One for the birds

One of the things Jessica wanted for Christmas was a bird feeder for our big back yard. We have a huge pecan tree that is home to a family of squirrels, some cats float through from time to time, but we don’t get many birds. We thought a bird feeder might change things a bit.

Well, I had no idea how many bird feeder options there were, nor what kind of birds we wanted to attract. We went shopping and decided to start with a simple wooden feeder for small birds, and a general purpose bird seed that listed the same birds as the feeder did. The only question was where to hang the feeder.

We thought that the best place to hang the feeder was outside the window in our kitchen dining area. We have a good one that would let us watch the birds from our living room and breakfast nook. The only problem was that we’re a bit impatient and nature didn’t come quick enough for us. After talking to our friend Sarah B’s parents about all their birds, we decided to move our feeder to the tree in an effort to entice the birds in their environment. Bad idea.

Thievin’ squirrels…

That’s right, the same squirrel family that cleaned our our entire pecan crop decided they like bird seed as well. They cleaned it out not once, but twice. I’m a slow learner – I filled it up thinking the birds ate the seed. It wasn’t until after I filled it again that I saw the pile of seed on the ground with choice sunflower seeds missing. After that, we decided to move it back to our original place.

Snowmageddon hit Oklahoma just then, so we left the feeder out, with snow piling up. As it thawed, we started to see birds coming around, but none at the feeder. Jessica saw pidgeons at the pile under the tree, and the pile that spilled on the porch was cleaned up.

Finally, we started to see birds at the feeder! Those little guys are flighty, though (forgive the pun), so it’s been hard to get a close look. We’ve seen little ones, medium ones, dark ones and red-headed ones. They come in ones and twos, sometimes on the same side, sometimes on opposite. They chase each other away, and fly away when I try to get close enough to take a picture. They’re fun.

Today, though, I was able to get a picture. I’ve had my camera on the table so I can reach it quickly but even reaching to grab it scares them away. I figured out that I could stand off to the side a bit where the birds couldn’t immediately see me and snap a couple of quick ones before they flew away and it worked. Here’s a couple of shots, one of the beautiful feeder against the sky, and another with a hungry bird deciding on a snack. Here’s hoping they keep coming back!