Sunday, July 17, 2011

Blank Slate, Blank Mind

Ever look at a new space to put a birdfeeder and draw a blank as to how to best attract birds to it? I've been drawing a blank on the new yard now for several weeks. Part of it is because we haven't yet sorted the interior completely (waiting on furniture deliveries, upgrades, and design), and while I do have some feeders up in the interim, I haven't developed the plan I want for all the feeders I hope to use.

The good news is that I have a lot of fantastic features I can incorporate well, including:

  • Multiple mature trees of different varieties

  • Evergreen borders and accents

  • A garden bed ideal for feeders

  • Wide, spacious deck for hanging feeders

  • Ample space to expand landscaping beds for more plants

  • Wooden structure for mounting bird houses and nesting platforms

With so much to choose from, it's the choosing that is proving difficult. In the meantime, I have a simple concrete bird bath available as well as several simple feeders that are already attracting a hungry flock of local residents. Hopefully in the next few days I'll find time to puzzle out where to put even better feeders, but for now, the birds aren't picky and I enjoy their company all the same.

Friday, July 1, 2011


An era comes to an end - I have moved to a different home, leaving behind all my work to create a backyard habitat for birds in the old house, my first house. The curbing that expanded the beds, the fruit trees for birds (hawthorn and crabapple), the perennials chosen for their nectar and seed-bearing natures to provide ample food, the integrated dust bath, the window box feeders... All gone. It was a wonderful yard that brought me more than 30 backyard species to enjoy, and enjoy them I did. But the space needs of my family have grown, as have our preferences, and we've moved on.

It was hard, however, leaving the house and taking down the feeders. The rock pigeons I was so excited to attract in the last few months visited even after the feeders were removed, foraging in the bed and looking around for their missing hopper and platform feeders. My female mallard also stopped by after the feeders were removed, and her incessant quacking let there be no mistake about her feelings. The house sparrows and house finches foraged around in the emptiness, picking up the last few seeds, and one black-chinned hummingbird buzzed up to the patio window, indignant that no nectar feeders were out.

I look forward to the challenges of turning a new landscape into one the birds will appreciate and thrive in, and the new neighborhood has potential that the old did not. It is up to me (and my ever indulgent landscaper) to turn that potential into a bird-friendly backyard that will attract even more species of a wider variety to each feeder I put up.

No matter where your backyard is, make it home - both for you and the birds.