Feeding the Birds...

I have been confined to the sofa a lot the past few weeks.  Just before Christmas we were "blessed" with an ice storm.  Curious as to whether it was really slick (duh), I stepped out onto my front porch to see if the carpool drive to school would really be treacherous and slipped off the porch.  I landed on the concrete steps and gave myself a great Christmas preset: a minor concussion, whiplash, and I messed up my back in three places.  Oh crap... I guess I didn't fall gracefully.

Going from being an overly active person to a mere heap piled on the couch has been a rough transition.  I can't lift anything and I spend three days a week in therapy which feels like a huge waste of time even though I can see it helping.  I would rather be doing something else.  One very unexpected thing that has helped cheer me up while being flat on my back is my bird feeders.  I have a few in my front yard.  I moved one a few months ago to a sheltered spot under my front porch, right in view of the couch.  I thought it would drive my cats wild, and it has.  Lou La Belle took a flying leap into the window one morning, thinking that breakfast was just a leap away, she got more than she bargained for: a big headache and no bird.

Watching the flocks of birds come and go throughout the day has been amusing.  They all have such personalities.  The jays are bossy, the finches and the chickadees fight like tiny dragons, the woodpeckers are curious, and the robins sit idly by eating crabapples and rolling their eyes at all the drama.  I keep the feeder piled high with seed.  It can be horribly cold in Utah, and with the snow cover, available food can get scarce for the birds.  I make sure I have a mix that everyone likes.  Black sunflower seeds for the finches, peanuts to fight over for the jays, lots of little seeds for chickadees.  I have recently been seeing red striped black birds stopping by.  We have a downy woodpecker and a northern flicker that get curious and come to join in the fun.  They like to peck at the tree while watching the others squabble and fight.  We get a good variety of birds.

If you are not feeding the birds, you should consider giving it a try.  You don't even have to be confined to the couch to enjoy it.  Just make sure the feeder is in a place where the birds will find it.  Once one or two find the food, the word gets out fast; you will soon have piles of birds if you keep the feeder well stocked.  I get about 30 birds each morning and several surges throughout the day.  If you have kids, they will love identifying your visitors.  We have a backyard bird book that my little farmhands use to quickly ID the birds.  They love keeping track of who is stopping by.  If you have cats, they are in for a show that they hopefully won't have a chance to eat.  Both of my cats sit at the window all day long.  They get all twitchy when a bird gets close, it is a riot to watch and has given me hours of much needed entertainment and a good giggle here and there.

Give our feathered friends a leg up and start feeding them.  They will thank you with lots of laughter and a few good stories to share.


  1. Sorry to hear about your back, and head. You know I empathize with back issues.

    I've tried with the birds, but I think I need a real feeder. Moby is an avid bird watcher.

  2. Zhoen - getting so much better, I think I will be spending a lot of time doing therapy and visiting my chiropractor friend for sometime, but it is REALLY helping. I can actually sleep now and I can move without pain, which is a big deal.

    I sometimes see bird feeders at garage sales. A piece of sandpaper, some funky colored paint and Moby will be so happy, maybe Eleanor too! I have a thing with birds. My G.G-ma used to put cakes on a table in the backyard just for the birds. They would land on her when she went outside. I think the bird obsession is in my blood...


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