Archives for posts with tag: birds

My somewhat under-filled schedule allows for too much procrastination. The little (and big) tasks on my list take on less urgency when I tell myself I have plenty of time to get to them. As a result, I don’t always accomplish what I should. 

The two bird feeders in my front yard are an example: I noticed last week that they needed to be filled. Today, as I walked to the house on the way back from an errand, I took the few minutes to take care of it.

After releasing Waldo from his crate and pouring myself a cup of coffee, I glanced out of the kitchen window. There they were: bright Cardinals, Goldfinches, and Purple Finches, dithering around the feeders with their more soberly dressed counterparts.

“You get more birds when you fill the feeders” I snarked to myself. The metaphor walloped me between the eyes. Well, duh…


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.

George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (

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