Mick's Stories, Poetry and Images

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Poems and images about Birds and Birding

Do Birds Have Christmas?


On a chilly Christmas morn, as I looked out the window

at a crystal coat of frost on the Mulberry tree,

I saw a sudden movement, like a darting shadow,

that quickly transformed, into a happy Chickadee.


A thought crossed my mind, as I watched this little friend.

Could I learn the truth, from a fine-feathered brother?

If the Chickadee could talk, my ear he would bend.

Do you birds have Christmas, or is this day just another?

 I watched, and listened, for action and sound.

Suddenly, a Brown Creeper, diving with speed

halted its plunge, a foot from the  ground,

to peck at some old suet covered with seed.


 More tiny friends appeared, to my delight.

 The tree filled with blacks, reds and yellows

as Goldfinch and Cardinals arrived in a flight.

Do birds have Christmas? Tell me, little fellows.


Some Juncos flew in, these darts of slate.

They were hopping and jumping like children at recess,

feeding on seeds with the ground as their plate.

Do they know of Christmas? I can only guess.


I pushed close to the window with my forehead,

as nuthatches and woodpeckers joined in the throng.

All colors of feathers, white, black, yellow and red.

Each different, but the same, all getting along.


 I sneaked open the window, and heard them all sing,

At last to my mind came all the right words.

It was as clear as their chorus, a choir on the wing.

Birds don’t have Christmas, Christmas has birds!


By Mick Zerr, Christmas morning, 2005




Long-eared Owl at Big Sioux Rec. Area S.D. Photo by Mick

The Watcher


Mick Zerr©2009


Eyes so round, always staring

Like small suns, forever glaring

Nothing lost, nothing missed

By the haunting, yellow disks

 Just watching...


A face of color, with rust for cheeks

Centered by the smallest of beaks

With a mustache of grey

Often red with prey

….Just watching


The ears, oh the ears!

But not how he hears

Just tufts of beauty

To the girls a cutie

..Just watching


A head to swivel, almost around

To pickup the littlest sound

Of mice and voles

Coming out of their holes

...Just watching


Silver moon is queen, shining bright

A movement in the trees, now silent flight

The Watcher no more, a flyer at last

An Owl with talons, a missile so fast.

….Now hunting

Bird Perspectives 1
Peopleing on 2-19-06
Dear fellow peoplers, it was cold today, but there was plenty of grain at the Corson feed lot. We were hoping for some birders to add to our life lists, since peopleing has been rather slow due to the weather, and of course, the constant danger from the Red-tailed ones who could care less about us Peoplers. 

We flew near every people’s car that came buy, but none seemed interested in us. That is a slam, since we feel that we are a rare and unique group of flyers, at least in South Dakota. I can’t wait till spring when many People Birders (PB’s) will be out, even though the competition with the non-residents, especially those fair weather peoplers, the Warblers, will be intense.

We were about ready to give up when a silver car filled with people came by very slowly. We quickly checked our field guides, and discovered it was a Honda CRV, a common car for PB’s. If we would be lucky enough to have PB’s in it, it could be a life-PB for most of us, especially if it contained more than one PB.
One of our newer members asked how we could tell a PB from a human who has stopped for another reason, and we quickly opened our field guide and showed him the telltale trait. The Binoculars! But we reminded him that not all PB’s have the same behaviors, for some have Cameras (p. 32 in the guide), and people who stop and have GUNS, mean fast flying away for us.

Anyway, we were flying all around the silver car and finally it stopped, and lo and behold, PB’s stepped out. We were so thrilled we Cooed at them, at let them get a good look at us before flying away to tell others about our sighting. Our new member exclaimed, “I’m hooked, peopleing is fun, and a lot less dangerous than teasing hunters for thrills!” I was really happy for him because it is really difficult to get younger birds interested in Peopleing.
From your Friendly Eurasian Collared Dove Peopleing Club

Mick Zerr © 2006-2011

When the Last Flock Flies

12. 21. 2012 ©Mick Zerr


The sky is Nature’s billboard,

Changing with the seasons.

Begging us to peer skyward

Offering us endless reasons.


Fall is fading, Winter looms ahead.

The birds are fat from endless feeding.

In fields and trees they hastily fed,

Readying for a southern greeting.


Squads of, black and red, rufous and white

Forming “V”s and lines so long;

Honking and squawking, day and night,

Composing a wondrous season song.


With haste the sky will turn its tune

From glorious sounds and singing wings

To winters snows and howling glume,

Leaving us the cold it brings.


Soon the fading V will be out of sight.

We’ll be gazing then at empty skies,

Wishing we could have joined the flight,

.......When the last flock flies.



Cardinal bathing

American Goldfinch

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

"Red Snow" December 2006

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Long-eared Wizard
By Mick 11-2007

Pine Sisken January '08

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Sharp-shinned Hawk with kill

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Baltimore Oriole

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Carolina Wren January '08


American Kestrel

Waiting for Supper