The Birds

Do you put out food for the birds during winter? Or any other time?

I used to, till I got sick of the birdshit that piled up in the vicinity of the feeder.   I had the feeder outside  the kitchen window.  The idea was to watch the sparrows -or whatever they were- feeding..  But the sparrows -or whatever they were – would panic as soon as anyone entered the kitchen and fly away.  The only exceptions were the bluejays.  No panic for them!  They hardly noticed me.  They would hang off the feeder with what I thought was  an arrogant expression, kind of a Robert Di Niro shtick;    “You lookin;’at me?? Well, I’m the only one  here”.

I gave up on the feeder after a couple of years but there still seem to be a huge number of birds in the yard.  I have robins as big as chickens.  I have lots of hummingbirds, nasty little creatures that fly near your eyes in a threatening manner. (Yes!)  One time I saw a spectacular yellow and black bird that I still haven’t identified. 

My neighbors’ cats like to hang in my backyard also,  because it’s fenced and safe from dogs.  (MY dogs couldn’t be bothered.)  I’ve also had skunks, coons and a couple of bears. But the yard is primarily a bird sanctuary.  Invited or not, they will come. 

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7 thoughts on “The Birds

  1. Okay. It’s too cold outside this morning. You need to open your doors as soon as the sun is up and the birds start moving. Let them come into the house to warm up. Once you start feeding them you’re responsible for their wellness.

  2. Oh, and that winter question: We feed all year long. Birds need food now just as they do the summer. One thing you can do to help them, since they need more fat in their diet to keep warm, is add suet to the seed. That’s animal fat.

    You can buy suet/ bird seed cakes pre-made. We have one up now the wife bought at Ace Hardware. You might want to get the cage feeders for the cakes so the birds can get to it from any angle. We have birds pecking away at our suet feeder as I write this, although it might take a couple days for them to get used to it.

    Interesting bird fact: Birds in some areas need water more than food during the winter. Where it gets real cold, all the outside water freezes so they can’t use it. They actually make small immersion heaters for bird baths to keep the water from freezing during the winter, but no need for those up here.

    • Thanks for that. The birds around here are so fat and sassy it doesn’t look as if they’re starving. Although I don’t load the feeder any more I do toss out my stale bread and crackers onto the drivewau. SOMETHING eats them overnight.

  3. We’ve been feeding birds since we moved to our house. At one time I estimated we’d collected a flock of 200 or more regular visitors. Among them house sparrows and finches.
    Yes, local cats usually get wind of feeding spots and start coming around. More exciting is when hawks come flashing through the yard trying to catch birds.

    If there’s any downside it’s the debris that falls from the feeders. That attracts rats and, we found out recently, skunks. Not much you can do about that except maybe sweep it up regularly.

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