This morning, I noticed that the Brown-headed Cowbirds are back. They were missing last summer, but we’d had a slew of them the year before. Each year is a little different. My guess is that some of this is based on what kind of food we are offering, but also on the weather and luck.
We are losing birds by the billions. Not millions — BILLIONS. About 30 billion in the past two decades and as we keep cutting down the places where they used to live, only those that are comfortable living near people survive and much of that is due to backyard feeders.
The birds have helped us through the past year and some as we’ve tried hard to retain our sanity in the midst of changing times and pandemic illness as well as major social changes. I keep looking at the world and wondering where I am. I don’t recognize my world. The birds must feel like strangers when they migrate to what was their forested home only to find asphalt and flat, grassy lawns.
However displaced we feel, it can’t be nearly as heartbreaking as being a wild creature who has lost his whole world. So, we feed them. We enjoy their company, too. We feed the squirrels, the little chipmunks, and every other creature that we can manage.
We’d feed the flying squirrels too, but they simply eat more than we can offer them. I wish I could, but I can’t give out 10 pounds of food every night. I hope they find good food elsewhere.