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.

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