I signed up this year
to count birds at my birdfeeders
for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
The counting season began on Nov. 10,
so I cleaned out all the birdfeeders,
filled them with fresh seeds
and decided which two days this week
I would spend some time
counting the birds at the feeders.
This week is a big bird week.
Actually, they spend less time at the feeders
and a lot of their time
drinking from the bowls of water
I keep filled—
another witness to the fact that
the heading-into-a-three-year-drought
is impacting all living things.

This week,
I watched a flock of Robins (14),
a lone Northern Flicker (my first sighting);
(our friend Debra saw one too,
30 miles west of here),
a lone Western Bluebird (my first);
Harris Sparrows and White-Crowned Sparrows (11);
Cow Birds (5);
the resident Red-Bellied Woodpecker,
Bluejays (2);
Female Cardinal (1);
American Goldfinch (2);
Common Grackles (7).
That was during an hour and a half
of keeping an eye on the birdfeeders
hanging from the Hackberry.
Earlier, I saw two House Wrens
and in the neighborhood,
I’ve seen Meadowlarks,
the Great Blue Heron,
great flocks of Canada Geese arriving.
One morning this week,
my friend Cass,
who lives on a farm near Hennessey,
came upon a huge flock
of Sandhill Cranes!

The season
between birds
is over.