From hummingbirds to hawks / by Gwil Evans

This is such a quiet time in the gardens at Momiji-en. The leaves have fallen, most are corralled and pruning has come to a halt until the days warm up again. About the only action in the garden now is the comings and goings of the many birds we host annually.

Seldom seen perched, this fellow was guarding his food source

I always worry about the hummingbirds cause they’re so small and I can imagine they could freeze solid if they held still long enough. I have been so heartened this year by their constant presence in the various camellias throughout the garden. Evidently there is enough sweet nectar in their flowers to keep the little ones in flight. They particularly like the Yuletide variety that has blossoms identical to the red plastic flowers with yellow centers usually seen on the nectar feeders that everyone hangs up on their porches. I’m happy we can aid in their survival by providing a more natural, fresh, and healthy diet!

Always nice to shake-off after a good shower

This morning I was fortunate enough to watch a large bird glide over the garden and land on a nearby telephone pole to preen. It was some sort of hawk (probably a “red tail”) but a juvenile one that was missing most of the identifying marks that I’m familiar with. I could imagine without all the leaves on the trees the hawk had a good bird’s eye view of the ground and critters that might be scampering about below.

Good spot for a bird's eye view

The warm sun also probably felt good. He was followed in the parade by a flock of chickadees flitting about inside the pine tree outside the garden room window. They certainly were busy!

Beautiful tail feather patterns

From the tiny to the large and back to the tiny with all the usual mid-sized birds arriving in between. The winter garden may be quiet but Nature never sleeps.