I’ve posted an older, warmer photograph today because this is really where this starts – feeding the birds. Each year I try to be mindful of what I’m planting to bring the birds and butterflies to my veggie garden. I always plant sunflowers because the finches always seem to know they are there and wouldn’t frequent my yard much without the food to entice them.
I don’t feed the birds otherwise until winter hits – and it has. I hadn’t put feeders out in a few years because of the bear population and their affinity for bird feeders. I heard somewhere that anytime after December 1st in our area it’s safe to put feeders out so I put out a small one the weekend after Thanksgiving. I was surprised at the number of birds that were on it only 3 days later and at the number of different kinds of birds that were all vying for the seed of this one feeder. I was thrilled.
Last weekend saw flocks of birds at the feeder at most hours of the day. A surprising number of woodpeckers were visiting as well including two Red Bellied Woodpeckers. They are the real stunners so far – large and flashy. They are there everyday so now we just wait to see them. It’s quite the colorful group as well – House Finches looking so rosy and Bluejays on the ground mixed in with the Goldfinches, Juncos and Chickadees. It seems like they all visit at different times of the day, each species taking its own turn.
Last night I decided to make something special for the woodpeckers to eat and proceeded to process suet, peanut butter and a nutty, fruity mix into self hanging feeders. I mixed the ingredients warm, packed them into large paper cups that I had threaded a looped and knotted piece of twine through the bottom. Once filled I put them in the freezer overnight. This morning I peeled away the paper from the cup and hung one out on the hook next to the feeder. We’ll see how this goes. I’m also looking at other types of feeders and seed to try and cut down on the congestion at the one little feeder.
Cornell has a wonderful bird guide on line if you decide to feed the birds in your yard this year. It’s a fun activity that brings life into your yard through the doldrums of winter.
So my camera is ready, the food is set out and all I need a little time to just sit and watch.