When I first put out a feeder for the birds, I was merely trying to help keep the birds alive through a very cold, snowy winter. I had no idea that I was starting not only a pastime for me and a way for our birds to survive the cold winter, but creating a hobby for everyone.
I think it was the day before yesterday, the day after the snowstorm. Owen was watching the mad flurry of bird on the deck and telling me, from the other room all the birds he could see out there. I realized that somehow, I had taught both Garry and Owen about birds. Which birds are which, which are female, who are the just out of the nest babies. Of course everyone knows the basic birds. Robins, Blue Jays, Crows, Seagulls — the familiar birds with whom we grew up. But now we can all spot both kinds of Juncos and at least three or four types of finches, sparrows, wrens, woodpeckers as well as grey versus red squirrels and miniature chipmunks versus full-size chipmunks.
Following are the woodpeckers of this week. There are more, but they aren’t regulars at the feeders.
Most of us can also spot any number of water birds, from egrets through Great Blue Herons as well as a pretty good selection of hawks, too.
We have all learned that buying cheaper bird food is a waste of money because even if they are starving, they won’t eat it. They don’t think about food. Their body tells them if it is good to eat and their beaks follow. Blessed be the black sunflower seeds, because all the birds and the squirrels eat them. We’ve learned a lot and that’s a bonus on what was otherwise, not a good year. The birds saved us just by being there.