July 16, 2016

An adult Say’s Phoebe is back on a top fencewire: the birds must be done with their nesting among the buildings of neighboring ranches and homesteads.

Cecilia and Cecil Roadrunner become the bolder as the July droughty spell continues, though she is the more friendly and calls from off in the garden edge to announce her arrival and tell her hope that I’d be putting out water for them. I’ve stopped keeping the hanging bird bowl full, the honeybees have become so thick flying in and out to it and fill the rim inches deep with their vibrating bodies, and fill the patio with a too discomfiting noise. They must have a hive down over the ridge-edge in the canyon below to the northeast, not far away–I can make out their coming and going in that direction. Cecilia will come quickly to the water I pour into a deep plant saucer (I try to make as much splashing noise as I can doing that, to alert the other Roadrunners), she’ll run in to drink as soon as I go back in the house, but Cecil is much more wary than that though his wariness in the end is overcome by his thirst if I don’t hang out right there. Cedric is another case, the young and disheveled and gangly bird if he knows I’m inside will come to the porch step and look in through the screen and clack his bill rapidly and give out a Roadrunner trill until I come out with the pitcher of water. He does not move off, but follows me over to where the saucer lies and drinks at my feet as soon as his dish is full. He won’t do this if the bees come in too quickly for him to have the water only to himself. I make a burring sound with my lips when he’s underfoot, and he crouches, and lowers and quivers his wings and lets out Roadrunner mews and burrings himself, then drinks his fill before the bees zoom in and scare him off.