I’ve never really considered myself a bird lover. But I often think about this little bird feeder of ours and how much pleasure it has brought us over the years. It is a simple, suet feeder…and the birds love it. They come in every season and in all sort of weather. When we eat outdoors, during the warmer months, they don’t pay any attention to us, darting back-n-forth over our heads to munch away at it. We keep a bird book in the kitchen, so we can identify them.
I have nothing against squirrels. However, I think anyone who has ever seen a squirrel hanging upside down & eating the food you intended for the birds, is just plain annoying. So it feels like quite an accomplishment when you can provide food for the birds, without squirrels gorging on the feeder or crows knocking it down. I have found that the trick is to hang the feeder in an area where there is nothing to climb. We have ours on an awning, just outside a window, where we can see the birds from our kitchen table. It doesn’t happen frequently, but I have seen a squirrel try to climb the window, which was quite entertaining indeed. Without success, it didn’t take long for it to give up. Only once have a I seen a crow attempt to get at the feeder, but it made the feeder spin in circles and it awkwardly kept bumping into the window, before flying off in quite a hurry.
We do see a lot of other large birds, such as blue jays, flickers and woodpeckers. This large Pileated Woodpecker was quite a site!
Last Spring we had a Robin’s next just outside our office window. We were delighted and set up a webcam, to capture images of the bird family. For 2 weeks we watched the mama robin sit on the eggs. We were all so excited when they hatched on Mother’s Day! We watched for almost 3 weeks as the parents diligently fed the babies and they grew big and fluffy. It was heartwarming to watch. Unfortunately, this story came to a tragic end on the morning the baby birds decided to leave the nest. I could only account for one surviving the attacks of crows and I spend the entire day fending them off. Thankfully, the girls were oblivious. As much as I tried to remind myself of nature’s process, I still cried all day (and I will always dislike crows). A few months later, I saw what appeared to be a juvenile robin in our backyard. I like to believe it was the last surviving baby bird coming back to sing us a song.
Besides the family of Robins, my favorite feathered visitor, was the Barred Owl we saw in the fall of 2009. What a surprise it was to see such an elusive bird in our back yard, only a few feet from our windows. Although we hear their call during the night, (which sounds like, “who-cooks-for-you”) we haven’t spotted him again.
I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that we live on a green belt, but feed the birds and they will come!