This Is For The Birds

Have you ever picked up a bird? 

I’m not talking about a chicken or goose.  They’re heavy. 

Birds15 cardinal croppedBut have you ever picked up a fallen cardinal or sparrow?

They.  Weigh.  Nothing.

I know this because every now and then one will hit the window and get knocked out cold.  When that happens, we run outside and search the ground, and if we find the bird, we give it water from a dropper and try hard to get it flying again. 

Honestly they are nothing but pure spirit–pure energy wrapped up in a bunch of brightly colored feathers and a small bit of skin.

They are nothing but bits of  fluff suffused with exuberant life. Little miracles, really.

I think of them as the ornaments on God’s Christmas trees.Birds 16

So when I realize how fragile they are, how almost “not there” they are, it stops me cold to also realize that they manage to survive through a winter. A winter where there is hardly any food, and what food exists, is hidden and must be searched out, and where the cold wind howls like a banshee at ten below zero or colder, and the birds must ride it out clinging to the limbs of trees, with FAR less body weight to generate heat–far less fat on their bodies–than I have. 

I would freeze to death in one night.

But they don’t. 

If y’all have been reading my blogs for a while, you know I believe in a Creator.  I don’t much care what you call said being…God, The Great Creator, The All That Is, The Higher Power, Source…heck, I don’t care if you call it the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  I’m not picky about the name or the philosophy.  But I’ll tell you, that even if I did not believe in God, the fact that those tiny birds can manage to lSnow on November 25th 2013 SMALLERive through hard winters?….Yeah. That would make me believe.

Something has to help them.  Something a lot more powerful than I am.

So I figure if God can put those little creatures here for me to look at, to remind me that if they are provided for, then I will be too….well…then I can do a little something in return. So we feed the birds year-round, but in the winter we try to do more for them, and when it snows, we notice the impact our small effort makes.Birds 6 smaller cropped

We had our first serious snow on Sunday night. The  photo up on the left, above, was from last November, so you’ll have to picture it twice that deep.  Two inches of ice, with two inches of snow on top of that.  Not so much as compared to what many of you have experienced this year.   

I’m in Kentucky, and yeah, I have some southern sensibilities, but honestly we’re not anywhere near the deep south.  Our entire way of life does not come to a grinding halt when someone spies a snowflake.  A lot of businesses close down, but many keep right on going. I can drive on snow and ice and haBirds 13ve been doing so since I was a kid. 

Still, for the past two days, the birds have been practically knocking on our door.  “Excuse us, but could you put out more food RIGHT FREAKING NOW?”

We have six or seven bird feeders.  But they’ve been empty for several years now.  We figured out a while back that the birds can more easily get the food if we just scatter it on every available flat surface.  The deck, the rocks that line the flower bed, theBirds 14 top of the grill, and best of all…the picnic table.

Honestly, our picnic table hasn’t been used for human food for at least ten years.  It’s now a rotting wooden table that I use to pot flowers in the summer, and the rest of the year, it’s a bird feeder.

That photo up on the right is of a woodpecker and a tufted titmouse on our feeder table.  NOT in this snow.  Unfortunately my camera froze (alongBirds 8 smaller cropped with everything else in my world) and would not take pictures.  So I had to dig out old ones.

We also figured out that we don’t need all those fancy “bird seed” packages.  We feed suet from midwinter through spring, but most of the time we buy Chicken Scratch and black oil sunflower seeds in 50-lb bags.  Almost every bird can find something it likes in those two bags.

That pBirds 5 smallerhoto on the right is a mourning dove on the table.  Can you see the dog food in the background?  We put that out for the jays.  They flock to the table in overwhelming numbers, and they’re big.  They like the dog food, so they stay near the edges mostly, and leave the middle open for the little birds.

That’s a closer shot of the woodpecker on the left.

My “office” is really in my dining nook just off the kitchen.  (Not too far from the coffee pot, as it happens.)  I sit at my small dining table and on my left is a window that looks out over the bird feeder tablOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAe.  So when I need a break from the computer screen, or when I’m having trouble with writing, or heck, just every now and then when I’m daydreaming, I catch myself staring out the window, watching the birds on that table.

That photo on the right….that’s what it looks like in the snow.  You can see a bird feeder hanging from a hook behind the table, but there’s nothing in it.  That’s the picnic table there in the foreground, and another small table we put out if the little birds are getting bullied.

Yes, we’re suckers.  And that’s okay with us.

Bandits and Buddies, do you like birds?  (I know a few people who don’t like birds at all.)

If you do like birds, what kind is your favorite?

When I go to big cities, I’m irresistibly drawn to the pigeons, even though I know they’re a nuisance.  I always want to buy food for them. (Told you I was a sucker.)  Anybody else out there who likes pigeons?

Does your city allow you to feed them?

Birds 7 smaller croppedThat’s our cats on the left, by the way.  They’re sitting in the window, watching the feeders.  Obviously, they are also quite concerned with the welfare of the birds in our yard.  This concern for birds must run in the family.  *grin*

What kinds of birds come to the feeders in your area?

Do you have feeders at your house or apartment?

If so, what kind of food do you put out?

Any other bird lovers out there?

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Comments

49 Comments

  • Jane says:

    Hello Cassondra,
    I’ve never picked up a bird. We don’t see any except for pigeons here unless we go to the zoo. People throw bread slice and breadcrumbs for the pigeons. I like the robin and oriole. Love their feathers.

    • Cassondra says:

      Hi Jane,
      Congrats on the…uh..BIRD! *grin*

      Aren’t the orioles gorgeous?

      I’ve seen movies where street vendors sell bird food for the pigeons. Do they actually do that in your city? Or do the officials discourage feeding the birds?
      (I think I’d probably feed them anyhow. I always have old bread.)
      That said, when we lived in a city apartment (very small city) on the top floor, the pigeons would actually wake us up in the morning. They were LOUD.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Uh-oh! Jane’s got the GR roosting at her place. (I think he just wants to go see matinees of the shows)

      Grins.

  • Amy Conley says:

    Cassandra like you we also feed the birds all winter and with the snow we’ve had this winter, they needed it.
    I bought my hubby a book a few years ago to help identify the birds which came to feed on our deck. Some, like male cardinal, we knew, others not so much. We have sparrows, robins, crows( of course), and a few others I’ve forgotten the names of. We use both the suet and I’ll spread the wild bird fed over our deck also.
    And no, I draw the line at touching them.

    • Cassondra says:

      Wow, Amy, you have crows?

      We’ve never had a crow come to our feeders (at least not that I know of.)

      That’s really cool.

      That’s fun that you and your husband work at it together. My husband, Steve, has a few books for bird identification. Every now and then we’ll get an unusual one.

      I’ve seen Cedar Waxwings a few times in our trees, but they never come to the feeders.

  • Kaelee says:

    We don’t feed the birds but we have a heated bird bath for them. We love to watch the sparrows taking a bath during the warmer breaks in the winter. Our birdbath is on a timer and some cold mornings we have been moved to go out with a pitcher of hot water to speed up the melting process as the sparrows are waiting.

    I love all kinds of birds but my favorite has to be the chickadee. I love their two calls ~ chick a dee dee dee and hey cutie. Robins are pretty great as well. It’s always lovely to wake up to birdsong.

    My sister had bird feeders and the chickadees and woodpeckers are so tame that they let you walk right by them as they feed.

    • Cassondra says:

      Kaelee, how awesome that you could walk right by the birds!

      Ours are not that tame, but I have to say my husband has them trained. He goes outside to put food out for them and calls, “Birds! Birds! Birds!” And if I stand in the kitchen and watch out the window, I can actually see them coming in from all over….heading to the trees at the edge of the yard, then moving in closer to the trees above the feeder. They come as close as the limbs right above the table, then before he even gets to the back door, they dive on the food. *grin*

  • Patty L says:

    I know nothing about birds other then they come in an array of colors. I love seeing the red and blue birds in the spring, it gives me hope that summer is on its way. 🙂 However, my mom is a bird watcher and has several feeders that she has put out in my yard. When she moved in a few years ago I felt like we were in a Hitchcock movie, birds were everywhere. (Hanging head) However, my son and nephew both have BB guns and have weeded out my moms flock. She is so mad and now makes the boys fill up the feeder. Little does she know when she is not looking they “practice” shooting. I feel terrible for the birds and my mom. The boys not so much they deserve the wrath of their grandmother.

    • Cassondra says:

      Oh dear, Patty.

      I admit that we couldn’t abide that at our house. The BB guns would go away. I say let the wrath of the grandmother fall swiftly and hard! *grins*

  • flchen1 says:

    What a lovely post, Cassondra! I don’t know much about birds, but they are fun to watch!

    • Cassondra says:

      flchen, aren’t they though?

      Birds or fish I can watch constantly. I catch myself when I’m supposed to be writing….okay I am THINKING about my story….but I’m watching the birds out the window. It’s peaceful to me.

  • While I’ve never picked up a bird, I’ve wondered how they manage to survive the winter. Yet they do – every year. We have a pretty pale blue glass feeder that looks like a hallowed out donut that we hang off the roof overhang of our back porch. I can see the feeder from the kitchen table as well as from the greenhouse window over the kitchen sink…as can the cat. She’s fascinated with watching the birds – and the squirrels that come to eat the corn and seed that the birds kick out of the feeder. When the weather’s nice, the birds line up to take a turn at the feeder – fun to watch.

    We have several cardinals, junos, bluejays, wrens and sparrows. I have a woodpecker that doesn’t visit the bird feeder but will be knocking on my trees once the weather warms . We get a lot of finches in the spring. I’ve seen robins about but they tend to feed on the berries on the ground and not the seed in the feeder. I was looking at a flower catalogue yesterday that advertised an assortment to attract hummingbirds. I see those dart about occasionally when i sit out on the back porch – but I’d like to see more 🙂

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Okay, Donna, I’ve never seen a juno so I”m gonna have to go look that one up! Ha!

      I love the woodpeckers in the trees, don’t you? THe sound is so…cool.

      And hummingbirds….so beautiful!

    • Cassondra says:

      Donna we have hummingbird feeders that we put out in the spring and take down in the fall. When we were a young couple, we lived in a small house with a big yard and I had the front porch completely surrounded with flowers, including plants in the ground and pots hanging on the porch. The hummingbirds got so tame that one once perched on my finger. It was amazing.

  • Helen says:

    Cassondra

    We don’t have winters like you do and the birds all seem weel fedd and healthy and they are really noisy LOL we have a lot of lorrikeets corellas cuckotoos and galahs and some magpies around and I do ofen bread up bread rolls and leave for them. They have funny antics that I love to watch jumping around in the gum trees but they really make a lot of noise and I have to say I am not a lover of pigeons 🙂

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • Cassondra says:

      Helen, I cannot even imagine the noise around you if you have any kind of “parakeet” or parrot-like birds. Those things are LOUD. Jays here are loud like that, and mockingbirds can be too, and of course crows. But most of the songbirds have a pretty little call that isn’t too grating. the “keets” though—those birds absolutely scream when they want to. Does that start up early in the mornings?

  • Sandy Blair says:

    We feed the birds as well. This means we’re also feeding the squirrels and rabbits but what the heck. They’re fun to watch. My favorites are the mourning doves and chickadees. And I think pigeons are pretty too.

    • Cassondra says:

      Sandy we always toss a few handfulls of the chicken scratch (which includes cracked corn)under the feeder tables and on Monday, there were three rabbits under the tables, and about 100 birds around-on the table, on the ground around the table–just everywhere. It’s interesting to watch the birds and rabbits eating together in the same space. Not a bit afraid of one another.

  • Mozette says:

    Bandits and Buddies, do you like birds? (I know a few people who don’t like birds at all.)

    Aaahh, yes, I’m a bird-lover… as you all know with my little stories about Little Miss Stevie; even though she’s gone from my life now. And she was a sweet little bird.

    If you do like birds, what kind is your favorite?

    I love all kinds of birds, but really I adore budgies. They are just the most lovely little parrots… such colourful, sweet little things with so much personality.

    When I go to big cities, I’m irresistibly drawn to the pigeons, even though I know they’re a nuisance. I always want to buy food for them. (Told you I was a sucker.) Anybody else out there who likes pigeons?

    Pigeons are hilarous… I love how they have dust baths in groups. They always look like they’re doing their own private yoga class… 😛

    Does your city allow you to feed them?

    We’re not normally allowed to feed pigeons, but nobody stops us if we do.

    What kinds of birds come to the feeders in your area?

    Oooohhh… there’s Rainbow Lorikeets, Kookaburras, Crows, Noisy Myners, Mickey Birds, Caped Warblers, Magpies, Pacific Bacas (now, they look like overgrown pigeons with make-up on but they come from the hawk family)

    http://birdway.com.au/accipitridae/pacific_baza/source/image/pacific_baza_42566.jpg

    There’s an image of one. They travel and nest in pairs and stay in an area for a little while until their food source is depleted before moving off to anotehr area.

    Do you have feeders at your house or apartment?

    I used to feed the birds around my garden a few years back now. And once I attracted up to 14 pairs of Rainbow Lorikeets and around 3 pairs of Scaley-Back Lorikeets along with some Pigeons… the one day, a cat from a new resident in our complex attacked a Rainbow Lorikeet and scared the whole flock away! I wanted to throw something at the damned thing but hissed at it instead and it took off… I followed it back to its home and told its owners to keep him inside and that their cat jsut killed some wildlife. They scoffed saying that ‘their fluffy’ couldn’t possibly have done that… I said to keep him away from the wildlife.
    However, with Rainbow Lorikeets, they mate for life… so with the widow Lorikeet on her own, its the flock’s responsibility to care for her or reject her… and about 3 years later, I saw the two leader birds with a young and the widow acting as nanny to it… how cool is that? 😀 I love a happy ending to an animal world story. 😀

    If so, what kind of food do you put out?

    I used to put out parrot seed… and let the birds fight over whatever they wanted… and the bird bath was filled with water for them to bathe in.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Wow, how cool, Mozette! I love that Pacific Baza/Bacca whatever it is! Grins. Totally sharp looking bird. :>

      Love that the sad story had a happy ending as well. Nature’s harsh, but sometimes…

    • Cassondra says:

      Mozette, that’s a gorgeous bird! And I don’t know what a rainbow lorikeet is but it sounds gorgeous. And I think that’s so cool that the flock takes care of the widow bird. I’m glad they chose to keep her with them.

      We don’t have those birds here. Do they ever take another mate if their old one is killed or dies?

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    I love birds. They are so beautiful. When I was growing up we always had a feeder in the back yard. Juncos, cardinals, sparrows, woodpeckers, blue jays, chickadees, an occasional Wren, and finches were the norm. Now my daughter and her hubby have feeders while I have taken to feeding all the stray cats in the neighborhood.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Awww, Debbie! The stray kits need you just as much. Bless them. :>

    • Cassondra says:

      Debbie, we are collectors of stray cats too–unfortunately we have to bring them INSIDE because…well…we figure our feeders would be a bird trap otherwise, and we both get so much enjoyment out of watching the birds that we don’t want to give it up. The birds have a tough enough time out here between the rats (we live in the middle of huge grain farms), the snakes, the possums, etc etc, not to mention the cats that run the neighborhood. Predators are another reason I think it’s a miracle that the birds survive. Somehow they do, though, and I’m glad.

  • Shannon says:

    I live in a condo where they forbid feeding anything because of the possible mess. And I have to admit that I’m no fan of those who feed the birds at the park. (Seagulls, ducks, geese, and cory). The geese who are aggressive around their young also become demanding beggars when feed. Part of this is that people try to hand feed the birds, asking them to come up and take the food out of their hands. So what is a smart goose to do but to come up close and then hiss and flap their wings when a meanie like me turns her back on them.

    As for touching a bird, my main memory is picking up a stunned humming bird. It’s heart was beating so hard and so fast. I set it on the balcony rail, and after a minute it jumped off, fell a little, and then started fluttering as hard as it could to a nearby tree.

    • Cassondra says:

      Shannon, people never believe me when I say that geese can be mean, but they surely can be! It’s one reason I’ve never wanted to keep geese. I like chickens, and we’ve had a few over the years, and love watching ducks on the pond, but ours are wild mallards—no tame ducks.

      People around here get frustrated with the Canada Geese in the summers because their droppings make a HUGE mess. We almost never get them on our pond though. And when they do come through, it’s only for a few days. We also don’t have a big population of the pigeons that hang out in cities. I might like them less if I had to deal with their droppings all over my house. I know I’ve got it good, with just the little songbirds–though we do have occasional trouble with the giant flocks of blackbirds…the ones that can descend on a cornfield and destroy it in a matter of minutes. When those come around and swamp the feeders, Iuse a shotgun–fire it off the back deck– to scare them away. Good thing about the country…nobody bats an eye. *grin*

    • Cassondra says:

      Oh…meant to say, so glad the hummingbird made it!

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Hey Evil Twin! Of course I feed the birds! And love to watch them and identify them. Grins.

    I’ve done the same, picked one up after it’s stunned itself on a window. That’s the only time, but it is a fine thing, isn’t it, to hold that bit of nothing and see it revive and fly off? :>

    We get brown thrashers, jays, chickadees, juncos, wrens, titmice, all manner of woodpeckers and sparrows and of course cardinals at the feeder. We get these enormous crows/raven types in the backyard and big trees but they leave the feeders alone. I have a pair of Cooper’s Hawks that stay in the neighborhood and I always see the Redtail Hawks. We have a roving Great Horned Owl that graces us with his presence now and again as well.

    I’m jonesing to see a snowy owl, especially this year when they have shifted south a bit by all accounts. I hope I get to see one before they shift way north again. Grins.

    Coolest birds I ever saw were an Eagle Owl, a martial eagle while in Africa and a lilac roller Amazing!

    And I think pigeons are cool.

    • Cassondra says:

      Jeanne we have the raptors here too. We recently took a drive up near the reservoir and down by the river below the dam. For the first time in my life I saw an adult bald eagle fishing. It was SO awesome. We had no bald eagles here when I was a kid but they’ve made a comeback. Just loved seeing that bird.

  • Anna Sugden says:

    Lovely post Cassondra! Yes, I’ve picked up birds – usually to rescue them from the cats. If they’re still alive, I wrap them in a towel and take them out to the fields and set them free, usually in the long grass.

    We do feed the birds in winter, but have to say that we tend try not to make them too comfortable … because of our cats! We have one cocky blackbird who really takes the mickey out of our girls, but I swear one day, he is going to be too blase and get caught!

    We miss the lovely birds we used to see in NJ. Here, we get thrushes, starlings, sparrows, robins, great tits, blue tits, goldfinches and an occasional woodpecker. We also have a gorgeous pair of magpies in the neighbourhood. We hear an owl, but have never seen it.

    • Cassondra says:

      Anna, it’s a conundrum when you love birds and also love cats. Ours stay inside for that reason, but I agree about not encouraging the birds to hang close if the cats go out. The kitties just can’t resist that fluttering about.

  • Cassondra, such a lovely post.

    When we lived in Ohio I used to have two bird feeders, one in the front yard and one in the back. When I used a mixed bag of feed, the squirrels were quite good at getting the feed out for the corn. But I wanted the little birds to feed from the feeder, so I switched over to black thistle in the feeder and a little mixed food on the deck. Worked perfectly. Bird got to hang out at the feeder, which is what I liked to watch and the crazy squirrels got their fill of corn from the grass and deck. 🙂

    When we moved to our house here in TX, we had these 30 ft tall ficus bushes that housed Hundreds of these noisey big black birds. Our dog Rocky caught and killed a few, (he was a bird dog afterall), then we cut down the bushes and relandscaped the yard. Very few birds out there now.

    There’s a group of bushes right outside my office window and quite frequently I get to see bluejays, cardinals, robins and finches hopping around. Our new puppy Rusty isn’t quite sure what to make of them, but he does watch them.

    • Cassondra says:

      Suz, I’m thinking surely the birds have a bit easier time down south where you get so little snow. We feed them year-round, but it’s the snow that brings them in droves to the feeders. We’ll at least triple the number of birds on snowy days.

  • Cassondra, what beautiful photos! We love birds, but we stopped filling our feeders because the food that dropped to the ground drew rats. This is apparently a common problem in the city.

    We do have two birdhouses we watch with great pleasure every spring. I like cardinals and chickadees, and when we had the feeders, they drew purple finches, which are so pretty.

    • Cassondra says:

      Ooooohhhhh! I’ve never seen a purple finch! We must not have those here. Wish we did.

      One thing I wish we could see more of is water birds. I enjoy them…even the gulls because we don’t see them much. (There are some around the lakes). Not too far from us there is a temporary wetland, and this spring we were lucky enough to be out and about during the time that Sandhill Cranes were migrating through here. They were everywhere around those temporary lakes, and when they flew over, we would even stop the car so we could shut the engine off and listen to their calls. I love that sound. It’s so peaceful.

      • Deb says:

        I commented about purple finches in my comment. I guess we call them house finches, and they really aren’t purple. Is there such a thing as a true purple finch?

  • EC Spurlock says:

    We had bird feeders and suet feeders for several years; I especially liked the woodpeckers that would come for the peanut suet. (We had three downy woodpeckers; I named them Roma, Morton and Robert.) Unfortunately they also attracted squirrels, and when a squirrel actually gnawed the perch hole clean out of the feeder to make a bigger hole to stick his head in, we gave up and got rid of them. But my coworkers just gave me a very solid stained glass feeder for my birthday, so we’re trying it again. 🙂

    We mostly get nondescript birds – sparrows, wrens, nuthatches, mourning doves (one built a nest in our grapevine, then in our rose arbor), towhees, starlings, LOTS of mockingbirds (who are REALLY territorial and aggressive) as well as the occasional chipmunk 🙂 Lately some cardinals have moved in and rarely we get bluebirds – I get all excited when I see one, as I never saw one until I moved South.

    • Cassondra says:

      EC, most of our birds are of the sparrow variety too. We absolutely love wrens, by the way. We joke that if you stand still too long in the spring, a wren will build a nest on you. And that’s not stretching the truth very far. *grin*

      The flashes of color are fun, and we love the cardinals and the jays and of course the bluebirds. But all the songbirds are welcome, dull or bright. They’re all fun to watch.

  • catslady says:

    I feed birds, feral cats, raccoons, possum and whatever else shows up lol. I started with birds and found if I put the feeder about a foot in from my covered porch the squirrels couldn’t get it (they can have what is on the ground lol). That is how I started helping feral cats. Over 25 yrs. ago a mother cat and 3 little ones were eating the popcorn and bread that I also put out for the birds.

    • Cassondra says:

      AWwww….that breaks my heart that the cat momma and her babies were so desperate that they were eating bird food! *hangs head* But so glad you helped them.

  • Deb says:

    Hi, Cassondra. What a “tweet” blog today. 😉 Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    My husband and I really enjoy watching birds. We saw a very curious sight about a month ago. A blue jay was digging in the snow with its beak to get something. Not sure what. We have a lot of blue jays and beautiful bright red cardinals. The females are harder to see in our bushes, but they are there. We’ve made the observation, too, that the male comes to the feeder and chases other birds away, hops a little bit to the side, and the female comes to feed.

    I love the little dark-eyed juncoes. So small and pretty as are nuthatches. I enjoy watching the creep up and down and around the tree trunk. It is hard to say which kind of bird is my favorite. Eastern goldfinches and purple finches are pretty, too.

    I’ve seen a bald eagle (I’m sure it’s the same one) on the way to school once or twice a week for the last two weeks. They are so majestic and fascinating. But, songbirds are definitely my favorites.

    • Deb says:

      My parents have lots of hummingbirds and orioles in their yard. Aren’t the hummingbirds fascinating?!! Orioles like grape jelly and grapefruit or oranges, so Mother always has those items out on the deck to attract them.

      • Cassondra says:

        Orioles like grape jelly? Seriously?

        I’m going to have to rethink bird food. I never would have thought of that.

    • Cassondra says:

      OOOhhh…someone else mentioned the purple finches. I’d love to see one of those. I saw a bald eagle fishing for the first time a few weeks ago. I’d never seen one that close before (at least not an adult I could recognize). It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. We didn’t have those around here when I was growing up. I’m so glad they’ve made a comeback.

  • What a lovely post, Cassondra !

    It reminds me of a line from Jonathan Livingston Seagull “How can birds fly?” “They fly because they think they can.”

    Rather marvelous, that.

    I have fed the birds since I was a little girl in England. My bedroom window overlooked the tiled roof of our diningroom. It was a great place to scatter bird seed and then make notes about the birds’ behavior. I even made notes about which birds liked which seeds.

    I keep bird feeders out all winter as we get a lot of migrating birds here in Alabama as well as our own native birds.

    I also have bat houses on my property. They make excellent bug zappers.

    And I have bluebird houses on the fence posts at the far end of my pasture.

    I have to keep a raccoon feeder as well in order to keep them out of the bird feeders.

    I worked with wildlife rehabbers for years so I have held a great many birds in my hands. I even had a pet blue jay named Hoppy for over 12 years. He simply refused to go back into the wild. He whistled the Andy Griffith show tune. (I left the television on for him – Turner Network was his favorite.) He even learned to say a few words.

    Birds truly are amazing and they know who the suckers are. You and your hubby must have one of those flashing beacons over your house like the one my brothers say shines over my place “BIRDIE SUCKER LIVES HERE!”

    • Cassondra says:

      Haha! Louisa, yes, we do have the flashing beacon.

      We are birdie suckers. That’s for sure.

      I remember finding the copy of Jonathan Livingston Seagull in my mom’s attic. I read it and my whole life shifted a bit.

      Sometimes I think I would not want to live life as a bird–it’s a bit of a hard life after all, shivering in the winter cold. but then again, you get to soar. :0)