I like my seat by the window.
It seems a good gathering place—
I, on the inside, typing and looking out,
while they, from the branch look in.
For the most part, perching birds, or passerines, who, between trips to the feeders or hops along the ground, light on the small branches and rest a while. Or holding a small, black sunflower seed carefully between their toes, skillfully tap at it until they can pry a tender morsel from within.
Braced against a cold wind, I can barely see their toes, three forward and “thumb” behind, wrapped tightly and tucked in warmly beneath fluffed feathers. Reds, and blues, greens and golds--they fill this small tree with their colorful forms.
Perched throughout the branches.
And watch me watching.
With them, but a different sort, of a different order, this little Downy, whose two-toe forward, two-toe backward stance makes him a great climber--like a parrot, not a passerine. Up and down the trunks he hops, barely pausing long enough to look around.
Never pausing to perch.
And never seeing me, tapping, from the other side of the glass.
Passerines, birds in the order Passeriformes, are perching birds and make up more than 50 percent of bird species in the world. They have anisodactyl feet, meaning three toes facing forward, while the hallux is behind.
Woodpeckers belong to the order Piciformes. They possess zygodactyl feet, meaning the toes are arranged in pairs, the second and third toe in front, while the fourth and hallux are behind.
Other birds with zygodactyl feet include parrots, macaws, parakeets, cuckoos, roadrunners and owls.