My Weekly Dose of Wild (2015): wild (right) here


Last year we put up some bird feeders and it's been amazing how much joy they've brought us.

We now have feathered visitors when we are making breakfast in the kitchen.  We become overjoyed when we see a flash of colour swooping down to grab some seeds.  We thrill when a new family flock or an individual stops by for a nibble. Everyone is welcome since any visitor makes our backyard come to life!  We've found that bird feeders are such a wonderful way to start connecting with nature.

Providing food for the avian community is helping to heighten my awareness of the local birds that can be found in our area - whether they are here for the full summer or they are just passing through.

The two feeders we bought online are installed right on our windows which (surprisingly) is actually safer for birds. FLAP Canada recommends that bird feeders and baths be 1.5 meters or closer to windows.  And we keep our blind slats pulled across our window most days so that there is a second visual clue for birds.  If you do want to feed the birds - keep in mind that bird feeders can get dirty with use - between decomposing seeds and bird droppings which can then spread infectious bird diseases - so be diligent and clean the feeders regularly.  The Cornell Lab recommends cleaning bird feeders every two weeks with a diluted bleach solution.

These window feeders are nice because we can see some birds up close (without the need of binoculars) and with the suet hanging in the tree, this variety of food options attract a diverse group of birds.  Because of our food offerings, we are now able to recognize some of the more common birds that you find at feeders in our city.  Before birds were "yellow birds", robins, oh! a cardinal (or blue jay), woodpeckers and "little brown jobs".  Well not actually LBJ as I didn't know that birding term but they were all just small brown birds usually lumped together as "sparrows".

Now we are looking up our canary-colour observations to see if they are warblers or finches or some other yellow bird and we are distinguishing between sapsuckers, downy, hairy and pilieated woodpeckers.  We also had our first group of juncos visit last winter and look forward to seeing them again as they journey northward this spring.  Observing these birds get us tuned into the seasons and more aware of the climate and conditions. It gets us excited about nature even before we get our boots on!

And sure the seed and suet can also attract our squirrel neighbours.

But their acrobatics are welcome too!

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