Feeders and Feathers

Today has been a wonderful day of relaxation with my family. My brother came for the afternoon and we all sat down and enjoyed a delicious pot roast, followed by warm slices of wild blueberry pie. All the while, we watched as dozens of birds stopped by to visit our feeders.

I wish I had thought to turn on the HDR feature on my iPad, but I’ll share a few of the photos I took through our sliding door. My favorite photos show the newest arrivals . . . at least two pair of Eastern Bluebirds!

The first pair arrived at the bird bath and large feeder mid-week. My husband put out some suet pellets and dried mealworms. That was a good call because another pair showed up shortly thereafter, and they have been frequent visitors ever since.

The suet has been a big hit this week, with five different feeding stations for our feathered friends. We have seen Downy Woodpeckers, Carolina Wrens, a Red-Bellied Woodpecker, and the bluebirds too.  Our thistle feeders have been busy with House Finches as well as American Goldfinches with their duller winter plumage. A sure sign of spring will be when the males begin showing patches of their beautiful bright yellow feathers. I will be watching!

During the brief snowfall on Saturday morning, we counted SEVEN pair of Northern Cardinals! Some of them visit the sunflower feeders, but most seem content just foraging for seeds and cracked corn on the patio. They were joined by a dozen or more Dark-Eyed Juncos and a pair of Mourning Doves. And of course the squirrels. For the most part, everyone gets along until a Bluejay arrives, or a flock of European Starlings crashes the party.

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. — Matthew‬ ‭6:26‬a

I know there are mixed feelings in the birding community of whether or not we should feed backyard birds. There are strong opinions on both sides, and obvously, I fall on the bird feeder side. From my perspective, it’s a win-win for me and the birds. I provide food, water and shelter for these beautiful creatures, and they provide me with endless hours of year-round enjoyment!

For the Birds

It’s Saturday, and I’m starting the new year with a non-Sunday post. 😀

We enjoyed wonderful holiday celebrations this year. Christmas was quiet and mostly relaxing — once all the wrapping, baking, decorating and cooking was done. We were also blessed to have both children with us again. Now, after weeks of rushing around, it’s time to settle into a normal routine.

One odd thing though, is that it doesn’t quite feel like winter in Northern Virginia. We have seen plenty of precipitation, but it’s all been the liquid variety. It has been foggy, rainy, and mild, with only occasional morning frost. Mind you I am not complaining. (Well, maybe just a little.) Being a native of Massachusetts, I do love a good snowstorm now and then, if for no other reason than to slow things down a bit.

Calling All Birds!

My husband gave me a wonderful bird feeding station for Christmas. He set it up just outside our sliding glass door on the patio. There is a menu to please every taste: sunflower seeds, thistle, cracked corn and suet. Normally, it would be full of birds by now. However, I cannot decide whether it’s the close proximity to our house, or the balmy weather that is keeping my feathered friends away. Perhaps it’s a little of both. We will give it another week or so before deciding if we need to find a new location.

Of course the squirrels never seem to mind where we locate the bird feeders. They always find a way to get their fill!

As life takes on a slower pace this winter (if it ever arrives), I hope to participate in at least one Saturday morning bird walk organized by our local wildlife conservancy. I also plan to spend more lazy mornings sipping coffee and watching Chickadees come and go at my feeders. For me, that is truly one of life’s greatest pleasures!

“Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and women, old men and children.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭148:7-12‬