A few years back, Terence Mosher of SUNY Fredonia gave a talk at Audubon on Birds and Flowers. It was an interesting talk, because he paired a bird with a particular flower and then explained the connection. He had beautiful slides showing both the birds and the blooms. One of my favorites was the tying of the goldfinch – brilliant black and yellow, with the purple of the late-blooming thistle. The American Goldfinch is one of the last birds to nest in our area. They seem to wait for the thistle to go to seed, just so they can use the lovely fluff for nesting material. (Thanks to Jayne – Nature55 on Flickr – for use of her goldfinch here… click on the image to see more of her amazing nature shots!)
This spring, I find myself making my own connections. Today, for example, hiking with a different Terry and his dog Mozart, I heard the drumming and calls of a Pileated Woodpecker. And as I came into the woods, I found a rather large patch of Cut-leaved Toothwort. My first pairing: Pileated Woodpecker and Cut-leaved Toothwort. The connection to the wildflower isn’t as intimate as between goldfinch and thistle. This time, it’s just a matter of being in bloom at the same time the bird is establishing territory and so forth. But it’s a connection, none-the-less and I’m pretty happy to have made it. (Thanks to Michael, aka “Northlight” on Flickr, for use of this Pileated Woodpecker photo. For more of his amazing nature shots, click on the image.)
Now, I lied a little. The toothwort I found wasn’t quite blooming. It’s these blasted cold temperatures! It was in the 30s again today with a “RealFeel” in the 20s. (I was glad I had my long johns on!) I’m sure it won’t be long, though. A day or two of sunshine, and these buds will open.
Leave a comment! Tell me another good bird-bloom matching!