Colorado has strange weather. It snowed last night, only a few inches, nothing like the east coast’s heavy storms, but enough to cover the cars and raise up the wind. It’s mindlessly whipping around the apartment complex, making the Aspen outside our window shake from the branches to the twigs. On several of these branches are robins, and some chickadees. Chickadees* do stick around, foraging through the winter, but I thought robins were migratory; it’s early February, what are they doing back here already? Usually this big Aspen, which shields us from the traffic below, is a hang out for crows. A bird I am connected to. A bird not afraid of my cats, as these robins and chickadees appear to be, not venturing onto our balcony where I just scattered bread crumbs and called as gently as I could through a heavy, sticky throat. Professor Fang has been watching through the sliding door, keeping the robins in the tree, for now. I lured him away for a minute, and one brave fat bird hopped on the railing and snatched a piece. Am hoping he’ll tell his friends and relations it’s all clear.
I’m not sure what this all means, the arrival of robins in the dead of winter (or do some actually stay here? Certain flocks of Canadian geese spend their winters here); suppose I should research this and post my findings. Later. For now I am content, watching their red breast feathers puff up against the wind off the mountains and listening to their morning chatter.
*The western chickadee does not call “chick-a-dee, dee, dee”, like the northeastern species, but more of a throaty, quick, chickad-(something guttural here). It took me a while to get used to this, having grown up hearing the longer call all over the woods I knew. Below is a photo of the Aspen just before it lost its leaves this fall, some early morning or other.