While outdoors to cut little stems of salal berries and evergreen huckleberries to paint – and earlier in the day picking blueberries – I kept noticing the silence. It’s broken only by the unmistakable “chick a dee dee dee” of chickadees. It’s comforting to hear them – calmer than the many-voiced busyness of spring, a mellow twitter hinting of the coming autumn.
I read that birds often stay hidden in late summer and early fall. After the time of breeding and raising their young, songs and territorial announcements being over for the year, many birds molt, replacing worn feathers with new. Bushes thick with leaves and berries make disappearing easy.
Another theory suggests that benevolent weather and plentiful food encourage birds go further afield to eat and store up fat. Perhaps our year-around residents, like towhees and juncos, leave the berries here for later to find when they return. Except for the blueberries, these berries belong to the birds.