365 Nature – Day 31

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.


Today I decided to do my first Project Feederwatch. I got ready, binoculars on the window ledge, camera out, tally sheet filled out and then I sat down. At first all went well, I counted two Black-capped Chickadees, a handful of Dark-eyed Juncos and an Anna’s Hummingbird. I also ticked off House Finches, first two, then four, then eight then finally twelve at once.

And then, suddenly, all the birds disappeared. I looked around, no cats. I searched the trees, no hawks. I listened, no bird sounds at all. Usually when there’s a predator around I hear about it, but they were all silent. I sat and waited, waited and sat. For probably ten minutes I sat and watched with not a single bird coming back to the yard. Eventually a Black-capped Chickadee flew to the feeder, then an Anna’s Hummingbird. But although I sat for an entire hour, the birds never really came back. Until I was done. After I put everything away the feeders were suddenly full again.

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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of NATURE OBSCURA: A City’s Hidden Natural World, coming Spring 2020 from Mountaineers Books. She writes freelance articles about natural history and has bylines in Crosscut, ParentMap, National Wildlife Magazine and others. On the side she writes fiction.

Kelly holds a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.
Kelly Brenner
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