Thursday, January 27, 2011

Feeding the many birds

Flying in
Since my husband and I are currently watching the household budget very, very carefully, we've been going through our expenses line by line.
Here's one you'd think could be eliminated: Birdfeed: $26 a month.
When we started feeding our little feathered friends we were only buying a bag for a couple of dollars every now and then.
Over the years, the price has gone up and our guests have spread the word.
It's not unusual for a whole flock to fly in for breakfast and several pigeons and Mourning Doves to stay over for lunch and dinner.
Our little feeder is a going concern.
And they are picky.
They only want the more expensive black sunflower seeds.
Marc says they like the oil in them. It helps them survive the cold, he says.
We've tried the cheaper mixes and various kinds of seed but whenever we offer the discount fare, they stay away or sit in the trees looking at the feeder with disdain.
As soon as we shape up and come through with the good stuff, they're back in droves.
These birds have learned that we're good for a hearty meal.
They don't even panic anymore when Marc comes out to refill the feeder.
Instead of flying away in fright, they merely take up roost in the trees only a couple of feet away.
We've had regular visits from the neighborhood sparrows and finches. We sometimes have blackbirds and songbirds with yellow tailfeathers.
For a time we had a big, blue jaybird who rocked the feeder when he came in. (It was kind of like having a 747 land at a small town airport.)
It's been years now and several birdfeeders since we started this endeavor.
We enjoy helping out nature's creatures and the flutter and chirp in the backyard is delightful.
We feel we're doing a good thing here.
We'll keep buying the birdseed with our chickenfeed as long as we can.


  1. Loved your post. I also have two bird feeders about 9 inches from my kitchen and dining room windows, and we love watching the birds. I have a cardinal couple living in my yard who always eats at the feeder. When it is empty, they face the window and chirp like crazy, chewing me out for letting it get to such a state. My biggest problem is the squirrel, who also thinks it is a squirrel feeder. My newest feeder, with wire all around, has him baffled. It just means the cardinals and gold finches get to eat it all! We will have brown headed cow birds in the spring. These are terrible birds. They are about the size of robins, lay their eggs in other birds' nests and let other birds raise their young, which are usually bigger and more demanding that the other babies. The poor little babies starve and get pushed out of the nest by these big birds. When the cow birds descend (they travel in huge flocks), I will leave the feeders empty, just to do my part to curb their bad behavior.

  2. Sounds like the cowbirds are the weeds of the birdworld...