I bought my first bird feeder this weekend! The second I put it up, I looked around, expectantly. Where are all the birds? I experienced what most beginning birders must feel: a sense of awe mixed with excitement and impatience. I mean, I can hear more than a dozen birds chirping in the trees right outside my apartment, yet they’re nowhere to be seen. Don’t they know I just put food out for them?
Look! A bird just flew by. Can’t they see the food? The bird was literally five feet away. But you can’t bring a bird to a feeder just like you can’t make a horse drink. It often takes several weeks before birds learn about a new feeding spot.
So, I try to keep things in perspective. Besides, how would I feel if someone blamed me for not finding the only needle in a haystack within a 2,300 mile radius, which is the approximate length of the East Coast and a part of many migration routes. It’s not fair of me to think these birds should magically sense the new presence of my suet cake. It’s just not realistic. Even if the berry flavor does smell delicious.
But there are things you can do. Fill your birdbath with water. Add a Water Wiggler. The movement helps birds spot the water from above. If you’ve elected to fill your bowl with bird food, add a little variety. As for me, I think I’ll add a cup of seed.
I’m glad I’m able to provide a reliable resource for wild birds because feeding them over the winter means they’re more likely to return in the spring. And I like birds. Happy Birding!
P.S. You may have noticed the Cuban Bowl I bought is intended for use as a birdbath, yet I filled it with suet. Good news! The bowl doubles as a feeder and—let’s be honest—the suet cake was on sale.
— Written by Dawn Coutu
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