I am just going to put it out there…I have bird issues. I don’t like them near me. I don’t like them flying overhead. And, I surely don’t like them touching me in any way.
I am not exactly sure when or how this “problem” with birds began. It might have something to do with an unfortunate incident at the beach as a teenager related to a flock of seagulls. But, that’s an issue for a qualified therapist with a reasonable hourly rate.
That being said, this summer, it seems, that I may be approaching a bird-related breakthrough all on my own, thanks to a couple of bird feeders and hundreds of pounds of bird seed purchased by husband and the boys.
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First there was the obvious one. That cute little strawberry-shaped plastic birdfeeder filled with the red Kool-Aid inside that brought out the equally cute Hummingbird. What harm could that little guy do to me? He’s as big as my thumb for Pete’s sake.
Next came the plastic tube with all the perches filled with various kinds of seeds. OK. Nothing magical came to that feeder – lots of different varieties of feathered friends, but none that touched my heart the way the Hummingbird did.
But, Tweety’s friends were staying relatively far away from me, so I adopted a live-and-let-live attitude.
Then, the magic started to happen. Our yard became the regular stomping grounds of two sets of Cardinal couples. Something stored in the memory banks from a fourth-grade Audubon Club helped me to share with my kids that the bright red birds were the males and the slightly more subdued reddish brown ones the females.
These Cardinals started becoming a part of our daily entertainment and caused me to wonder why we were suddenly treated to these curious visitors and…get this…wondering what we needed to do to KEEP THEM AROUND.
A bit of online research provided me the answer to both of these questions. Cardinals, it seems, are ground feeders. They have been visiting our yard and hanging out under that rather humdrum tube feeder, munching on the leftovers of their less-ornate cousins. To keep the Cardinals around, we need to keep supplying them with food at ground level.
The one caveat to this newfound insight is that you will likely lose your Cardinals and any other ground-feeding birds for that matter, if you have a lot of cats prowling around.
Check back on Monday to get a peek at a special birdfeeder that the kids and I are constructing to feed our Cardinal neighbors, while keeping them safe from the cats roaming around in our neck of the woods. This project will be featured in the next installment of our summer Kid Kraft Korner.