About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Party pooped at Wild Birds Unlimited

Dolly getting beauty sleep
by Rosemarie Moon


Dolly is party pooped. Our Open House was a HUGE success because the people that shop at Wild Birds Unlimited regularly are the nicest group around! And thankfully this year I finally ordered enough seed so we didn't completely run out.

As the year comes to a close, we want to take a moment to thank you for your continued support and wish you a very Happy New Year.

We appreciate your shopping local and helping us celebrate the 14th holiday season at Wild Birds Unlimited, East Lansing, Michigan!

Much Joy, Sarah & Dolly (the cat)

Saturday, December 15, 2018

A hobby for the whole family

Backyard bird feeding is a great way to observe wildlife 
and an enjoyable activity for the entire family.
Who will I attract?
Just a few of the common winter birds attracted to feeders are cardinals, finches, juncos, doves, titmice, chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, jays, starlings and sparrows.

What’s the best bird feeder?
Any bird feeder you choose should be easy to fill and easy to clean. Seed feeders obviously hold seed and attract a wide variety of seed eating birds. Suet feeders attract bug eating birds like the woodpeckers. Nyjer (thistle) feeders attract the finches. It is also important to keep your feeders filled with the high-energy, high-fat foods that provide your birds with the crucial nutrition they need to survive. Studies indicate that Sunflower, Peanuts, White Proso Millet, Safflower, and Nyjer® Thistle are among the most preferred seed types. Cheap filler grains like oats, wheat and milo decrease the price per pound of a seed blend and suet but aren't eaten by the birds and are left to rot on the ground.

Where should I put the feeder?
The best place to put the feeder is where you can watch the birds easily. Try to find a place that's sheltered from the wind and away from cats and other predators. And the closer your feeder is to the window, the less likely birds will be hurt if they mistake the clear glass as a fly through.

When's the best time to start?
There is no best or worst time to start bird feeding. In general, whenever the birds are stressed they will appreciate a reliable food source. Typically, feeders serve as a supplemental source of food for birds in your yard. Fruit and nut bearing bushes and trees supply a natural food source as well as native flowers, such as coneflowers, black eyed Susan’s, and cosmos that are allowed to go to seed and stand through the winter. In the last couple months of winter the natural sources have gradually become more and more scarce and that's when birds may switch to utilizing feeders to survive from day to day.

How long should I feed them?
If you enjoy feeding birds, there is no reason to stop. You can do it year-round. Feeding the birds throughout the summer will not make them "lazy," or "dependent." Backyard bird feeding is an entertaining and educational pastime that can be enjoyed by children and adults. It provides a needed stress relief and brings families together. There is no designated time to feed the birds. Most people feed year round.

Related Articles:
- What Month Do You Stop Feeding The Birds? http://goo.gl/wuKbTI
- Keep your feeders clean http://goo.gl/UGfVGT
- Would the birds starve to death if I stopped feeding them? http://bit.ly/xOFgb9
- How long does bird seed stay fresh? http://goo.gl/AdJPBO
- Choosing a seed blend to feed wild birds http://goo.gl/vsBxVs
- What’s the best suet for Michigan wild birds? http://bit.ly/rTCbHB

Friday, December 14, 2018

Carolina Wren in Michigan

I was watching out the window when a Carolina Wren zoomed the feeder. It poked and pushed until it was the only one feeding. The sparrows and squirrels stood off to the side to wait their turn. Carolina Wrens seem to be bursting with energy and I enjoy having them in the yard.

Our Carolina Wrens do not migrate but are very sensitive to cold weather. Severe winters result in a marked decline in their numbers. Having a known source of food is essential for providing wrens with the energy, stamina, and nutrition they need to survive. For this reason, it is a good idea to put out a feeder to help these birds (and other bird species as well) survive the winter.

Carolina Wrens are primarily insect eaters, but suet, peanuts, seed cylinders and mealworms are good substitutes for scarce insects during winter. They can be attracted to your feeders by providing a brush pile close to your feeding area. I have a pine tree and a bushy viburnum to give the birds cover. They feel more secure with a place to seek refuge nearby.

I also have a wren house that it can sleep in at night. A good idea to encourage Carolina wrens to stay and feed in or near your yard is to provide houses or roosting pockets near the bird feeders. Roosting pockets are little shelters, much like birdhouses (but smaller and not meant to be used as a nesting site), where the birds can roost and hide from the wind chill. The combination of roosting pockets and bird feeders during winter is one sure way to attract Carolina wrens in your area. So take a second look at all those brown birds that are visiting. That bossy one is probably a wren.

Related Articles:
- What’s the best suet for Michigan wild birds? http://bit.ly/yAR4pm 
- Quick Fun Facts on Wrens http://bit.ly/v5XVoU
- Surviving Winter, the Bird Way http://goo.gl/SF0Yga
- Roosting Pockets: Warm Shelter from Frosty Winds http://goo.gl/QOPbMw

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Finches feast on feeders

The American Goldfinches and House Finches are both here in mid-Michigan year round. To encourage them to your yard, plant native flowers in the spring like Purple coneflowers, milkweed and other plants that produce seed heads.

At the feeders, finches prefer sunflower and nyjer (thistle) seed. They can figure out how to use any bird feeder including hoppers, mesh or tube feeders, and these birds don’t mind feeders that sway in the wind.

They are also seen quite often at the bird bath to wet their whistle.

Related Articles:
European Goldfinches http://bit.ly/Q2Cu37
Goldfinch Migration http://bit.ly/MzGSPD
Are Goldfinches here in the winter? http://bit.ly/PZu5ML
Goldfinches: The Last Birds Nesting http://bit.ly/PZuejj
Bird of the week: American Goldfinch http://bit.ly/PZum2a

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Big yellow bird may soon hit the feeders

I've been hearing it every day, "the birds are hungry this year." This may also be evident if you've been in the Wild Birds Unlimited store in East Lansing lately and noticed the seed bags and boxes of seed cylinders are practically stacked to the ceiling. The birds are hungry this year. Widespread seed, berry, and cone crop failures, according to the The 2018-2019 Winter Finch Forecast means our birds as well as some of the birds that usually winter further north are coming down to mid-Michigan to search for food.

People have already reported seeing large numbers of little Red-breasted Nuthatches, Pine Siskins and redpolls. These tiny birds are so friendly and sweet sounding they are always a welcome addition to the feeding station. But there is also another big bird that might come down, the spectacular Evening Grosbeak.

The Evening Grosbeak is a yellow, black, and white finch with a bill that appears too big for its body. They were named in 1825 based on erroneous accounts that they became vocal and active only “at the approach of night.” You might hear their running patter of call notes before you see them. They are a songbird without a song, just a small repertoire of simple calls, including sweet, piercing notes and burry chirps, is emitted.

Evening Grosbeaks were formerly considered a common and widespread winter backyard bird but rapid declines in recent years make them a special sight during irruption years. Populations dropped steeply between 1966 and 2015, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey—particularly in the East where numbers declined by 97% during that time. You can offer straight sunflower seeds or use a blend Wild Birds Unlimited No-mess blend. They are also attracted to the garden seeds, berries, and buds of trees and shrubs—especially maples.

Related Articles:
Fun Facts About Evening Grosbeaks http://goo.gl/JCzRq5
Goldfinch Migration http://bit.ly/pEuMKo
House Finches: Those Year-round Red Heads http://bit.ly/opD7kb
Birdwatching: Look for the Out-of-Towners http://bit.ly/q6Pkco
10 Winter Finches in Michigan http://goo.gl/C9WUqx
Where do you place finch feeders? http://bit.ly/p4XHU4

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Blue Jays like to eat

A lot of good birds are attracted to nuts!
Bright and bold, blue jays often travel in noisy family groups in late summer and fall. Their discovery of good feeding sight is announced to the whole community of birds. They also are very good at giving early warnings of hawk, cats, or other predators in the area.

At my feeder their first choice would be seed cylinders packed with pecans or peanuts in the shell. These are both foods with high protein and high fat to provide your birds with the critical nutrition they need to survive bad weather.

To prepare for winter weather, jays will collect nuts with their shells still on and cache or hide them up to 2.5 miles from their original source and retrieve them when needed.

The peanut wreaths and tray feeders serve the whole peanuts. It is best to fill them when you’re there to watch because a party of blue jays can empty a feeder in less than an hour. But boy, during that hour it’s like watching a blue tornado.

The blue jays usually send out scouts to alert the band when food is available. One benefit of all that noisy calling is that it alerts other birds too, that there is food in the area.

Related Articles:
-
Product Highlight: Solid Seed Cylinders http://goo.gl/HbISQR
- Why do Birds Scatter Seeds from Feeders? http://bit.ly/w4vRPP
- Blue Jays aren't blue http://bit.ly/roVPVX
- What Feeder Do You Recommend for Blue Jays? http://bit.ly/txd8ja
- Blue Jay Fun Facts http://goo.gl/wJgMmJ
- Do birds know winter is coming? http://goo.gl/EilIa6
- Why Blue Jays go bald in the fall http://goo.gl/gAX3x

Monday, December 10, 2018

New Horizons Music Recruiting: How to Pick Your Instrument to Play.

I was listening to someone play an instrument the other day and it had an interesting sound. At first, I was intrigued and thought that was a unique sound that you could do a lot with. After a short while though, the sound started to annoy me and I thought how someone could pick an instrument like that to play, it would drive me crazy. But obviously that sound spoke to the person that was playing it and they played it well, but it didn’t speak to me.

We all have instruments that speak to us. I play saxophone in band because it spoke to me. Way back when I was in junior high school, I heard someone playing the saxophone and I just loved the sound. Before that I had never really listened to music that featured the sax like that. The person was playing a piece on the sax and it had a range of sounds and styles that appealed to me. It could be soft and soothing or loud and raucous. I started listening more and more to different players on the radio. Finally, when I graduated from High School, I decided to buy my first sax and took lessons. Unfortunately, after a couple of years life got in the way of my playing and I put it away for several decades. But finally, I’ve found a group that lets me play again. And I still like the sound of the saxophone, even when I am playing it. Now I’m sure there are some that say, “how can you love the sound of such a hideously sounding instrument?” I guess to each his own, that is the point, and that is how you pick your instrument.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Cute Cardinal suet feeder

Add a little whimsy to your yard with this colorful cardinal shaped suet feeder. It is all metal with a red weather-resistant finish. The beautifully decorated, wire mesh body, holds one standard sized suet or seed cake. It can also be used to hold nesting material in the spring. Easy to fill and clean. Includes durable metal hanging chain and hook for easy display.

The red cardinal is easy to spot in a snowy landscape and is often associated with the winter season. That makes this decorative Cardinal designed suet feeder a wonderful gift!

Suet feeders attract many songbirds like woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, titmice, wrens, and more!

Related Articles:
- What birds eat suet? http://bit.ly/q2Sfje
- Can I make my own suet? http://bit.ly/rsc1JT
- How do I Attract Woodpeckers? http://bit.ly/o4CLqI
- Filling Up on Fatty Foods: http://bit.ly/ob0NIq 
- Can I feed suet year-round? http://bit.ly/I4Ow8l

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Expect more bluebirds to visit us this winter

This is going to be a tough winter for the birds. Widespread seed, berry, and cone crop failures, according to the The 2018-2019 Winter Finch Forecast means birds as well as other critters are going to have a hard time finding food all winter.

Mid-Michigan bluebirds can stay year-round during mild winters. Scientists think it’s due to genetics whether they want to fly south or winter over. Some birds are compelled to move south and others are not. But with a food shortage this year, you will have more sightings of bluebirds visiting feeders to supplement their diet.

After their nesting season, Eastern Bluebirds all gather together in large family flocks to increase their survival through the winter. These large nomadic groups roost at night in the woods and wander around foraging for food. They usually would find enough food naturally and only visit our yard occasionally if you have a fruit tree or a heated birdbath for afternoon drinks and feather preening.

A bloubird's diet changes from mostly worms and insects in the summer to fruit, nuts and berries from trees, bushes, and vines in the winter. At the feeders bluebirds love to eat sunflower chips and peanuts from Wild Birds Unlimited No-mess blend, as well as mealworms, fruits, nuts, and suet. A seed cylinder feeder with a Bug, Nuts, and Fruit cylinder along with suet nuggets in the tray would also help survival rates of bluebirds that overwinter in our area.

Related Articles:
What do American Robins eat in the winter? http://bit.ly/wQh59Q
The best heated bird baths http://bit.ly/uIHnB7
Bird of the Week: Eastern Bluebird http://bit.ly/xgm1V4
Ultimate Bluebird House http://bit.ly/A4kliS
The Migration of Eastern Bluebirds http://bit.ly/yCLcQH

Friday, December 7, 2018

Photo Share: Bird with no tail

Dolly (cat) loves to watch the front bush for House Sparrows outside the Wild Birds Unlimited store in East Lansing, MI. There is a lot of drama involved. House Sparrows in fall/winter flocks have a definite pecking order. You can begin to decipher the standings by paying attention to the black throats of the males. The bigger the black badge under the throat, the more a dominant a bird tends to be. By November, some older sparrows have already established tentative bonds with multiple mates.

Dolly and I were watching one male that lost his tail. There are hawks, neighborhood cats, cars, and other dangers living in the busy city. It's a mystery how the tail of this guy was taken. We noticed him because of his wobbly entrance to where we scattered some seed. Tail flight feathers give stability and control. They are used as a rudder, helping to steer and balance the bird and allow the bird to twist and turn in flight. These feathers also act as a brake for landing.

This male sparrow must have lost his tail a few days ago because I see some small white feathers growing in as replacements. Sometimes quick replacement feathers might come in white. Although they may not be as strong as the originals, they can still help steer his flight.

We watched him skid in to a stop to eat seeds in front of the door and then take a bath. Not having a tail didn't stop the surrounding girls watch him bathe and then follow him as he showed them potential nesting sites behind the Goodwill sign.

Related Articles:
- Why should we care about birds? http://goo.gl/4iD8a
- How to get rid of sparrows http://goo.gl/9tAwkY
- House Sparrows in Michigan https://house-sparrows-in-michigan.html
- Book Recommendations for Michigan Birdwatchers http://bit.ly/x5t2gv
- Most common winter birds in Michigan http://bit.ly/ywWdfL

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Photo Share: Bald Eagles on the road

Sarah, just a few days ago I was in the shop lamenting how I missed getting a picture of this eagle eating on a deer carcass. Well he came back. The carcass is so close to the road, a driver has to be careful not to hit the eagle when he takes flight. Such a splendid site, I wanted to share. 


As Bald Eagles become more numerous, many of the birds have discovered the convenience of carrion along Michigan highways. Unfortunately they have not yet learned how to respond to high-speed traffic and mortality rates due to vehicular collisions are on the rise. While crows may be able to weave and dodge oncoming traffic, eagles need a much longer running start to take flight.

Michigan DNR urge drivers to use caution while driving especially during the holiday season as bald eagles may be present on or near roadways. The recovery of the Bald Eagle is one of our nation’s best conservation success story, and we must keep in mind that as numbers rise, so does the risk for mortality due to human interactions.

Scavenging behavior tends to increase during the winter months when ice develops on lakes and rivers, making foraging for fish more difficult. Eagles may feel threatened by the approach of an oncoming vehicle and attempt to escape, often leading the bird to cross the roadway, in front of oncoming traffic. Drivers who do not anticipate this reaction by the eagle put themselves and the eagle at risk. If a driver observes an eagle on or near a roadway, and if it is safe to do so, SLOW DOWN to give the eagle more time to react.

Thank you so much for sharing your observations! If anyone would like to share a photograph of nature send it to bloubird@gmail.com and I'll put it on the Friday Photo posts.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Download a checklist of Michigan birds

My mom is becoming an avid bird watcher. We have a Birds of Michigan book that we have been using to help identify all of the new birds at the feeders. However, she is currently using a post-it note to keep track of the new birds we are seeing. I was wondering if you carry an easy to use journal of sorts that she can record the birds that she sees?

Birds are fascinating and so much fun to observe! You can download a checklist of Michigan birds from Michigan Audubon or visit Wikipedia’s List of birds of Michigan.

To help you organize your personal list throughout the seasons, Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing has a Birding Journal. It also has tips, trivia and blank pages for notes and sketches.

https://lansingwbu.blogspot.com/2012/02/what-do-they-mean-by-lifer-birds.html
Birding Journal: Through the Seasons – by Vanessa Sorensen

Enjoy a variety of options for recording your favorite birding moments:

- Note which birds you see
- Document the birds eating at your feeder
- Compare first arrivals from year to year
- Keep track of your life list and other checklists

The Birding Journal also includes tidbits about birding-related topics, including information about attracting birds to your yard, tips to maintain bird houses, and lists of national birding hotspots.

Whether you're a beginning bird watcher or a seasoned birder, this beautiful journal is a book you'll use again and again.

https://lansingwbu.blogspot.com/2016/07/birds-of-michigan-field-guide.htmlAnd if you enjoy the Birds of Michigan book, you will also enjoy listening to the birds featured on the pages. Birds of Michigan Field Guide Audio CD is a great tool for learning more about the common birds in our area.

The companion CD will help you start recognizing birds by sound when you listen, featuring the highest quality digital recordings and approximately 120 minutes of bird calls.

Related Articles:
Most common winter birds in Michigan http://bit.ly/rZG7mw
Why Wild Birds Unlimited has the best seed. http://bit.ly/uER81k
The best bird feeders at Wild Birds Unlimited http://bit.ly/rzl7RQ
What seed is best for attracting the colorful birds? http://bit.ly/vKhfMl
What’s the best suet for Michigan wild birds? http://bit.ly/rTCbHB
The best heated bird baths http://bit.ly/rGLQCm

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Where are the juncos?

Have the juncos migrated down yet? I haven't seen mine.

I haven't seen large numbers of Dark-eyed Juncos yet either. That is not unusual. All juncos breeding in northern parts of their range migrate. Eighty percent of the females tend to migrate through Michigan to winter farther south than males. Some begin heading south as early as the end of August and the rest follow to settle in to their winter range by December.

This still doesn't mean you will see them at your feeder. They love to feed on the ground, kicking up leaf litter to find a tidbit buried beneath. In the winter Dark-eyed Juncos are primarily seed-eaters, with seeds of grasses, flowers, and weeds, making up about 75% of their diet. At the feeders you will see them eat sunflower seeds, millet, safflower, peanuts and peanut butter suet on feeders that have a large perching area like tray or ground bird feeders.

When the snow comes and buries natural food sources, this is when you will see them take advantage of feeders. Seeing them after a snow is one reason their nickname is snowbird. They also wake up very early. I see them pecking by my feeders way before the sun rises.

Related Articles:
Fun Facts About Juncos http://bit.ly/pgewJn
What birds like Safflower seed? http://bit.ly/puRjIr
Sparrows Native to mid-Michigan http://bit.ly/nURO99
Do the same birds show up at the same feeders year after year? http://bit.ly/GMaOYV

Monday, December 3, 2018

The Hooting Season: Listen for distinctive who-hoo-ho-oo call

Although many birds use song as a mechanism of individual recognition and contact, the primary reason for song especially in males is advertisement of themselves! The male bird sings to declare his individual territory and to attract a mate and mating is not one of the biological functions for most birds in the winter season.

An exception to the rule is owls. Great Horned Owls are one of the earliest birds to nest in our region and one of  my favorite things about December is hearing the first calls of the Great Horned Owls as they begin their courtship. The hooting of the owls becomes noticeable mid-December in Michigan. On a clear night, even in the suburbs where I live, you'll hear the birds calling back and forth usually from midnight until dawn. Their distinctive territorial call, " hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo," can be heard from miles away.

Related Articles:
- Snowy Owls http://bit.ly/ylJmQq
- Eastern Screech Owl http://bit.ly/wMQBZj
- Great Horned Owl http://bit.ly/zmlFqY
- Barred Owl http://bit.ly/yAoDx8
- Great Gray Owl http://bit.ly/tAewYm
- Fun Facts on Owls http://bit.ly/z9q3Dg

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Recruiting for New Horizons Band

I’ve heard it several times before. After we perform a concert and then suggest to the audience that anyone can join our group and that you don’t have to be seasoned musician to play in the New Horizons Band, the comment that seems to keep coming back is “I’m not good enough to play in your band”.

I don’t want to sound too negative about my own group but if you heard us in rehearsals, you might understand why we all laugh at comments like that. It is not that we are bad in rehearsal but you will see that we are not professional musicians. You will see that we are all learning as we go. As we learn we get better and finally by the time we do a concert, we have been practicing for several week, and we do sound pretty good.

The music is fun to play but it is music that has been written so that musicians with a wide range of skills might all be able to participate. If you are an absolute beginner, it may take a little time to be able to play an entire piece, but that is where the New Horizons group and philosophy has the advantage. If you only play one note, you are contributing to the group sound. One thing we do practice more than anything else, is the beginnings and ends of songs. So if you are new, concentrate on how a song ends. How the song ends will determine the impression the audience leaves with after your performance. If we end well, most people will not even remember if we missed notes in the middle somewhere. And that is probably what happened for you if you have heard us before and felt that we were too good for you to be able to join.

So if you have ever dreamed of playing in a band or orchestra, visit us at a rehearsal and see how bad, or good we can be. If you would like more information, visit my New Horizons Music website or visit us during a rehearsal or concert to hear how we play.
https://eastlansingnewhorizonsmusic.weebly.com/

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Barred Owls hang around

Barred Owls don’t migrate, and they don’t even move around very much. One study showed that of the 158 birds that were banded and then found later, none had moved farther than 6 miles away.

Barred Owls eat many kinds of small animals, including squirrels, chipmunks, mice, voles, rabbits, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates. They hunt by sitting and waiting on an elevated perch, while scanning all around for prey with their sharp eyes and ears. They may also perch over water and drop down to catch fish. They swallow small prey whole and large prey in pieces, eating the head first and then the body. Sometimes they temporarily store their prey in a nest, in the crook of a branch, or at the top of a snag to eat later.

Related Articles:
- Snowy Owls http://bit.ly/ylJmQq
- Eastern Screech Owl http://bit.ly/wMQBZj
- Great Horned Owl http://bit.ly/zmlFqY
- Barred Owl http://bit.ly/yAoDx8
- Great Gray Owl http://bit.ly/tAewYm
- Fun Facts on Owls http://bit.ly/z9q3Dg

Friday, November 30, 2018

Photo Share: Cold Ducks

Mallard ducks are the most common duck species of the Northern Hemisphere and are also found in Asia, North America, and many islands. They are found year-round across much of the United States. In the winter they move around generally to avoid snow and find open water and to uncovered fields.

Related Articles:
New Bird Sighted: Hooded Merganser http://bit.ly/yI7HjD
Wood Duck Nest Box http://bit.ly/y89U1v
Mallard Nesting Behavior: Can I move the nest? http://bit.ly/xawSdh
Bufflehead: Black and white duck http://bit.ly/MjFhnm

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Do birds eat pineapples?

I've had a few people tell me recently they heard it was good to put out a pineapple for the birds, especially woodpeckers. A lot of native Michigan birds enjoy fruit like apples, pears, cherries, apricots, plums, grapes, and more. I'm not so sure about pineapples. It's not a food our winter birds would usually find. Orioles, tanagers, flycatchers, vireos and other birds that winter in Central America, South America, Caribbean, and Mexico might be more familiar with pineapples.

But it wouldn't hurt to stake out a pineapple to see if you have any woodpeckers with a hankering for a little bit of something sweet this winter. If you don't get any takers in the bird world, I'm sure a the squirrels and raccoons could handle the clean-up job.

I was just watching a video from the Cornell Lab Bird Cams in Panama. Pineapple was their fruit offering of the day! A Gray-cowled Wood-Rail and a Variegated Squirrel arrived at the feeder at the same time to eat together.

Watch the video:  https://youtu.be/548BLFYAb8I

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Joy of Bird Feeding!

Why do old people feed birds? I must be getting old. I hear this question/comment so often at the checkout of the Wild Birds Unlimited store at East Lansing and I never know what to say.
A lot of people like to feed birds, both young and old. More than 40 percent of Americans make it a regular habit. Originally bird feeding began as a beneficial relationship. We helped birds survive the winter so they could go on to eat insects that bugged us and threatened agricultural production in the summer. Soon this kind act of inviting “feathered guests” turned into welcoming our “personal friends” to spend part of the day with us and de-stress.

I’ve always fed the birds. Instead of tea with dolls, when I was growing up I would share homemade jelly tarts with the birds. Oh the drama! You can learn a lot from the birds and other little visitors that frequent feeders. Friendly birds, shy birds, clever birds, squirrels crashing the party… Watching the aggressive flicking of a squirrel’s tail, the calling of the jays to announce food is served, the playful moments with a chickadee or nuthatch, the clever quickness of sparrows figuring out how to get their share and their neighbors’ share as well.

I was captivated by the natural world early and have never lost interest. Others also may have enjoyed watching birds earlier, only to become sidetracked, and then returned to watching Mother Nature’s great reality show a little later in life when they aren’t quite as busy.

Related Articles:

Why is the Dove a Symbol of Peace? http://t.co/Br4EnlB
Why should we care about birds? http://bit.ly/MFC0yr
Why feed the birds? http://goo.gl/NlZrU
Nature's impact on our well-being https://natures-impact-on-wellbeing.html
Santayana's Law of Repetitive Consequences: Loss of the Passenger Pigeon http://bit.ly/sUPlXj