I subscribed to a bird watch project a couple of months ago. With my back yard full of birds, and no less than ten feeders, I thought it would be fun to watch–and document–for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (Ithaca, New York). The large envelope of information arrived day before yesterday. Conveniently, I read the material this morning.
“Conveniently” because we are having extremely unpleasant weather, and the JAARS Center was closed today. I didn’t have to go to work this afternoon. So-o-o-o I’ve stayed in my warm pajamas, wearing a sweater, covered with a light-weight blanket, and studied the information. Had I been prepared, today would have been an excellent day to start counting. About 8 o’clock, I sprinkled approximately two quarts of bird seed on the lawn in the backyard and dozens of birds have been feasting all day. From past observation, the birds come in the morning and evening (to feed on the grass). I think the frigid temperature and overcast sky has kept the birds here all day. ~~ It is 27 degrees as I write this (3:00 PM). We have had “freezing rain” (according to the weather forecasters) and may experience snow by 5:30. Furthermore, weather forecasters say the thermometer hasn’t budged off 27 all day!! A perfect day to curl up with reading material!! I’ve kept my eye on the birds, too!! ~~ A major annual event, JAARS Has Talent, was cancelled for tonight. A pancake breakfast, tomorrow morning, was cancelled.
I rarely consider the cost of feeders, or feed (see the five containers of feed and seed in picture #3). If I like it, I buy it. A recent Christmas present for myself–and the birds–was an $85.00 Squirrel Buster Plus. The birds were slow to adopt the new feeder but the squirrels were not bashful about exploring the new addition to the myriad of objects in my yard. (Trellis, planters, baskets, birdhouses… are climbed, investigated and [in the case of planters] a place to bury whole peanuts.) I tried to imagine what the squirrel was thinking as s/he walked around and around the circular base but couldn’t get to the seed. I found it amusing!! I have seven squirrel “baffles” but the squirrels inevitably find their way past the baffle to a bird feeder. For once (with the Squirrel Buster), I had the “upper hand.”
Postscript, 5:00 PM: While my back was turned, while I was on the computer, a sprinkling of snow on the lawn and icicles on the baffle!!