The Goldfinch Are Gone (43)

My goldfinch have all but vanished. I realized it yesterday. I felt bad, being me, wondering if it was somehow my fault they were gone. And had I been too lost in my work these past two weeks to even notice? I knew the nyger seed was not disappearing like it used to, and then it stopped disappearing all together. This morning I saw one goldfinch on the tube feeder. I haven’t seen or heard another all day. Now the tube feeder hangs there empty in the late afternoon sun, swaying the tiniest bit in the breeze. What happened? The worst part is not hearing their song in the early hours of the day. It makes me sad I didn’t recognize the first morning it was gone. How could that silence not have cried out to me lying there in bed? I have let my work sweep me away again. I was so awed by the goldfinch, by their numbers, their good cheer, their lively chatter and singing making our home abundant in bird company so much sooner than I’d dreamed it might happen. Did they go somewhere else because there are new leaves now on the neighbor’s tree? Is the tube feeder too hot now in the sun where it has lived since we moved in? I can’t remember when the goldfinch arrived here. I know at our old place on Avenida Ortega they visited all year round, but never in the numbers we were gifted with here. I feel helpless. I hope they’ll come back again. Maybe in the fall? I still can’t help feeling like I wasn’t paying attention. I never knew, never wished them bon voyage. So I will say it now. “Vayan con diosa,” my little feathered ones. “Que les vayan bien.” May all be well with you. Come home soon.

2 thoughts on “The Goldfinch Are Gone (43)

  1. I could relate to this very well Riba. My mango tree looks equally bereft these days. Can’t wait for the birds to return. Hope your goldfinches do soon :-)

  2. It is odd not to know what happened. Once before my house sparrow colony disappeared after a big wind. When I lived in Hopland the dark-eyed juncos would arrive, “harbingers of winter,” and leave in the spring. This one is a mystery to me.

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