This is for the Birds

I got some great feedback from last week’s post which, if you don’t remember, was about ideas for my “garden.” I use the term loosely because right now it’s just a collection of weeds and scraggly shrubs that were planted in the wrong places when the house was first built. In 1989. Yes, those azaleas have been there WAAAY too long. So thank you to everyone who left a comment for me! I got some great suggestions that I intend to use. I’ll post pictures as I get things planted and (hopefully) growing and thriving.

I hope you don’t mind another post in which I ask for your advice.

My topic today is about another harbinger of spring: birds. Until this past week, I had only one bird feeder on my property. It is an egg-shaped terra cotta feeder that hangs from one of the cedar trees in my front yard. The problem is, I can’t see it from indoors. And I don’t want to move it because the birds know to look there for food.

terra cotta bird feeder

So I bought two more feeders and a suet cage. One feeder, also egg-shaped, is wooden. It hangs near my back door. The other feeder is the kind you attach to your window with suction cups so that cats, dogs, humans, etc. can watch the birds eat. Note, I am not fooling myself into thinking that the birds won’t mind if we stand at the window and watch them eat. I am thinking that perhaps we can stand at a safe distance from the window and that we won’t scare them away.

wooden bird feeder 2acrylic birdfeeder

Here’s a picture of the suet and its cage:

 suet feeder

The suet is the berry-and-nut variety, guaranteed to attract the maximum number of songbirds to my yard, according to the packaging, which never lies.

And here’s a picture of the birdseed I’m putting in the feeders:

birdseed

I don’t know if you can see what’s in the bag, but it’s a delicious-looking mix of seeds and nuts. It looks like trail mix. It’s the alleged bestseller at the bird place where I buy birdseed. And as you may have noticed in the photo above, I also put a quarter of an orange on the acrylic feeder. To attract orioles, apparently.

So here’s the problem: NO BIRDS.

Today I watched from a discreet distance as about a million robins hopped around on the ground under the suet cage and flew back and forth between the feeders. They never stopped to eat any of the food I put out. They won’t touch the seeds, they won’t touch the suet, and they most definitely won’t touch the orange. My cats haven’t been anywhere near the windows, and neither has my dog. Nor have my children. So the problem isn’t that the birds are scared of us.

So what do you think the problem is?

Here’s one thing you should know: patience may be a virtue, but it’s not my strong suit. The food has only been out there a couple days. How long do I have to wait before I start seeing birds enjoying the feast I’ve put out? Also, as you may be able to see in the photo, the suet got wet when it rained yesterday. Will birds eat suet that’s gotten wet?

I hope you have some more words of wisdom for me this week!

Until next week,

Amy

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2 comments on “This is for the Birds

  1. Sharon Aguanno (ArmyMom) says:

    Good Morning Amy,

    I can tell you right off the start, that I know absolutely nothing about birds and bird feeders. Although, I did make an attempt when I lived in AZ. AZ has an amazing number of birds, and people come from all over the country to bird watch. I hung a hummingbird feeder and filled it every couple of days with humming bird juice. Although the juice disappeared, I never saw any birds. LOL… Maybe they came, and maybe they didn’t. Anyway, I just did a little research and came up with two interesting sites. The first one: I actually asked the question, how to attract birds to a feeder: I love the answer: “It is called the Rule of 2’s: It could take 2 seconds, 2 minutes, 2 days, 2 weeks or even 2 months.” Now isn’t that helpful? LOL… Anyway, it is a pretty nice site, hope the link works.

    http://wildbirdsunlimited.typepad.com/the_zen_birdfeeder/2011/11/faq-how-long-until-birds-find-a-new-bird-feeder.html

    The second site talks about Winter bird feeding and goes into detail about what to feed them, where to put the feeders etc: and to be honest, it sounds like you are doing everything right. Here’s the link if you want to take a look.

    http://www.wbu.com/education/winterbirdfeeding.html

    Having said all of that, I wish you luck and don’t forget to take pictures when they come….

    As always: “Keep Reading and Writing”.

    Sharon

    Like

    • amreade says:

      First of all, I must say that the alarm went off this morning just as I was dreaming about a gorgeous cardinal at the feeder. Too bad he was only in my head. Thank you for the links–I’m going to check them out. Cape May County, where I live, is also home to lots of birders and is a place where people visit to birdwatch, but I’m just beginning to learn more about it. The other day when I was walking my dog I saw a woodpecker, and he was beautiful. I’d love to be able to attract him and all of his friends to my yard. And I will definitely take pictures if and when they visit!! Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

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