Friday, February 29, 2008

Birder in a Book

It's slow going with the yard recently, but the project is speeding along in my mind. I've recently read Backyard Birdfeeding for Beginners by Mathew Tekulsky and now I'm working on Impeccable Birdfeeding by Bill Adler, Jr. Both are excellent resources that I'd highly recommend for their easy reading style and strong advice for novices along with colorful and fun descriptions of different species and their behavior.

Spring is gradually creeping through the valley and the snow is all but gone. Still, March is an unpredictable month and there may yet be snow and freezing in the forecast, making it inadvisable to begin adding plants to the yard. Next week, however, I am beginning to get estimates on the concrete bits of the landscaping, namely taking out the small garden area and finishing the flowerbed curbing with an integrated dust bath. How much that will run I have no idea, since the garden area is partially buried and will take some demolition to remove. My husband and I may work on that manually, but it depends on the estimate.

Having no trees from which to hang feeders is certainly an obstacle, but I plan on creating a triad of platform feeders of varying heights -- likely also surrounded by curbing to allow for mulching beneath the feeders. Because the yard is so bare, no birds have yet consistently visited the two feeders I have out, but I plan on cleaning them soon to make them more enticing. I will also be switching from generic mixed seed to black oil sunflower seed, cracked corn, hulled sunflower seeds, and other tasty treats, and hopefully the yard will soon be a regular flocking destination, with or without cover.

For now, I'll have to content myself with learning more about my future visitors in the pages of other authoritative works. Soon enough I'll be learning firsthand and hopefully be able to write my own.

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