Feathers That Delight

In my original post on “The Sandwich Generation” I mentioned that one of the things Kip and I provided for Mom’s amusement were birdfeeders attached to the windows near her recliner.  There are also other types of feeders near those to attract as many varieties of birds as possible.  I learned from a friend that different birds eat in different ways, and some have food preferences that others don’t.  We’ve all seen the robins pulling, pulling, pulling the worms from the yard after the rain.  I always imagine when I see that struggle that the poor bird is going to land on his back once the worm is free from its hold in the dirt.  It reminds me of playing tug-of-war with my brothers, and they’d think it funny to suddenly let go of the rope and I end up on my bottom – hard!

As I mentioned, birds feed in different ways.  Some  like to perch when they eat, some like to eat from a flat surface, some pick their food from the ground, some eat up-side-down!  And of course some, like hummingbirds, eat in mid-air with wings flapping so fast you can’t see them.  They stick their long, thin and hollow beaks into the spout of the feeder (or in nature, the flower) to sip the mixture provided for them.  Accordingly, my feeders were all different, designed to appeal to the various preferences of the little feathered fellows.

Back to the robin.  Have you ever seen a wren or an eagle pulling an entrenched worm from the ground?  How about a king fisher?  How about a robin fishing or chasing down a mouse?  I know I’ve never seen one at my hummingbird feeder!  (Although I have seen birds at it that aren’t hummers.).  It only makes sense animals have food preferences.  We do.  I love garlic and my husband hates it.

My same friend who got me going on birding (I’m, regrettably, still an absolute novice) told me that when you start to put feeders up and keep them filled regularly, the birds communicate that information to one another.  Pretty soon all sorts of birds will be visiting.  They’ll eventually nest in your area and return year after year if they’re migrators – or stay all year if they aren’t.  (And that too was news – I thought all birds migrated.  We always look for a robin as the sign spring is coming, but I discovered they all don’t migrate.  So they may have been spending the whole winter hanging around.  Then one day we spot one, probably in January, and think “Wow – spring is here!”  Duh. “Humans!”  those robins are thinking.)

I experienced my friend’s observation the last fall we lived in our old mountain home.  I’d been in Ohio at the Cleveland Clinic with one of my sons who’s had horrible and chronic headaches since he was two.  We thought a doctor there was going to help us.  It turned out he didn’t.  But good things happened while we were there anyway.  We went to my nephew’s wedding, I got to be in my Mom’s home, that I’d been raised in, for the last time. Of course, that was bittersweet.  I sobbed as we pulled away to head home for Colorado.  But I was able to glean many things I knew my Mom would love having in her new (my) home. 

I digress from my bird story.  When I got back to Colorado after being gone a month or more, all the feeders were, naturally, woefully empty and had been for awhile.  So one of my first chores was to go around and fill them all.  I had about seven or eight.  As I was doing it, about halfway through, I heard all this bird chatter whereas a few moments previous all was silent.  Soon the trees and bushes were alive with the happy flutter of birds!

It’s amazing the delight these winged creatures bring to the life of my Mom – and myself along with countless others.  It’s of no surprise to me that the Bible says that not one small sparrow falls to the ground without our heavenly father knowing it.  That’s as it should be.

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 30th, 2010 at 9:16 pm and is filed under The Life in Our Lives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Feathers That Delight”

  1. Nicolas Says:

    Greatings, Thanks for article. Everytime like to read you.
    Nicolas