- bluebirds. And those are only the guys I can name. Add in at least three different types of woodpeckers and all the various wrens and sparrows (I admit that I’ve been lazy about learning the brown birds) and it’s a wonder I get anything done. Because once I spot one, I have to watch for a while. Thank goodness I find the doves boring.