And then one day quite by accident, I found out the name: the House Finch! I was delighted at this discovery because with my sorry knowledge of birds and their names, I was sure to spend the rest of my dotage just calling it "the Broadcaster" as I've been doing in my ignorance.On looking it up, I find the true scientific name is not quite so delightful: Haemorhous mexicanus. Hmm. Poor Broadcaster. I'm sure he doesn't approve, but never mind. Even if he is envious of the rather pretty-sounding one for our local hummingbirds (Calypte anna) it doesn't appear to have dimmed his zeal.
Speaking of hummingbirds, where are they? This time last year our balcony was swarming with them. Owing to poor J's fear of attracting bees, we don't have a bird feeder. Maybe the hummingbirds got tired of waiting for one? There's another possibility. We also have a large and ill-tempered giant crow who's been terrorizing the other local fauna around here. Perhaps he, Oldie, as I have imaginatively named him because he's unmistakably old and curmudgeonly, is the real culprit. Now if only I weren't so afraid of him, I could have spoken to the hummingbirds and persuaded them back.