Monday, February 16, 2004

Feed the Birds
I want to be the little old bird woman. I have long delighted in birds. I know their names and can recognize many of their songs. My boys would tease me about my enthusiasm as I would spot unique birds while driving them to school. "Oh, look at the Sand Hill Cranes!." Me, slowing down...pulling over...""Look at all those turkeys!" They think this is funny, but I guarantee they will remember it, and say these things to their children. I know this is true because I remember our mother calling out the same sorts of things, "Children, look at the ducks in the pool!." or "The geese, the geese, do you hear them?"

So I am attempting this winter to feed the birds. I got a late start...think I might have missed the 'birds knowing there is food over here ' window of opportunity. But we have a nice spot to place our birdfeeder(the best spot we have ever had) and I filled the feeder with Safflower seeds. I don't think they like them very much.

Here is where you come in :o) We have Cardinals, Chickadees and Sparrows in the winter. Is there a food they all like to eat? Is it better to have a few feeders rather than just one?

Let me know what works at your home. Thanks.

Last spring...this odd little bird was poking around in our backyard, for over an hour. There was still a thin layer of snow on the ground and it was walking around and around poking it's freakishly long beak into the soggy ground. Must have been having great success because it stayed so long. Emma, Katie and I watched with interest and then we ran to figure out what kind of bird it was. Immediately I thought of a sandpiper...but here in Southern Wisconsin that seemed unlikely. After a little searching we found that this bird was a Common Snipe. It turns out that they *do* live here in Wi. but are very shy and are usually hiding in brush.

I hope it comes back again this Spring....along with those melodious Robins.

My list of birds that I have spotted is getting longer every year! Last year I spotted my first Owl and the Common Snipe.

Let me encourage you to start keeping a list. A family list....or a separate list for each person. This is my kind of science. Real life, everyday science.

Longing to feed the birds,

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