This past Christmas, Dave gave me a gift that I enjoy every day and all year long. I’m not sure why, but last year I stopped feeding the birds. My bird feeders remained empty for months and the birds disappeared.
On Christmas morning, Dave walked into the house carrying large bags of birdseed: safflower seeds, thistle, sunflower chips, and crushed peanuts. With the crushed peanuts came a new feeder to attach to the window. As I unwrapped the new feeder, Dave enthusiastically explained that the woman at the Audubon store said the cracked peanuts were fun to put in the window feeder because the peanuts were too big to get out of the holes in the feeder. This means that the birds stay at the feeder to eat, giving us a chance to watch them up close.
For the woodpeckers, Dave bought a case of suet. A full suet feeder in our yard attracts three kinds of woodpeckers (downy, hairy, and red-bellied), and flickers. They are brightly colored, have interesting markings, and move differently that many of the other birds. They add a unique element to the dance at the bird feeders.
The feeders have been full since the end of December. It took a couple of weeks for the birds to find our offerings and realize we were again a feed-the-birds household. The birds are here every day, flitting from feeder to tree branch, feeder to ground, feeder to sky. So much fun to watch.
My children love to watch and identify the different birds. Aurora was given a children’s Peterson Backyard Bird guide when she was 4 years old. From then on, she could identify our neighborhood birds: cardinal, chickadee, Tufted-tit mouse, goldfinch, woodpecker, nuthatch, and many more. Invite the birds to a feast at your house. Enjoy learning to recognize the different birds and their distinctive behaviors: the red cardinal who will visit the platform feeder, the nuthatch as he walking head first down a tree trunk, the drab little goldfinch who turns bright, sunshine yellow as summer approaches, and so many more.