Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

Brownie and Other Wild Birds

on February 17, 2023

(Photo by Dawn Pisturino. Copyright 2023 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.)

This little fellow freezing his tail off in 26-degree weather is Brownie, a curve-billed Arizona thrasher. He’s cold and hungry, waiting for his meatball. Yeah, you heard me right. Brownie likes meatballs, and when he shows up looking for food, he gets one-half of a mini meatball. He grabs it with his bill and carries it away, sometimes with a smaller thrasher hot on his trail. Sometimes the smaller bird gets it, and Brownie has to do without. When the two had a baby bird during the summer, the baby would run up to Brownie, shake his feathers, and shriek like a maniac. He would keep doing this until Brownie fed him. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Before the rains came, though, he was getting very aggressive with the other birds. I watched him viciously attack a sparrow who was encroaching on his territory after I put out birdseed. He held him down with his claw and pecked him, while the poor bird was screeching for dear life. Thankfully, the little sparrow managed to get away.

Back East, where there’s plenty of water and vegetation, birds thrill us with their birdsong, beauty, and peaceful demeanor. They are equally beautiful and melodic in the Arizona desert, but drought and sparse vegetation can make them competitive and aggressive. They begin to prey on one another. We ended up with no baby doves last summer because predators kept attacking the nests. My husband and I were heartbroken.

Buddy is a dove that hangs out on our property. In 2014, he was attacked by a hawk and managed to get away. But he had a huge gash in his breast and had difficulty flying. There was nothing we could do to help him so he hung out under an oleander bush, and we made sure he had plenty of food and water. Miraculously, he survived. His feathers grew back in, leaving a big black mark where his wound had been. But we can always identify him as our little “Buddy,” and he almost always shows up for feeding time. When he doesn’t show up, I worry myself sick that something happened to him. But he’s strong and healthy and gets right in there with the other birds and seems to get plenty to eat. He had to learn to be assertive to survive.

I’ve never been able to get a good photo of Buddy. I was already outside with the camera taking pictures of the snow on the mountains when Brownie showed up. He very politely posed for me!

Dawn Pisturino

February 17, 2023

Copyright 2023 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.


53 responses to “Brownie and Other Wild Birds

  1. Paula Light says:

    Tough little guy! ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Timothy Price says:

    That’s a beautiful Curve-billed Arizona thrasher. It’s cold out. 10ΒΊ F this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kirsten says:

    Awww I love this. Brownie is so cute and I’m glad Buddy survived. Hopefully get a snap of him soon.πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Belladonna says:

    Awwww how cute is he!!!!! Soo glad that he made it through

    Liked by 1 person

  5. aparna12 says:

    Wow! That’s sooo beautiful. ❀❀❀❀😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. utahan15 says:

    a widget will not swallow
    so it doth follow
    suet seed
    is their need

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a cutie- and pose for photos like a pro!! Hopefully you’ll capture buddy soon… πŸ’š

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Meelosmom says:

    What a great post, Dawn. I loved hearing about Buddy and the Arizona thrasher. We feed our birds, squirrels, and raccoons and have lots of survivor stories. I should write them down.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. OMG, he is so cute, and round.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. orededrum says:

    So delicate and beautiful ! Thank you for this wonderful post !

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Awwww, what a sad story, especially about your doves. πŸ˜₯ Brownie was posing to get that half a meatball. LOL 😜 No doubt you snapped an awesome photo of Brownie. πŸ“ΈπŸ¦πŸ“Έ

    Liked by 1 person

  12. surabhirawat says:

    Something about this scene really struck me, but I’m still trying to find the words for it. Great!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Max Ethan says:

    What a cutie- and pose for photos like a pro!! Hopefully you’ll capture buddy soon…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love the story about these birds. Love for nature, Dawn. Amazing and naturally compelling. I’m glad Buddy survived the attack, at least for the time. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Beautiful ❣️

    Liked by 1 person

  16. oh love this story Dawn. Buddy is a cutie. Well written my friend!πŸ’ž

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Layla Todd says:

    I so love this little story about how something as simple as keeping an eye out for our bird friends evokes pleasure. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Love this post and as you know I LOVE wild birds. When I lived in Jordan in the winter it gets cold and snows too. I made a small pot of cooked rice and set it out all along the window sill..It cooled of in like 13 seconds, and as soon as it did, the sparrows and doves were gobbling it up. Here in Costa Rica there is plenty of food all year round for our bird friends, but we still put out heaping portions of bananas and papayas on a daily basis. It’s amazing what you can see and learn about bird nature just observing them!! Take good care of Brownie:) β€οΈπŸ™πŸŒΉ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I love birds and all wildlife (except snakes and other creepy things), and we try to do our part to help them and keep them healthy and happy. I love listening to the birds sing. Birds are very intelligent creatures! Ours definitely have us wrapped around their little claws! You are lucky to live in such a lush place where the wildlife is so colorful and abundant. Have a beautiful day, Karima!


  19. SheLyon says:

    Just loved it ❀️❀️❀️

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Haha! “He very politely posed for me.”πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

  21. What a heartwarming post, Dawn! ❀ Lovely photo. I always enjoy watching wildlife. In the wintertime, we fed the birds when we lived in Virginia.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. rothpoetry says:

    He looks like a cousin to our Carolina Wren!

    Liked by 1 person

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