Monday, November 25, 2013

Birds

I love birds.  I currently have 11 feeders of differnt sorts hung outside my windows and around the yard.  Some people (my husband included) think I'm a bit of a fanatic.  But I'm not.  After all, I only have one bird book and I don't even have a pair of binoculars.  But I do love birds.  Something about watching them fly around and eat at the feeders is just amazing to me.  One of my feeders is hung right outside Josiah's bedroom window and when the birds are coming in to it to eat, we (I, Josiah, and the cats) will sit there and watch them.  And last week when I filled the feeders, I put some sunflowers on the top step of our back deck so we can watch them hop around on the deck from the sliding door.  It drives the cats crazy.

Of course, we also get lots of squirrels.  We put out corn cobs for them every few weeks and they get the bird feed that falls to the ground but I've managed to set up my feeders so the squirrels can only get to two of them (they're on a shepherds hook outside the kitchen window).  I have a jelly feeder for the Baltimore Orioles on one side and a finch feeder on the other.  The squirrels can't get to the finch feed because the feeding holes are too small and now that the Orioles are gone, I don't mind the squirrels eating the jelly.  Besides, when one climbs up the hook to the jelly feeder, we get to watch a squirrel up close.  There's been many a morning when Josiah was distracted from his breakfast by a squirrel right outside the window. 

We also get some not-so-desirable birds like crows, grackels, and starlings.  I always hate to see a flock of them come flying in.  They scare away the other little birds and empty the feeders in the yard, spilling a lot of the feed on the ground.  Last year they were pretty bad until I moved the suet feeder away from the other feeders.  Evidently those types of birds really like suet and they kept coming back for it and then eating everything else.  The suet is now in the far corner of the yard, hanging from the electric pole.  Hopefully it won't be such an issue this year but if it is, I'm going to try moving it to one of the trees.  Maybe the branches will keep it hidden enough that the bad birds won't find it. 

What kinds of birds do I see, you ask?  Well, this past summer, I finally got Orioles coming in to the nectar and jelly feeders.  But I have yet to see a hummingbird even though I put out a hummer feeder every summer.  Every week or so, I'll see blue jays and cardinals (cardinals are my favorite).  The birds I see most often are sparrows, purple and "regular" finches.  I see lots of robins in the summer and this past summer, I noticed some wrens playing in my garden.  I've also seen what I think is a veery and a thrush at different times.  And I've had some pigeons stop in at the feeders for a snack. 

This morning, we had a real treat.  Josiah and I were sitting on the floor in front of the sliding doors, watching the birds on the back deck.  Suddenly a hawk or hawk-related bird came swooping into the yard and missed, by inches, the head of a squirrel that was sitting under the feeders in the yard.  In a nanosecond, every bird had disappeared and the squirrel retreated to the protection of a tree.  The hawk perched on the branch of one of the trees in our yard and kept looking around, hoping for a juicy meal to appear.  I watched him for a few minutes but decided finally that I'd better scare him away so that the other birds could come back and eat in safety.

And now it's naptime for my son and reluctantly, I'll give up watching the birds to feed him and put him down for his nap.  I have things to do today but as I go about my chores, I always keep one eye looking out the windows, hoping to catch sight of little birds flitting through the air.   

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?  Matthew 6:26

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