Sunday, November 15, 2009

Up Front Feeding Fun

I had a birdfeeder epiphany a few weeks ago - all my feeders are in the backyard, and while I'm working studiously on upgrading the landscaping to create a bird sanctuary, it is obviously a long-term project and a slow process. Meanwhile, I have mature aspen trees, small blue spruce trees, boulders, and a few shrubs already in my front yard, but no birdfeeders. Why not?

Most people tend to put all their birdfeeders in the backyard because that is a center of outdoor activity for play areas, a grill, deck, spa, or whatever may be available, making backyard birding convenient for backyard feeders. While it is the same for us, I miss out on much of the bird activity because my office faces the front yard. So why, then, don't I have feeders in my front yard? Last weekend, I changed that by purchasing another feeder pole and wooden hopper feeder from Bill Fenimore at the Wild Bird Center in Layton (can I possibly recommend him enough?). Installing it was a hassle, as our soil is quite rocky and the pole is difficult to sink straight, but we managed.

For a day or two the feeder and its bounty of sunflower chips sat lonely and desolate. I was concerned that perhaps the busy street we live on was too much of a disruption that the birds wouldn't appreciate, but that was not to be. Within two days one female house finch had found the feeder, and the next day she returned with a male house finch and a male house sparrow. Today, the feeder's popularity has boomed and a boisterous flock of house finches and house sparrows was waiting turns to feed -- the nearby boulder, the small shrubs, and even my office windowbox became perches for hungry birds. The level of seed is dropping quickly, and I look forward to filling it. I may not have brought birds all the way into my office, but they're just a glance away.

If you only have feeders in one spot in your yard, I highly recommend adding more in different areas. Watch where the birds congregate - long before I considered adding feeders to the front yard, I'd seen the popularity of the blue spruce trees as flock hangouts. Check your bird activity, and plan accordingly to expand your own feeder selections. Happy birding!

1 comment:

Sparverius said...

I rarely venture into my backyard. It just isn't really very accessible. So my feeders have always been in the front, and I can watch the birds from my window.