Here are ‘the birds you may see’

“Here are ‘The Birds You May See,’” said the man with a small boy. The boy was dressed in green and blue stripes and tiny sneakers.

The man pointed to the plaque that told visitors the names of common birds in the garden while the little boy bounced around him, chattering, half-listening, half-looking at where he was pointing. The man turned from the sign to point to the bird feeders nearby.

“There are two birds on the feeders,” he said. “And there’s another one.” His hand was extended at the two tufted titmice and the black-capped chickadee that had just come to join them.

Unaware of what birds-on-feeders meant, the boy started dancing, prancing up to them.

In a loud voice, so his son could hear him, the man said, “Now, we don’t want to run up to the bird feeders.”

Pause.

In a voice much softer: “They’ll just fly away—”

The man watched the birds freeze for a split-second and then fly as the boy rushed to the pole on which the feeders hung.

But the birds had flown to close branches to wait for a break in the action, not easily deterred from their eating.

Almost before the boy rounded the side of the shed by the garden, the black-capped chickadee and tufted titmice had returned.

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