A few years ago the fairy grandmother delivered to our house (deep in the city) the gift of nature. She brought something called ‘the Squirrelbuster’. It also came with two other feeders and a stand from which to hang the feeders. Being the fairy grandmother of course she also brought all the seed we’d need.
We hung all of this up, for the children, we said, and then we waited. One day the birds came. First sparrows, which brought house and purple finches. Then came chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers and a faithful pair of cardinals. In the winter we have junkos hopping around on the ground, and very occasionally we’ll see a few goldfinches fly through in mid-summer on their way somewhere much more glamorous. Somehow along the way I realized I really loved birds. It’s as though birds were an adult surprise. How, I wondered, could I have coexisted with these amazing creatures and somehow never noticed them before?
As fall came at Northbrook we brought our birdfeeders from the city. We hung several of them just outside the kitchen window. This has been incredibly convenient for watching the birds. Here we have hundreds of goldfinches, a few sparrows, nuthatches, chickadees and woodpeckers. There’s a family of blue jays that lives in the treeline at the edge of the property. They’ll come by for a quick look, but they’re skittish and don’t linger. All in, the birdwatching has been lovely.
Pretty great, no? I especially love showing the birds to our truly urban friends when the come up.
However, a few times lately on arrival we’ve come across the following crime scene:
At the moment we don’t have any really great ideas other than to do our best to secure the feeders and to keep filling them. I’d be really mad except I love to imagine the joy of whatever animal(s) when the mission was accomplished. Joy, and a full stomach.