Sunday, June 19, 2005

bird brains

Shortly after Pukka and I moved to our current location, I got a bird feeder. I filled it full of seed, put it outside and waited. No birds came. I waited awhile longer and still no birds came. I whined to my mother and listened to her advice. I started to move the feeder around a bit to try and find a more attractive location. I consulted the internet. And then one day, I looked around and realized that there were no birds to be seen in our neck of the woods. We live close to a major highway, in fairly new construction and it just wasn't such good birding territory.

We'd drive through other parts of town, parts with trees and birds, and I would yell at the birds, "Come to my house! There's plenty to eat there!"

Out of stubborness (or laziness), I left the birdfeeder where it was, and every so often, I'd knock the nasty seed out of it into the trash and replace it. Finally, about a year after the feeder arrived, I noticed a finch at it one day. Then for two weeks, no sign of anything. Then they started coming, slowly but surely. We have mourning doves, goldfinches, and either purple finches or house finches (I can't tell them apart -- maybe we have both?). We get chickadees and sparrows. Today I'd swear I saw some type of titmouse, but I haven't taken the time to look him up yet.

And then the non-seed eaters started moving in. Of course we get robins, and this year a pair of swallows nested in the eaves of our garage (and dive-bombed us whenever we had reason to go out there -- luckily we use it for storage and not our cars).

Logically, I realize that this phenomenon is mostly a function of time. The trees here have grown a little biggger. The sprawl has sprawled further, so we're less on the edge of town that we used to be. But I like imagining that my feeder had something to do with the renaissance. And if not, at least it's provided an endless source of entertainment for the cats.