My tot has started naming all the animals that visit us in the backyard. He likes it when I take pictures of them so he can point out his “friends”. Each one has a name, though all the birds of one type have the same name. Even if there are 10 Grackles in the yard, they will have the same name. It is pretty cute to tell you the truth. I love pointing out the different birds or animals that pass by and sometimes it is hard to catch them with the camera! All of these photos were actually taken inside and zoomed in through the windows, otherwise they would have ran away. We decided we would introduce a few of our Backyard Friends to you!
This is Bifol the Bird, he (or she?) is a Mourning Dove. When we first moved into the house we had two Doves that I named Bert & Bernice (after Bert and his Pigeon on Sesame Street) and they were inseparable. Then all the sudden we had almost 10! I’m pretty sure all of them spawned from the two that found a place in our Backyard and built a nest near a bush. Mourning Doves are known for building nests close to people and their generations returning year after year.
Bifol the Bird also likes to play games with my tot. He will hop around and make sure that Judah is following him and they’ll play follow the leader until Bifol flutters up to land on the fence. He will actually pitter patter up to you as close as 3ft away and just sit there. He is the bird that comes to our window and pecks at it until we bring food.
This is Gary the Grackle. We actually have over a dozen Grackles (or more, who knows) that fly down and scare everyone else away, but they’re all named Gary to my tot. Gary is pretty big and last year all the Gary’s came around and started fights all the time! I actually took photos of a Battle at the Bird Bath once.
Last year there was also a baby Grackle that wandered up to my front door. We took him in for a little bit and warmed him up since it was a cold night and then put him back under a bush where we found him. Unfortunately for me, his Mommy saw me putting him back and tried to attack me! I won’t be saving anymore little baby Gary’s that they decide to knock out of their nests.
This is Robby the Robin. Are you noticing a trend with the names yet? My tot loves rhyming words. We have lots and lots and lots of Robbies in our yard and mostly they just come by to hunt for worms in the soil. They don’t really mind us either. I can walk around outside and they’ll stick around in the yard waiting to see if I’m going to put out sunflower seeds. They also like to drop their babies out of the trees into the yard, but thankfully it is generally my neighbors yard and the squawking babies don’t keep me up all night.
Bob the Bunny (or bunnies) like to come around in the afternoon and late in the evening. There are a few families of bunnies living in the area and I LOVE seeing their little babies in the spring. They all hop around in the daffodils and eat the apples when they ripen in the summer. They’re so cute! Too bad they scurry away the moment they lay eyes on you.
We also get a lot of Cardinals that come to visit, but I already took pictures of them, their name is Carney. They’re really beautiful to see since the colors are so vibrant on the males. You can sometimes catch them “kissing” their mates, though really they are just feeding them the seeds. I think they are my favorite to watch since they have such beautiful rituals they do while flying and scuttling on the ground. Their songs are sweet whereas the Grackles are annoying, the Doves are quiet and the Robins are loud. Plus, they are kind of a favorite thing here in St. Louis!
There is also a family of opossums that all tag in a line and walk across the backyard board beams at the same time every night. They make the most awful sound whenever they see me and freak out, so I hate trying to sneak up on them. It just amazes me that I live in a little suburban area of the city and yet all these beautiful animals come wandering through my backyard. I’ve seen Redtailed Hawks and even a Fox once! It is pretty normal when the odd cat or dog come sneaking by, but when massive Raccoon’s start peeking out from the corners of our backyard in the early morning, it can be a bit surprising! We lived in a little country town for the first few years of my tot’s life and had never seen the abundance of wildlife that exists right here outside the city.
I love that my little guy can grow up with these backyard friends and be able to get so close to nature just by wandering out the back door. Spring brings with it so many lovely things, but I think this has to be my favorite. There is nothing more precious than to see the joy in my son’s face when someone lands in the yard and hear him exclaim, “Look! That’s Bifol, Bifol is my friend!”