I love birds. Not kept-in-a-cage-in-your-house-type birds, but the wild and free birds that visit my yard all year ’round. This is a love that came to me in adulthood…as a child I did indeed love and appreciate all things animal ( it was not unusual for me to weep hopelessly for injured animals on Lassie re-runs) but I really didn’t take notice nor really care about the birds fluttering and twittering about our yard. Sure I enjoyed tossing stale bread to the ducks at a local lake and I once made a bird feeder out of an old coffee can. However, I did that more out of boredom than any actual feeling of benevolence to the feathered folk that my mom got so much enjoyment out of watching. In fact I never truly “got” what my mom saw in the scrub jays she doted on so lovingly. To my indifferent heart they were nothing more than a bunch of squawking bullies that chased all the other birds away from the bread mom tossed onto the grass.

Now here it is 30 years later and I have 8 feeders spread out between my front and back yards. Every morning I check to see who is visiting my bird banquet. There are the juncos and sparrows, the mourning doves and robins, the house finches and goldfinches-American and Lesser. There is the black phoebe with its flipping tail, the beautiful yellow rumped warbler, and the wee Anna’s hummingbird. The mockingbird and scrub jay and (new this year) the rufous-sided spotted towhee. I fill and re-fill the tube feeders with songbird mix, the sock feeders with thistle, and the hummer feeders with sugar water. I scatter feed along the ground for the mourning doves, juncos and white crowned sparrows. And when I remember, I purchase meal worms from the local Wild Bird Center and attempt to lure Western Bluebirds to join the feast (I have so far been very unlucky with the bluebirds–they seem to come for one day a year, finding a few worms then moving on to greener pastures).

This love of mine has induced me to becoming a member of Project Feeder Watch. And I have even tried to bring my children along and for the past few years we have participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count

I am not sure what if any importance will ever comed from my bird watching…for now it is a diversion and a pleasure that gets me outdoors. And if that is all it ever amounts to then that is enough and I will be happy to continue to enjoy God’s dear little feathered folk.

originally posted  2/16/07