I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore but one of my secret resolutions this year was to feed and learn the neighborhood birds. I know the backyard regulars – robins, cardinals, bluejays, starlings, hawk – well enough to say hi to when we pass on the street but there are so many others that I don’t know from Adam. A few years ago I bought the Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Birds like everyone else and it lived in my car for years just in case I had a bird identification emergency out on the road. Now it’s on a shelf somewhere and I haven’t even browsed the pictures lately. My biggest trouble with bird i.d. though is when the bird isn’t visible at all because the book is no help to me then. When they say a certain bird makes a call that sounds like “potato chip” and to me it sounds for all the world like it’s saying “blue corn tortilla chip”, I just get confused. But if I commit to actively feeding the birds (as opposed to letting them sup on rosehips, bittersweet and holly berries until those are gone or filling the feeders once and forgetting), maybe I’ll get a glimpse at some of the long distance callers when they come hang out at my feeders. And with a positive Peterson i.d. I’ll stop calling them Edgar and Lucille.
So today I dutifully scrubbed the greengunk off the perches and even dismantled the parts to get at the hard to reach ghick inside and I filled them from the second biggest bag of seed available at Agway. I joined The Birdseed Club. I’ve made a commitment. (I wonder if I’ll have to attend potluck meetings?) I am resolved to feed the birds from now on – if they ever show up. And until then evidently, I’ll just feed the squirrels.
5 thoughts on “The Birdseed Club”
Oh yeah, those squirrels are gonna loooooooooooooove you. I keep meaning to get the Peterson Western guide, along with its “Birding By Ear” CD to help with the songs. They have a couple of those for Eastern/Central too, in case you’re interestedl: http://rkwalton.com/bbe.html
Yeah those squirrels are pretty fat and happy – I think more people in the neighborhood are feeding them than just me though. And thanks for the link – I’ve actually irritated other bookstore shoppers by considering buying it (must try all the calls first!) -kris
I have been an off and on birder for eons or at least 30 years. I started young… I really am not too old.. I know some calls but that has never been my strength. so far I have seen no birds at the feeders we put up at school. though something has visited the food.
Maybe it’s one of those silly students who isn’t interested in the miracle of lavender brownies… Some peoples’ taste is all in their mouth. -kris
Ha! Me too! Never had a feeder before 2 weeks ago. It took the birds a few days to find us, but now they now. I’ve been meaning to post about my “Squirrel Buster” feeder purchase and the funny stories the fellow shopper at Agway told me about all the feeders she’s tried that the squirrels have busted. So far I’ve seen only little chickadee things, but the cardinals have showed up in the trees across our road. Can’t wait to know what they all are. The lab of ornithology at Cornell has a bunch of bird calls recorded. I don’t have the link handy but you could google it. Have fun with your new friends–feathered and furred 🙂
I should have known you’d be feeding the birds and squirrels now too. Can’t wait to see the Buster feeder – is there anything they can’t figure their way into? And thanks for the tip about the lab at Cornell! -kris
You are in for a treat! The birds around here are clever…they hide when they see my camera but aren’t the least bit phased when I garden. We have the usual suspects and then some. gail
There are some cuties out there right now! – Quite a few actually. Mostly bitty brown chickadeedeedee types and some with black heads… Where’s my book? Hey this is fun! -kris
Kris: I have to share something with you….I really think you have to be a person of a ‘certain’ age to appreciate the birds. You know what that means? I haven’t joined a club but have been feeding for a while and I have to say they are so much fun to watch. The squirrels are even funnier! They are acrobats. I want to hear about the ‘pot luck suppers’ and if you do attend, all hope for your youth is lost! Just kidding. LOL 🙂
Layanee, Say it isn’t so! I’m only about twelve in my head (or 28 on a very very good day) … Hey look, the squirrel’s totally eating upside-down! -kris