It’s Friday! Another favorite thing or two

It’s Friday! Another favorite thing or two

On an extra cold morning last week, I was looking out the breakfast room window and realized that I had another favorite thing. Number 11. The birds were flitting around, frantically eating sunflower seeds in the artic-like weather. That was good for there weren’t any birds here to start with.
But there were no redbirds at our feeders that morning, nor today either. When we moved in our Tennessee house we were welcomed by crows.
They cawed, making themselves known. We saw few other birds, except one mockingbird that I decided had followed us from Mississippi. As soon as our belongings came, DW got the bird feeders up and bought another supply of black sunflower seeds. In our Mississippi backyard we had birds. So many and so many different kinds.
I always enjoyed counting the varieties in my head after I heard a game show contestant asked to list five birds commonly seen in backyards. I could easily list three times that many just from my yard.
Redbirds would come to our feeders by the dozens, usually an equal number of males and females. They seemed to enjoy perching in the cane thicket we started from a small transplant from DW’s mom’s Yalobusha county yard. It’s still growing by the gate that opens to the pasture down there and if the piece I brought from my backyard doesn’t make it, we’ll make a trip south to get more! For I know that birds need food, water, and shelter. Provide it and they will come.
This morning I counted six varieties out the window: purple finches, house sparrows, gold finches which aren’t yet, juncos (a sure sign of winter) and bluebirds. At least four were standing around in the bird bath, warming their feet DW commented. And, that’s because we have a bird bath warmer (favorite #11), actually our second. We wore the first one out.
A bird bath warmer might sound a little silly, but the birds don’t think so, it keeps their water from freezing. It rates right up there with black sunflower seeds as far as they are concerned…food and water.
The pretty little bluebirds were all plumped up, drinking and bathing on top of the warm ceramic disk, disturbed only when variety number six showed up and ran them off. Seems the mockingbird also enjoys a nice warm bath.
So, we have food and water for our feathered friends. And we are working on the shelter. For the meantime I suggested to DW that he stand the Christmas tree up out from the feeders a bit, but he didn’t think so. Hopefully we’ll get our landscape going this spring and the redbirds will find us.
And even though we have no red birds, there are bald eagles here! On Christmas day we saw not one but four down the road a piece – on the ground, in the air, and perched in the trees. Oh, what a traffic stopping sight! Now I’m constantly on the lookout!
The crows are still around and they don’t bother me. A neighborhood dog (we call him Foots) runs rabbits across our yard to the field on the other side, skunks seem to have a favorite place to cross the road, and deer are all around. We’ll see how this goes when DW starts his garden. But for now, we’re cultivating redbirds.
And thank you dear friends for reading and your kind comments, cards, messages, for sharing stories, and sending well wishes. You are actually # 1 on my list of favorites! And get you a bird bath warmer so your backyard birds will think so too! (Wild Birds Unlimited: Memphis, Southaven, and Jackson, MS).

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