One of my favorite sights is from the kitchen window above the sink. From there I can see six bird feeders and two heated birdbaths in the backyard.
Chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, juncos, purple finches, goldfinches, downy, red-bellied and hairy woodpeckers, nuthatches, brown creepers, wrens, robins, mourning doves and starlings are common visitors or bathers. Occasionally, a Cooper’s hawk or red tail hawk visit to give a whole new meaning to bird feeder.
Then, there are the squirrels that think the feeders are for them. One of these fuzzy rodents has built a condo in the ash tree, so food is right outside his/her doorstep. The chipmunks are still hunkered down for the season, probably under my garage, but when the temps warm, they’ll be at the feeders, too.
I use baffles and other obstacles to keep the unwanted creatures at bay, but nothing is 100 percent. I know because I’ve tried them all. Squirrels are incredibly clever and agile.
I never really paid much attention to the birds until I moved to this house in 1989. There was a bird feeder in the backyard right outside my bedroom window. I started adding seed to it. That lead to more feeders and birdbaths scattered throughout the yard, and I’ve never looked back. I even keep a life list in the back of my Peterson bird guide.
My second inside-looking-out site is right outside my front window. A tube finch feeder hangs in the flowering dogwood. The tree has compartmentalized the feeder’s hook to a branch. A feeder has been hanging from that hook for more than 20 years. Nearby are a heated birdbath and a suet feeder.
Of course, I provide flowers that birds will like. Flowers that develop seed heads, which seem particularly attractive to finches. Since I don’t have hummingbird feeders, I plant perennials – monarda, hosta, coral bells, salvia and more – that hummers (and other pollinators) visit. In summer, I add annuals to please pollinators.