Friday, 23 October 2009

Feed the birds

In the first picture you can see all my bird feeders - or most of them. In the distance, by the fence, is a little wooden house that gets filled with mixed seeds. The platform at the front is a good place for crusts. The one with the green roof hangs on the kitchen window, which means I get a good view of my little guests while I'm standing at the kitchen sink. It has sunflower seeds, which attract finches and the tit family. The smooth-looking gentleman in the second picture is a nuthatch. He walks down treetrunks head first. I can't tell you how long it took to get this picture. He's a quick mover! The bright red one and the pretty yellow house we bought in Sweden are full of mixed seeds, so the bluetits and great tits (chickadees?) eat what they want and drop the grains of corn onto the ground below. This is handy for the yellowhammers, who prefer to feed from the ground. Also the robin - favourite of all english people, and featured on countless Christmas cards. I have two peanut holders, which are popular with nearly everyone, but especially the squirrels. That's why they're made of metal. Squirrels are rough little creatures who will drop the feeder from a height in an attempt to smash it open. We used to hang the peanuts up in their green plastic nets, but the little rascals would chew the bottom off the net and collect the nuts when they fell to the ground.
The norwegians have a lovely tradition that at Christmas they buy a sheaf of corn with the seeds still on their stems. This is hung up in the garden on Christmas eve so the birds can have their own Christmas feast.
Buying food for the birds for the whole winter is an extra expense, and there are a lot of sunflower shells to sweep up in the spring. They also show their gratitude all over the car, but these minor irritations are more than made up for by the hours of pleasure I get watching them feed, and the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that I'm saving little lives

1 comment:

  1. I like your little yellow bird house. I wanted one when we were in Sweden, but not enough to transport it back here on a packed plane.