Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bird Nerd

A little known fact about me - I am a bird nerd. I am sure everyone could guess that I love owls, but in fact I love all birds. Except maybe Turkeys. About three years ago I decided to set up bird feeders in my yard - five of them to be exact- and I would actually wake up at 7 AM on the weekend to watch the birds at the feeders. I was usually up before they were, but I still sat glued to the window, watching and waiting. It wasn't long before I bought bird identification books and started making lists of the ones I had spotted. Next I began researching how to attract different types of birds to my yard. I began annoying everyone around me by identifying every bird we saw. Then we got Penny - public enemy number one to backyard birds. So, the bird feeders had to come down.

But I missed my early mornings with the birds - for some reason it was so relaxing to sit inside and watch them feeding, knowing that I was helping them to survive. (except for the times the hawks came to visit the feeders) In the winter, the Northern Cardinals look so bright and beautiful, and in the summer you get the yellow glory of the American Goldfinch. And the bird song in the summer is wonderful to wake up to, or so I think. So a few months ago I hung feeders in the front yard, and I have my birds back. The cats love the placement, and sit and watch them for hours, chattering and pawing the window. I don't do that, but I do sit and watch the birds, always hoping for a new sighting.

Today was a pretty cool day - Billy and I went to Oakwoods Metropark near our home, and hung out in the Nature Center with Ronni, one of the interpreters as she participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count. I have to admit, part of my desire to go to Oakwoods today was to see if they were doing anything with the GBBC; I knew they would have much better sightings. It was so cozy to sit in the Nature Center, with its window that is pretty much the entire back of the building, drinking coffee with someone who can identify the birds for you, and explain the identification. And we saw so many different birds - Bald Eagles, Mallards, an American Black Duck, Nuthatches, Cardinals, Red Bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers to name a few of my favorites of the day. We also saw the ones I see the most- the little saucy Black Capped Chickadee, White Breasted Nuthatches that feed upside down, Cardinals, a Coopers Hawk and a Sharp Shinned Hawk, a Blue Jay. And we were only there an hour! I can't imagine the variety we might have seen had we sat there longer. It was a day after my bird loving heart.

I don't think I will ever be someone who actively will go out and bird watch, fully intending to look for certain birds. Unless I am going on an owl walk, to spot different owls. For the most part, I prefer to stumble upon them while out walking and be surprised, or watch them from my kitchen table, cup of coffee in hand, with a cat on my lap.


  1. What a great article and a fantastic time you had at Oakwoods. I have been there and love that room with the window wall. I also love birds of all kinds but I do love hawks and seeing them. They have a special place in my heart related to my late husband. He also loved hawks and loved to point them out to me and tell me what kind they were. I love the colorful cardinals, blue jays wood peckers and all the others that happen into my yard. I love the melodious songs of the birds on a Spring morning just as I am on my way out to door to work and the sun is coming up. I imagine that they are all wishing each other Good Morning and talking about their plans for the day. I have also enjoyed bird feeders in the past until I could not keep the possums out of them and had to take them down when they decided to cut my trees down they were in. Some day I would love watching bird feeders again but that will have to wait till a later time. I am happy that you two had such a good time enjoying bird watching.

  2. I should have known you were a bird enthusiast too Sandy! I have two bird feeders now, and I hung them from my porch ~ maybe you could get a pole or shepherds hook to hang a feeder from? I bet Sunny would love it!


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