Valuable quotes

"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow." ~~

"The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you've already lost." ~~

Cree Prophecy - "When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money." ~~

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Birds and I...

Sassy little Catbird
  I'm always asked why I feed the birds year round. I do it for their benefit when times are difficult like winter of course, but I continue feeding in the spring and summer because one, they are accustomed to always finding a meal at my house, and two, so I can view migrating birds and the generational passing of the seed.

   My main reason for feeding the birds is rather selfish, I will admit to that. It’s the psychological benefit that comes from seeing their flamboyant colors on a dreary day. It’s listening to their music in the
antelucan hour while everyone’s asleep and then waking up to their excited conversation. It’s knowing the families of birds find sanctuary in my yard for the summer, plus it really beats watching brain consuming TV anytime.

Catbird flashing me!

Junco taking shelter from the rain
    It seems like bird activity is higher now than it was in wintertime. If they’re not filling every conceivable cavity with nesting material they’re feasting at the bird feeders. After shopping around, the Bluebirds finally moved into a house hanging from my eave. The Wren house at the front of the house still is vacant but I'm sure not for much longer.  Tree Swallows chaotically investigate each nest box but as of yet have not made their mind up on one. My Chickadee has already added her first layer of moss to her fairy nest. The Purple Martins appreciate the new gourds I put up this year, a new one for me. Hopefully, with more nesting holes, my colony will expand. The vibrant procession of spring is marching through the fields and woods and it’s exciting to observe.

    I consider our kitchen window to be my personal television of the world I want to know. It doesn’t come with a remote or have a thousand channels playing the staid documentary of humanity’s shame and decline. It’s rather old fashioned in that it only gets one station and only shows nature programs day and night. It has a regular cast of characters like Chickadees, Titmice, Cardinals, Catbirds, Nuthatches and Blue Jays with occasional guest appearances by a Pileated Woodpecker, Brown Thrasher or a Towhee. Lately a new series has started playing; it’s called The Courtship of the Birds. It’s being billed as a heartwarming avian soap opera of spring love with a spectacular cast.

Cardinal selecting the best seeds.
    Watch as the male Cardinals courts his paramour by passing a sunflower seed to her, beak to beak. See the dandy little Goldfinches go round and round the finch feeders sporting the latest in daffodilly frocks. So many Woodpeckers spar over the suet dough that I actually have six suet feeders up. I’m keeping my seed feeders full in case the Indigo Buntings and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks stop by on their journey north too. It might only be a temporary visit but it sure is special.

    Toward months’ end, one of my all time favorite feathered friends, the Catbirds will arrive, plus the Orioles and Hummingbirds will appear, so this is the time to get your fruit and nectar feeders out. The Bluebirds will devour all the blocks with mealworms I leave for them. While it's not a favorite thing for me to buy, their enjoyment makes it all worthwhile. Some male birds are known to feed the female while she’s incubating the eggs. Once the young fledge are up and about, they’ll follow the adults around to find food, be it natural or what you provide at your feeders. It’s quite enjoyable observing the tattered fledglings’ first visit to a bird feeder. 

My little patient - a victim of a cat who I nursed back to health!
   And so having said all this, we need to protect those youngsters as well as their parents. There is 'love your cat, love your birds - keep your cats inside'. Those who go outside should be belled and it shouldn’t be made overly easy for the others, the ferals, to feast from your yard!

   I will share with you a small gallery of my visitors and I hope you will consider making your yard a safe and healthy haven for all who wish to visit and grace your landscapes...!

Red Bellied Woodpecker

  I love the colorful birds as most everyone does, but my favorites are really the little birds...the titmice, the Nuthatches...the Chickadees who will land on my head and shoulders when I'm at the feeders. And the Catbirds and finches, sparrows and sweet Juncos. I do think people don't pay enough attention to these little birds to realize how beautiful they really are!
Junco in the rain

Titmouse waiting for breakfast to be served!
Vigilant Junco

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