When I was out replacing a couple of the boxwoods along the front of the yard yesterday, it was getting close to sundown and the doves and grackles were getting pretty eager to eat at the feeders that were about 15 feet away from me. There were so many of them in the trees above me – literally hundreds! – I was starting to get nervous about the possibility of attack. But at one point, I stopped digging and sat quietly on the sidewalk in front of the house, and soon enough, they all started coming in to eat.

Most of the doves swooped in to feed on the ground, as is their habit, and most of the grackles stayed back in the trees, which is not their habit except that they’re usually pretty skittish around us. (It’s not uncommon to see upwards of 100 grackles in our front yard at sundown, as long as we’re inside and no one is walking by on the sidewalk.) Anyway, I managed to get a few photos with my Treo of the birds starting to risk flying in for some food, and I made them into a QuickTime slide show (940 KB .mov file behind the link), but they’re blurry and they really don’t capture the magnitude of the experience. Picture many, many times the amount shown in the photos and imagine being just a few yards away the whole time. It was very cool.

Birds! Eating right in front of me.

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