Several weeks ago, we were visiting with friends. These friends were living in a condo and moved into a home around the same time we did. So we often explore the joys and disasters of home ownership together. On this occasion we were admiring their yard and a new addition: a multi-contraption bird feeder system. It was attracting many many many birds and it became the pastime of the evening: drinking and watching the birds.
Which doesn’t sound at all like something old people do. We were drinking which totally makes it young and cool.
For many many days after we returned home, Chad kept talking about the bird feeder, and where we would put the bird feeder, and how many birds we might get to visit our new bird feeder. I quickly realized that Chad might be itching to get started on some long overdue yard projects. Memorial Day Weekend seemed like a good stretch of days to get started on such a project, so we made our first stop at Wild Birds Unlimited – sent by our good friend, The Crazy Asian Bird Lady (she gave herself that name, I just call her The Crazy Asian Lady). Wouldn’t you know it, they knew exactly who I was talking about.
They set us up with armloads of crap and we headed home to set up our new bird feeder system. After some instruction reading (that’s my part) and sweating under the hot sun (that’s Chad’s part) we had our bird feeder set up and we were ready for the birds. And so we waited. Which involved lots of standing by the window and watching the yard.
The three things you need to successfully attract birds to your yard is; food, shelter, and water. So we have lots of trees around us (shelter) and we added two bird baths, and feeders. And they came.
In the beginning, we had a lot of European Starlings, eating the peanut butter balls in a little green round cage feeder. The peanut butter balls are a huge hit with the starlings, but we also have other larger birds picking away at it. After moving that one around multiple times, it seems that they WILL crawl on the cage and eat, but they really prefer one of those iron branches to stand on.
The wooden house feeder is popular among all the of the bird visitors. We aren’t sure if it’s the feeder itself, or the food, but they go through the food once a day (sometimes twice in a day) and the birds don’t even mind sharing a side, as long as they get some seed. I want to get a bigger house when this one wears out.
Unfortunately, we got some really well made bird feeders so it will be several years before I get to replace this one.
The super cute House Finches were always coming in pairs, which is funny because the male has a red head and the female is all brown, so Chad was calling them Ron and Hermione. That was until they started coming in larger groups and I was able to convince him it wasn’t just two of them. Now that it’s later in the summer, I’m seeing lots more ladies and a lot less red heads.
Then the goldfinches started to show up, and they were so adorable that I wanted them to visit more. So we went back to the bird store, and at the advice of the very helpful store ladies, got Nyger (finch specific food) and a finch feeder. We were suddenly attracting 8-12 goldfinches at a time. Which was attracting 2-4 humans at a time to watch from the window.
Over the summer we tried several configurations of bird feeders, bird food, and adding to the backyard to both attract birds and make the backyard more pleasing to the humans that would use it. The birds kept coming and are currently sending us running to the bird store several times a month to make sure we don’t run out of bird food. Now filling the bird feeders and hosing bird crap off of the fence is a daily chore around here. If only I could teach Bella to work a hose.
Have I succeeded in making you want bird feeders of your own? Or do you just want to come over and watch from our window. Both are acceptable options.