Feeding Birds 05/22/12
If you put bird seed out, birds of all sizes and shapes will eventually arrive show up.
Feeding Birds Is Fun…and Messy!
By Connie Goldin, MA, MFT
Every spring I throw handfuls of wild bird seed out on the lawn, or hang a feeder, to see what birds arrive. It never fails that the sparrows are the first to come for a free meal. I also get black phoebes, who I love, and little house finches. A few towhees arrive and I always have hummingbirds, but they are there for the flowers. I am delighted when I hear the whistles of hooded orioles that migrate from Mexico to nest in our our Palm trees. When they finally make their first furtive visit to my garden, it is a spring treat. The male is a brilliant yellow and black, and the female is a soft yellow and brown. Finally, I begin to see them regularly and it is a joy.
After a while, bigger birds come-starlings, black birds, blue jays and mockingbirds.This is where it begins to get a little dicey because they all have naughty, aggressive tendancies. I know it is time to stop the free-form feeding when pigeons arrive. However, they aren’t the top of this pecking order.
One year, I looked out my window and saw a big hawk hanging out, hidden, in my plumeria. When I went outside, I saw gray pigeon feathers all over my patio. The hawk (probably a cooper’s hawk, who nest in my neighborhood) had found his easy, fast food spot. That is when I said, “Okay! No more bird seed for awhile.” (I have “hidden” some on the ground in a different spot by the bird bath, so that no one will go hungry!)
Even though, where I live, this is the usual course of feeding birds, I love it and highly recommend doing this with young kids. It is fun, a great education, a vocabulary builder and an introduction to “Nature 101.”
Here are some of my regular visitors:
Enjoy learning the names of the birds in your area. Here is a bird guide I like:
Check out the San Diego Audubon Society for upcoming events.