Monday, December 19, 2011

Give A Bird Feeder For Christmas!


My uncomplicated feeder allows Mr. Squirrel to eat too!

It seems Old Man Winter has arrived just in time for Christmas this year so perhaps we will have a white one! It is time to begin feeding the birds in earnest for from now until spring when bugs hatch they will need our help. For those who have procrastinated and have no desire to brave the mall, a feeder would make a lovely gift... bird watching is a joy for both young and old. If you add a bag of high quality feed and an informative bird book, your gift will provide enjoyment all winter! And all of it is available at local hardware stores!

Many beautiful songbirds spend the winter performing and with no leaves to hide their antics they are a delight to watch. Once you begin feeding you will discover the reason so many people find great enjoyment in bird watching for each species has personality traits singularly characteristic to their individual group.

The Blue Jays are excitable, boisterous, rather the bullies who always travel in a gang. They are like the boys who spend too much time at the gym working out! The Cardinals are polite, laid back, and lacking in aggression, much like the Catholic Cardinals whom I am convinced borrowed their color. All species of the Woodpecker family demand and receive respect; their beaks are daunting and their presence will clear the feeder immediately. The darling finches squabble and tumble about while the Black Capped Chickadee and timid Titmouse dart in-and-out for sunflower seeds. The wonderfully enthusiastic Sparrows are mentioned numerous times in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

A standard mix of wild bird feed is easily affordable and will draw many birds to your feeder. If you add thistle to the mix the Chickadees will be grateful; add more sunflower seeds and the Cardinals will adore you. Birds eat in regular intervals during the day much as we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. For this reason the feeder is sometimes chaotically busy with all species feeding together in a feathered frenzy while other times the feeder stands alone. Word spreads quickly among the bird community and people with a feeder find themselves highly popular this time of year.

Despite the warnings all over the Internet about the perils of leaving the feeder untidy, I have never cleaned, cloroxed, or fussed over mine. Nor have I worn gloves as suggested for dumping the feed or sweeping off the hulls... bird feeding and watching is a rather uncomplicated hobby. Merry Christmas!