Friday, June 11, 2010

Beautiful vagabonds

Jeff and I have been bird lovers for a long time. We spend a small fortune on black oil sunflower seed and Nijer thistle seed every winter to feed our small friends. It's getting to the point that we feed them all summer long too. Mum and I bought two nice sunflower seed feeders for Jeff for Father's day. A little early, but he needed them now, not in two weeks. We were soon rewarded with some resident chickadees, who have been infrequent visitors until now. I love their song and their friendly habits.The photos aren't very spiffy, I haven't managed to get close enough to the birds. I need to spend some more time waiting patiently, but it won't be this week.
The nicest surprise has been the hummingbirds that are rewarding my planting efforts with some quality time at the coral bells and other flowers in my garden. Here is a cute little guy at the bleeding heart  that spent a long time in the side yard yesterday. 
This hummingbird was sitting on some honeysuckle vines which I passed as I was walking to church last night. They look like a completely different bird when sitting and fluffing their feathers out.
There has also been a hummingbird visitor with a ruby throat that shines iridescently in the sun, on those rare days that we have actually seen the sun.
The ubiquitous blue jays love the sunflower seed too. They are so common here that I almost don't like them, because they have a habit of burying most of their food in my garden, so I have to contend with little nut trees and stray sunflower plants. But my Mum comments on them all the time as if they were a rare species, so I have to remind myself that not everyone gets to see blue jays in their back yard. Or on their mimosa stumps!
And, of course, the voracious goldfinches that cost us so much in thistle seed. But they are so adorable that we don't even flinch as we raid our wallets any more.

Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. Harper Lee, in one of the best books of all time.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. Chinese proverb.

I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven. Emily Dickinson.

I once had a sparrow alight on my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance than I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn. Henry David Thoreau.

And on that note, I will say "Amen".


  1. I love to watch birds too. When our kids were young we had a feeder that attached to a window that cranked open. We could open the window and put our hands out with seed in them. They would sit right on our hands and eat. Such fun!

  2. I love bird watching....HOWEVER....I am not happy with the birds this year because they keep eating my garden. any tips to keep the buggers away??

  3. I enjoy watching birds too. Although, we don't have any bird feeders as of yet in our backyard. It is still a work in progress. I am also concerned because we have a rambunctious squirrel and many crows in the trees behind our house. Not sure if they will steal all the food leaving nothing for the cute birds.

  4. Nicole, you can buy feeders that discourage squirrels. Blue jays aren't quite as much of a problem. But I have found that it's as much the trees and flowers that you plant that encourage birds to visit your garden.