My Love of Birds

Day 268

My love of birds most likely came from my grandmother. I have vivid memories of sitting in her dining room, looking out into the backyard after a heavy snowstorm. A flush of red moved against the undisturbed snow as cardinals left the first tracks looking for food.

Very little time would pass before my grandmother would don her boots, throw on a long coat, tie a scarf around her head and go outside. I can still see her rounding the corner of the house with an old well-worn straw broom in hand.

She would make her way to a beautiful old forsythia bush and start sweeping away the snow. Once a spot had been cleared tucked under the branches, she would pull an old bread wrapper from her coat pocket. Inside were bread scraps and oatmeal which she would scatter for the birds. There was no commercial birdseed available — or if there was, it certainly was not in our budget.

Our Birds in Winter

It would not be long before there was a flurry of activity as birds darted in and out to take advantage of the feast she had so carefully laid out for them. It’s funny, I tried to leave oatmeal and breadcrumbs once for the birds here. They would not touch any of it. Must say something about our processed food supply.

I remember an incident once when my brother was attempting to shoot at a bird with his B.B. gun. Oh, was my grandmother beside herself! He got a stern talking to and I honestly do not think he ever raised his B.B. gun at another bird.

It reminds me of this scene from The Andy Griffith Show. Still makes me cry, but then I’m a softie and I know it.

We watch the birds year-round – our children refer to our view as ‘the outdoor tv’. We feed the birds every day unless the black bears are making their presence known. They are beautiful creatures and they hold such wonderful memories for me.

It’s nice to be back living in a place that reminds me so much of my home as a child. I think it sparks a lot of good memories of times gone by. As I sit here writing this, I see the birds out of the corner of my eye, taking full advantage of the bounty in the birdfeeders. Not a bad life — for me or the birds.


6 thoughts on “My Love of Birds”

  1. I also once shot and killed a bird with an air-rifle. I was trying out a telescopic sight, and shot a blackbird. I felt so bad about it, I buried it at the back of the garden, and never shot any living thing again.
    I also feed the birds most days. We don’t have Cardinals, but we get Jays, Wood Pigeons, Robins, Blue Tits, Thrushes, Blackbirds, and Sparrows. Occasionally, a huge flock of Starlings descends, clearing all the food in seconds. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shooting with those air rifles was a rite of passage for young boys here at that time. I cannot imagine shooting a bird. I did have to kill a snake once. It was so frightening and brutal. I would be a poor hunter/gatherer. It is too much for me.

      Feeding the birds is a joy. Our mourning doves and blue jays clean out our feeders. Of course the squirrels never give up trying to climb the poles or jump precariously from the roof or the tree tops.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a sweet memory of your grandmother.

    My wife breaks up bread and other gain-based things and puts it out for the birds. They gobble it up pretty quick. We no longer use bird feeders. She buys a “no-waste” brand of bird food and just tosses it on the ground. In the winter, I clear a path for delivery folks, and I clear the snow from around the foundation in areas where it can get to be a problem. We feed the birds and the squirrels. I took a chance one time and emptied the remnants of my box of Special-K on the ground. I didn’t expect the birds to like that, but they cleaned it up pretty quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We use the no mess blend, too. It would be dicey for us to put seed directly on the ground here, Dan — too many very large night visitors.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never been one to check out birds. No one I knew ever cared about them. I appreciate them from afar. I do have a fascination with humming birds. They are so beautiful to me. They seem to like my lavender plants and jacaranda trees. I don’t use feeders because the dog goes nuts when the birds are around. I don’t want her chasing the sweet birds.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.