Front Porch Stories: Residing amongst the Georgia geese
By KATHY BOHANNON, Special to The Weekly
We live in an area where the geese gather to host a dramatic flyover daily.
I wasn’t accustomed to their habits, as where we were living previously we only had the steady stream of crows and hawks. But we now have some wetlands near, and the geese have greeted us almost daily.
I figured they would be migrating, but according to birdsandwetlands.com, they have been Georgia birds since the 1970s.
There are two species in Georgia, the Canada Goose and the Snow Goose. I’m pretty sure ours are Canada geese, but really all I can tell is that they are definitely geese, and they fly with perfect form while honking orders from one part of the flock to another.
The weather finally gave us a chance to have some much-anticipated porch time this week. It is more than a breath of fresh air; it’s like a salve to the soul, this sitting quietly while sipping the morning coffee. I found myself listening for the sounds of the geese brigade, but either they have flown off or they were up much earlier than us.
Not to be outdone, there were plenty of small birds singing away, flitting from tree to tree, greeting the day with the vigor that only birds greet with. There is much chirping while staring from their perches into the grass for the occasional unfortunate worm or two. I have not yet learned if our resident birds are wrens, robins or chickadees, but they are all welcome here.
There was a time I “had” a whippoorwill. Not “had” as in the caged version, but “had” as in it lived on our property and would sing its song throughout the summer. It would sing each night and was actually pleasant to hear. Guests in our home found otherwise, as the whippoorwill’s song only gave them a restless night.
Having few trees, I doubt we will see much nesting as we did when we lived in the country. There was a wren family that came back every year to nest in the corner of our front porch. We were careful not to disturb them, mainly because the babies were so cute and we wanted them to thrive. We couldn’t be sure whether it was the parent birds or the hatchlings that returned each year, but return they did, and I got some great pictures. Those pictures didn’t come easy, as I had to cling to the porch rails and stretch as high as I could to get just the right angle. If they were awake, the babies would match my stretch with their own, hoping that I was the mom or dad bird bringing them food. Their little bobbing heads would wobble on skinny necks, eyes not yet open, and mouths as wide as could be. I always found myself wishing I had a worm or two to give them, but that was definitely the parent’s job and I wouldn’t want to stand in the way of their duties. Besides, the parents process the food, and that’s what the chicks needed.
While I’m hoping at some point that the whippoorwill will find us again and sing his summer songs, chances are the geese will be the ones that entertain us as we wait for them porch side. And the small birds that frequent our yard now, will fill in the gaps.
We will embrace whatever nature brings, but I sure do get attached to the “regulars” and I hope to see them again soon.
Kathy Bohannon is a freelance writer and Christian entertainer. She can be reached at [email protected]