This morning, as I fixed Danny’s coffee, I watched the birds line up on the fence to take their turns at the feeder on our back porch – wrens, finches, sparrows, doves. In the summer, when bugs/seeds/blossoms are plentiful, I am not diligent about feeding the birds. A day or two may lapse before I refill the feeder, so I wondered how they knew when it was chow time again. They must hear it through the bird vine. The small chirpers that live around our house in the bushes and tree branches must signal to the outsiders by using a different series of tweets. Although it defeats their purpose of keeping the food to themselves, they cannot help but sing for joy. They’re so sweet!
Some days the birds will devour the entire contents. Other days they will leave some food for the next day, so the chirping begins early. The doves are not welcome. They are too big for the feeder and poop bigger, too. However, since the little songsters accept them, I feel I must do the same. Throughout the day, the whistles, warbles, and tweets surround our house, so I am rewarded as well.
The squirrels come, too, although they have to hang upside down to get at the seeds. These are pests. They do not like to share. They gorge themselves. I have tried several different squirrel-proof feeders to no avail. So, I gave in and started feeding them on the ground with squirrel food. Yes, you can buy it. Only one chubby squirrel seems to persistently prefer the birdseed. I have to shoo him away much to my chagrin.
In the afternoon the cardinals, woodpeckers, jays, and chickadees join the throng of eaters. It isn’t easy for the woodpeckers to get at the food with their size and longer beaks, but they do their darnedest. Although they don’t come around as often, they are as large as the doves and scare off the smaller birds.
In the winter I have multiple feeders to keep filled. Every morning as dawn begins, there are a couple little chirpers at the bedroom windows to remind me that it is cold out and food is scarce. Quite a cheerful, earful alarm clock.