Not surprisingly, most of my clients are bird fanciers. I also am a wing nut or bird brain as well… On a recent trip to the Siskiyou crest for a much needed vacation, among the wonderment of ancient, gigantic true firs, I couldn’t help but notice the constant rain of seeds from the tops of almost every tree on the crest. I discovered the reason. Pastel painted crossbills and various finches were working the cones by the thousands! I couldn’t help but realize the importance of such an event. The trees rely on the birds as much as the birds need the trees. 

There are also isolated stands of Mountain hemlocks in the same area. In those hemlocks I saw my first Whiteheaded woodpeckers, hooray! 

Whisky Jacks, better known as Gray Jays, adorned my camp with their flutelike melodies, and the first sounds before daybreak were the trills of spotted towhees in the predawn greyness. Spruce grouse exploding underfoot when least expected, got my immediate attention at times. A special place for sure. I contemplated the complexity of the relationship of the bird/ tree scenario and concluded that they NEED each other to exist. If not for the other, neither would be there!

Among our urban forests in town, we find “volunteers.” I thought about this on my trip. Are there “volunteers” in the forest? Besides wind scatter and squirrels, the birds must be responsible for the spectacular subalpine forest I found myself in…

Oh how the avian community depends on the trees for food, shelter. and just plain ol’ life. I thought while being hauntingly stared at by a Great Gray Owl with moon-sized eyes.

I saw a hummingbird zip by and thought how impossible it would be to remember exactly where my nest was in that vast forest if I ventured too far from home…

What does all this bird talk have to do with tree work you may ask? 

Nothing really, unless you are a bird brain like me. Certain trees just remind me of certain birds and the other way around. 

Speaking of tree work, my mailbox is full, due to a week or so of no cell reception in the mountains. I can’t wait to go back for the spectacular bird/tree show, but alas, duty calls. As always, plant high and often, and keep your eye to the sky!

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