The Bird Word


Last Sunday after enjoying (and envying) the splashes of color at my friend’s feeder, I switched to black oil sunflower seeds in my feeder. I put the seed out on Saturday evening and first thing Sunday morning, I had finches at the feeder!  I couldn’t believe how quickly they appeared.  I hadn’t seen one finch this spring and in less than 12 hours, there were more than half a dozen of them happily feeding in my yard!  How did they know?



The Bird Word
Do they read a daily flyer
to alert them one and all?
Do they indulge in back-fence talk
and disclose each new windfall?

Do they banter at the birdbath
’bout the tasty treat du jour?
Do they gossip while they’re gorging
at the feeder by the door?

Do the bluejays trade in hearsay,
while the chickadees chitchat?
Is there a message to decipher
in Woodpecker’s rat-a-tat?

Do the sparrows spread the good news?
Have they a coded whistle?
Could one chirp mean sunflower seeds
and two long tweets mean thistle?

I suspect they gather nightly
to exchange the bird seed news
and to plan their daytime visits
to the feeders that they choose.

Now when I hear their trilling song
sweetly fill the morning air,
I wonder if each note’s a clue,
information that they share.

I plan to sit and ponder
how the word spreads with such speed,
but I’m heading to the feed store first
to buy more bags of seed!

Molly Hogan (c) 2016

To enjoy more poetry, head to the Poetry Friday Roundup hosted by Michelle H. Barnes at  My Little Ditty.




19 thoughts on “The Bird Word

  1. cindaroo42 says:

    Your post makes me wonder about the birds in my own yard! Maybe I’ll buy a feeder today- I certainly hear them. They are probably gossiping about how unhelpful I am!


  2. mbhmaine says:

    I’m sure they’d be thankful, Cindy! Enjoy the down time and have fun on your trip! (I forgot my power cord and have to go back to school today! Ack!)


  3. katswhiskers says:

    This is absolutely delightful. Love all your little play on words. Enjoy your visitors!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dana Mastropieri says:

    You should try to get published. You are consistently extraordinary.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jama says:

    Love your poem! I miss putting out bird feeders and watching all the birds come. We just have too many squirrels where we live so have stopped putting out seed. The goldfinches were always a favorite. I used to wonder about all their bird talk too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Darn squirrels! We’d stopped putting out food for years, fearing we were accessories to murder. Now that our cats are geriatric, we’re finally able to feed the birds again. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Jama.


  6. Such a clever, fun poem, Molly! I love imagining a secret society of birds leaving messages in code. Happy Poetry Friday!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. sheridoyle says:

    Amazing story and delightful poem! I have often wondered the same about the birds. We have had many red cardinals and chickadees but no yellow finches yet. Must try the black oil sunflower seeds.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Amy says:

    Molly, I have always been in awe of your written work, but I also have a new found appreciation for your photography. ~Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Linda Baie says:

    Oh Molly, I love this, that “birdseed” news. Your questions are perfect, and I do wonder how did they know?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mbhmaine says:

    Thanks, Linda! There are at least a dozen goldfinches and the occasional purple finch or two everyday now. It’s such fun but I still wonder…


  11. maryleehahn says:

    All kinds of perfect!

    We keep our feeders stocked all winter, so we’ve had the fun of watching our goldfinches brighten from winter-brown to sunshine-yellow in the past couple of weeks (in spite of record cold temps for awhile there…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, MaryLee! I think I’ll continue with the sunflower seeds over this winter and see if the finches stick around. I’d love to watch their color change to mark the coming of spring!


  12. Bernadette says:

    Oh, this was too clever and very timely because I was just speaking about how ducks keep coming back to nest year in and year out at the same exact place and cannot possibly be the same duck. We were wondering how they get the information that this was a safe location.

    Liked by 1 person

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