Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Bird's Life and Sunflower Hearts… #19



A bird's life in Connecticut


My father was a fanatical 'birder', the kind of person who felt you could never have enough bird feeders or bird baths. We had a bunch…hanging off trees, off the house, attached to windows, sitting on rocks, standing on poles and if he could have, he would have stood outside, arms stretched, embracing a bird feeder and balancing a bird bath on his head, just for the sheer delight of it all. He wanted to make the birds happy…and he did.







My kids would say that I have become a tad fanatical over birds too…but more so on the decorative front. I  find it hard to resist anything relating to birds (and bicycles). One can never have too many, especially when it reminds you of someone you love. 




When we lived in Australia I found myself missing New England songbirds, the screech of a Cockatoo and call of a Kookaburra were off the mark by a few decibels. Easy solution…I bought an audio CD of New England songbirds, brought it back to Sydney and would play it endlessly. I won't comment on what my kids and Mr. H said about that…but it did the trick.





This morning we woke (in Connecticut) to a fresh snowfall..and a flurry of birds feeding on Whole Sunflower Hearts. Mrs. H Sr. swears by them and based on the activity this morning, I would say she it right. The benefit to these seeds is that there are no shells, allowing the birds to get right to the heart of the seed without leaving a mess of cracked seeds on your lawn or terrace. Win, win all around.





Someone asked me earlier in the week if I had thought about where I would place a bird feeder at Tahilla Farm. It was addressed as a singular proposition, just one bird feeder. I stood there, looking out what will one day be french windows in our master bedroom and felt the birding world move around me. Just one? Not a chance…after all, I am my father's daughter.  :)






So how about you? 
Any birds in your views these days? 
Do you have a favourite? 
Would love to know...
If you would like to send me a photo of your
bird views, you can write to me 
jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com


A Bird's Life..all photos above taken with my Canon EOS 550D




February 22, 2015
28 Day Writing Challenge, #19
From a view to a bird feeder 
New England time


Collage of Life
28 Day Writing Challenge
(click on title to read)




23 comments:

  1. It is a wonderful way to enjoy the day... watching the birds flit in and out. You will love it, with many feeders I am sure!

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    1. Agree Paula…hoping to bring back a few feeders from Vietnam as well. I think a pagoda bird feeder would be perfect! ;)

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  2. Oh, I could not manage without feeding the birds everyday regardless of the weather conditions including some well below 0F temperatures this past week. I keep a checklist of the birds I see everyday and delight in looking out the windows many times each day. Farmer says meals could be prepared a lot more efficiently if I did not watch the birds so much!!! Too bad! So glad you are planning on several feeders at Tahilla. I have four.
    Farm Gal in VA

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    1. I like your style Farm Gal! Great idea to keep a checklist going. It is remarkable how much time can be spent just staring out to a bird feeder. Good for the birding soul. :)

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  3. Don't know birds, but sure can tell a good photo when I see one:).

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  4. Jeanne, I too love birds. I grew up with a copious amount of bird feeders in the yard as well. And I have continued the tradition in my own yard.

    I have clustered many in the same tree just outside the kitchen window where I like to hand wash to dishes and watch my cardinal family or my squirrel. The squirrel will stand and the window and hit the screen if there is not seed,

    I am sure your beautiful gardens will have a plethora of feeders and birds to eat all the food! How exciting to be planning feeders! Does this mean everything is on schedule for construction!

    Have a great night, Elizabeth

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    1. We have a few months to go Elizabeth…more like Sept/Oct before we are done or close to it. I blame Martha (old maple tree) for that. We went back to the drawing board on the master wing once she came down which added more time to the project. This time next year, we should be looking good. All the best.. xx

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  5. I love birds too I used to have many bird feeders and bird baths everywhere in our home.
    Now we live in a small condo and I have a small humminbird feeder on my balcony in the summer. Beauty everywhere and thanks for all you share.

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    1. Aren't they just the most beautiful specimen Jeanne…hummingbirds have to be my all time favourite. Thank you for your kind words.. ;)

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  6. Wow, your photos are gorgeous!

    In case you are considering solar panels...
    My bird feeder has been up since Christmas right out of the wrapping paper. I've seen one sparrow and one squirrel. Neither have returned, I suspect, because there are solar panels on the roof above the feeder. I've heard others have noticed the same with birds and solar panels not getting along.

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    1. That is good to know Maywyn. We are holding on the solar panels for now. We may add them later. I might have second thoughts now that I know it is a bird deterrent.. ;)

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  7. Absolutely loving that last photo of the cardinal in flight!

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    1. Thank you Sarah…sort of reminds me of Chateau Mango. A good transition bird. ;)

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  8. Superb photos! I've never had a bird feeder, mainly because everywhere we've lived seemed to be the home territory of every squirrel within a hundred miles. Somehow we always pick a piece of property that has either oak trees with a bazillion acorns or now, on our current property, Black Walnut trees. It would be a losing battle with those squirrels! We do have lots of shrubs with berries around the neighborhood so our yard is always full of bird activity. Every day as I drive down our road, I catch glimpses of the local cardinal families that are around. It's so wonderful to see those flashes of red against all this snow! On Friday I was very surprised to see a lone robin landing on my front porch. I felt so sad for it. I was able to get a nice photo of it as it sat on a branch in our front yard. The only food I could think of for it was some Rosemary/Olive oil bread that I cut up and crumbled onto the porch floor, lol. THAT brought a lot of birds to visit me. I also noticed yesterday that all the red berries have disappeared from my evergreen wreath on the front door. One year I had a wreath on our front door that had a dried sunflower on it. It took me a few times answering the door before I realized the knocking was the birds eating up all the seeds!

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    1. Ha! Sounds like you have a very clever group of birds living around your place Roxane. My fear, in the spring, summer and the autumn months, is leaving bird feeders out for the bears. I have been warned and now that I have seen bears on the property I will take their advice. Still…it would be fun to see a bear plopped under bird feeder…I think. ;)

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  9. Oh, yes, I absolutely adore my furry and feathered creatures which we've been feeding for many years now throughout the year! Many years ago, I told my husband that we had to keep up with the feeding throughout the hatching season and when we did so, we noticed even more birds in the summer than winter! This harsh winter though, we have had quite the flocks and we also feed the squirrels(rodents though they are), but no less precious than any other sentient creature. Last year and this year we've had a herd of deer pass through and temporarily bed down in the narrow strand of trees at the back of our property(quite extraordinary considering we are in a suburban development). One young deer made its way to our retaining wall close to our house where the ground food is placed. I was overjoyed! They bring me so much pleasure, especially in the dead of winter when everything is so bleak.
    Oh, and I've even set up misting which they love and will queue up to bathe. Wonderful article on bird bathing here: http://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/wings-on-the-water.html

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    1. Thank you Susan, I really enjoyed the article and have taken notes for our garden. Your property sounds lovely…you are so right about having something in your view to distact from the dreariness of a long winter. Yours sounds perfect. I love the misting idea, that is a must. Thank you!

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  10. I am a fairly new reader of your blog...and I am enthralled with your photography and storytelling. We just started feeding the birds this past fall. We've been feeding hummingbirds for 5 years, and wanted to help out the birding community during our harsh Wisconsin winters. We started out with one feeder, and within a month expanded to six! It's a little addicting to say the least! ;)

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    1. Thank you for reading along Donna! I hear you on that "addictive" quality of birding. It is surprisng to see the "personalities" amongst them all, especailly for the "regulars". One of the many joys of birding. Hummingbirds are glorious little creatures…so captivating in their movements. I can see why you expanded to six feeders! ;)

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  11. I love birds also + my godfather use to have bird feeders all around his yard + we put tin on the trees to chase squirrels away + have a good week. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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    1. I like the tin on the trees idea Peggy, that is a new one to me. I feel a googling search coming on. Thank you! ;)

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  12. I, too, inherited my dad's love of birds and my, how he loved to feed them. He bought seed by the 25 lb bag. My Dad grew up in an orphanage and he wasn't about to let any bird, dog, cat, etc. go hungry. One cold day at a slippery spot underneath one of his feeders he fell and broke a hip. I now feed the birds, just like he did. Recently I compiled a list of the different varieties of birds I have seen at my feeders (seed and suet) and in front of my townhouse windows ... The total is 31. Everything from a Broad-winged Hawk to the tiny Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that visit a feeder at my kitchen window in the summer, and many gorgeous birds in between. But my favorite is probably the beautiful Northern Cardinal, which is the state bird of NC where I was born and raised. And I get to see the lovely Brown Thrasher (the GA state bird) right in front of my LR windows. The Cardinals do show up beautifully in the snow, don't they.

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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