Who says the perfect pet has to be confined to the couch or bound by a leash? Backyard birds may be free to come and go as they please, but the relationship they share with bird watchers is still one of content companionship. The watcher offers succulent seeds and a quick bath, safely elevated from neighborhood cats. The bird offers song and his delightful presence as he flits from perch to perch. It’s a quiet relationship, warm and evenly reciprocated.
February is National Bird Feeding Month and, coincidentally, also a peak period for bird migration. The National Bird Feeding Society says that Congressman John Porter, in establishing the tradition in 1994, called February “one of the most difficult months in the United States for wild birds.” No doubt, the journey home for spring is a tedious one. Why not simplify the move and make a few feathered friends in the process? Besides, February affords many opportunities to see migratory birds not native to your area.
Here are some tips from the National Bird Feeding Society to help you get started:
- Black-oil sunflower seed is quite popular with most birds. The NBFS suggests placing these in a tubular feeder; sit back and watch the birds come in droves!
- Different seeds attract different species; play with combinations and see who turns up.
- Make your yard inviting and safe. In addition to feeders, provide birdhouses and baths. Attach a bell to your cat’s collar to warn birds, and always keep feeders clean.
Make sure your feeders are visible from the house–then sit back and enjoy the feathered congregation gathering right outside your window.