Backyard birds bring back a lot of memories for me. My grandparents on both sides had a relationship with our winged neighbors. It was a birdbath just outside the large picture window in Kansas. In Arkansas, a cockatiel sat on my grandfather’s shoulder. From the common sparrow to the red-tailed hawk, birds have been ever-present.
For most of our married lives, my wife and I have enjoyed having a bird feeder. Our visitors, the backyard birds, often served as test subjects for my photography. Occasionally, they would be joined by squirrels eager to steal a bite. It wasn’t long after we moved into our current home that the bird feeder was set up and we were enjoying the views again. Unfortunately, weather takes its toll and the old pole eventually gave out. We talked about replacing it for a while, but there was always something else on our minds. I think we went at least two years without one.
Recently, we made a visit to Wild Birds Unlimited. The store had moved to a new location, but it was still very familiar. It didn’t take long before we were walking out the door with a new setup. As expected, it took a little bit, but our backyard birds have returned. In the past week alone, we have seen a variety of familiar favorites: sparrows, goldfinches, cardinals, and juncos. For the first time I can remember, we have had regular visits from blue jays and squirrels. I’ve seen a couple of birds I have not yet properly identified, too. Add our regular waterfowl visitors and the backyard birds are keeping us (and our cat) entertained. We even had a group of possums visiting us. They seemed to enjoy the buffet for a night or two before the recent cold snap.
A quality bird feeder and the right seed mix. It isn’t the cheapest way to go, but having our backyard birds back was worth every penny.