I was bummed about my birds this winter. I came home from Wisconsin after Christmas, excited about feeding the winter birds. I set up my feeders, but no birds showed. It was not sibling rivalry, but it was “bird envy.” My sister had feeding stations on her deck, and we had watched birds with great enthusiasm while I was there.
I ordered for her my favorite bird identification book, A Guide to Field Identification Birds of North America. I love this book. I have used it since 1978, when I started being serious about identifying the birds I noticed. My original copy cost $1.95 new. My former spouse has possession of this book. We would check the boxes and record the date at the back of the book, when we found a new bird. I was compelled to buy my own copy 34 years later for the inflated price of $4.95.
So this winter, the birds…they just didn’t seem to gather at my North Carolina bird feeders. I consulted a friend who had gazillions of lovely birds flocking to her stations. She gave me some very helpful tips. Change my feed to the black oil sunflower seeds. Move my feeders around, rather than clump them all together, and find the places the birds liked best. I listened, implemented the suggestions, and it worked. I put some low and some high. Birds began visiting my feeders. When it snowed, I had Juncos, Tufted Titmice, and Nuthatches visit my bird restaurants. But that was when it snowed.
Now, it is spring! This morning, a bluebird was perched on my fence. This afternoon, a cardinal sang from a tree above my hanging suet cage, later a Rufus-Sided Towhee scratched on the ground near the platform feeder in the back, and this evening a Downy Woodpecker clung to the side of my bark-covered hanging feeder tossing the sunflower seed shells to the ground. Three different spots of my queendom were all gathering very notable and colorful species of birds. SCORE! Definitely a Four Bird Day.
(See if you can find the cardinal on the wire in the middle of the photo.)