The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Our Resident Bird

By Susan M. Thigpen © 1990

Issue: April, 1990

When The Mountain Laurel moved into the office building at 220 South First Street in Wytheville, Virginia last April, we discovered it was already occupied. Above the front door there is a board with a hole in it. The board is not tight to the building, but is warped an inch or two away from the building.

One night, as we were opening the door from the outside, we happened to look up and see small, light brown tail feathers extending down from under the board. We realized it was a bird nesting there, probably gaining access through the hole in the board.

The bird was there every night until the weather warmed into spring and one day, we realized he was not there anymore.

When cold weather approached in fall, we looked up at the door one night and the bird was back. We never see him in the day and have never gotten a good look at him to tell what kind of bird he is. (We think of the bird as "him" for some reason.)

We have put out a bell shaped bird seed feeder, but haven't noticed him feeding at it. We know nothing about the bird except that we share the same establishment.

Where does he go in summer? Where does he spend his day? Why is he all alone? Why doesn't he roost with other birds of his species, whatever that is? He's quite a mystery, but he is one of the little details of life that fascinates and creates the small memories that you seem to remember above greater triumphs and defeats.

Spring is here and the bird will probably be gone soon. We hope he comes back in the fall and it would make us very happy if he brought a mate. If he doesn't, we'll wonder what happened to him and hope for the best. Human beings are strange creatures to care about such things, but then caring is what life should be all about.