Monday, January 5, 2009

Yank-Yank the Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis,
known as Yank-Yank the Nuthatch by Thornton W. Burgess

If wishing makes it so, I’d like a nuthatch.

We search for things every day--each of us.
If you work in a library, those things are books. Not found on the shelf where they belong, perhaps moved a place or two to the left or right, or carried some distance away.
Often, still there, but hidden.
We cannot find them.

So, the question rebounds to me--the cataloger. Who, with every addition to the library’s collection, handles, opens, browses, peruses…describes—
then, lovingly passes each on…to the shelf.
In the process, learning each well--its color, size, distinct markings…
and remembering its image--
that saved impression against which to match the search.
Because when you know what you’re looking for,
finding it becomes easy.

So, too, I find it is with the birds.
A jumble of forms in a guide, page after page, side by side--of all colors, shapes and sizes. So numerous, that when looking at just one upon a branch--a small, feathered thing, the flood of possibilities soon feels like a tidal wave.

But if I take just one,
and set it apart from the rest--
lovingly turning it over and over,
discovering what describes it,
I find finding it—
easy.

Somewhere out there, is a nuthatch—
A Red-breasted, feathered thing, smaller than the White-breasted so often seen. With a black eye-stripe and white brow, but buffy orange below.
A visitor from the north woods, wintering more south—
like the Sapsucker I hoped to see, and found!

Waiting for a nuthatch—
if wishing makes it so.

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28 comments:

Pushpendra Singh Sisodia said...

nice blog keep writing.

Richard said...

Great post....keep looking. I only see the RBN here in MN. in the spring on migration for some reason.

Cicero Sings said...

We have many red-breasted nuthatches here ... regulars at the feeders. But we don't get the variety of birds (in winter) that you get. Pretty slim pickin's here.

RuneE said...

Beautiful bird, but I think totally unknown around here. Thank you for sharing!

anthonynorth said...

A most enjoyable post.

JoAnn's-D-Eyes said...

Nice bird Nina,

Happy New YEAR
and Happy ABC wednesday greetings from JoAnn/Holland

www.joannwalraven.blogspot.com

Liz said...

We have lots of nuthatches in our garden!

Rinkly Rimes said...

I love the delicacy of those blue-grey feathers.

swamp4me said...

Come on down, we got 'em here!

Anne-Berit said...

Beautiful bird.Have a nice day:o)

Mamapippa said...

Great bird photo ! I've searched for the Dutch translation of a nuthatch, here in Belgium it is called 'boomklever' ...
Byebye !

Mamapippa said...

Great bird photo ! I've searched for the Dutch translation of a nuthatch, here in Belgium it is called 'boomklever' ...
Byebye !

T.R. said...

My IATB host duties debut Thursday and I plan to add this or the Birds on Ice post unless you object. Let me know by tomorrow night!

Thanks,

Tim

BABOOSHKA said...

They hide so I can't photograph them. Gorgeous little birds.

giggles said...

Beautiful photo...one of my favorite little birds!!

photowannabe said...

Great photo of a wonderful bird. Love the writing about it too.

Lynne said...

I'll send you one Nina!

Carol said...

Beautiful little bird...love your writing...so interesting to read

Cynthia said...

May your nuthatch dreams come true.

Grace and Bradley said...

Great photo, great writting and great blog. Enjoyed your Olympic National Park slide show

kikamz said...

nuthatches? now that's something you don't see everyday on this side of the planet.


mine is here. hope you can visit if you have time.

happy wednesday!

Wanda said...

I have enjoyed your wonderful blog for so long; my daughter introduced me to it. It's informative and entertaining!

mrsnesbitt said...

Fantastic post!

Kristin said...

Hi Nina- so glad to hear you will be attending the Birding Festival at the New River Gorge. If you are staying at the Class VI facility, you will love it. The scenery is unmatched and the owners are fabulous people. My husband guided there before we were married and it really is a natural wonder. Fill us in on the event as it unfolds!

RuthieJ said...

Nuthatches are one of my favorite birds. I have only 1 white-breasted in my yard this winter and wish I had more because they're so much fun to see and hear.

dguzman said...

Love that insistent little "yank."

Granny Smith said...

How effectively you use the simile of searching for a book and a bird? Each of us searches for something that is there but as yet unfound.

Kerri said...

One of my most favorite birds! And I saw my first Sapsucker over the weekend...What Joy!!