Sassy Sue wows the bark park visitors with her catching and retrieving.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Is for the Birds

The main bird feeder, from Duncraft, is only a few feet from my desk - outside the window. The squirrel is already enjoying his corn feeder, nearby on the sill. I added another suet basket, hanging from the first one. My plan is to have a comfortable view of various creatures feeding at once. The multiple feeding arrangement generates noise, and more birds will come because of the noise.

The squirrel does not even try the Duncraft feeder, because his weight on the bar shuts off the supply of seed, which is now pure black oil sunflower.

For your amusement and edification, I compared the price of seed at a store. Blended seed (cardinal on the front) was $2 a pound, while sunflower seed was around 50 cents. Thistle (for finches) and safflower (hated by squirrels) were both higher priced than sunflower. As Bruce Church said, all the blended seed sacks featured various song birds. Sunflower seed is loved by 42 species of birds and costs less than all the other seeds.

The backyard corn feeder attracted a pair of blue jays, the most majestic of all the colorful birds. The jays rested above the feeder, looked around, and landed on the ground to pick up corn. They pecked away at it in the security of the branches above. I noticed them harvesting corn from the ground last year, too.

We probably have many jays living behind our house. We are surrounded by oaks, a favorite habitat for jays. A pair nested in the bush near the Duncraft feeder, so I wonder if they will nest there in the spring and notice the equivalent of a McDonald's outside their door.

"Jay, the nestlings need more food, dear."

"I'll just hop over to the feeder."

"So convenient, Jay. I hope we always nest here at the Jackson's. Grab a few seeds for me, too."

We now have one main feeding station (sunflowers, suet, corn and water). I can be inches away from a chickadee enjoying his suet - a foot away from cardinals, finches, titmice, and chickadees eating sunflower seeds. The squirrel is closest of all, because tree-rats are shameless food hustlers. They cannot be frightened through glass.

Three other places provide seed, corn, and suet. Now I will look for extra nuts for the jays and squirrels.

Some people think it is strange to feed the creatures, but the Lord of Creation shared His nursery with them.

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