Saturday, January 9, 2010


Waiting for me at home, among the mountains of mail (mostly bills) and packages (mostly Christmas) that had collected in my six weeks of absence, was a gift from my brother, Dan. It was a fancy schmancy squirrel-proof bird feeder, which took half a day to read about, assemble, fill, and hang. If it foils our aggressive Georgia squirrels, it will be the first.

The design is a clever inspiration of engineering. The weight of a squirrel on the perches pulls a shroud over the feeding holes, forbidding access to the seed. Lighter weight song birds can feed happily on any one of the six perpendicular perches that can be adjusted in length to accomodate larger birds. It has a special apparatus for cardinals that surrounds the feeder like one of Saturn's rings, because cardinals can't or don't tilt their heads to feed. Who knew?

Sparing you the unnecessary details of my expectations about how the bird population of 710 Pinetree Drive would accept this feeder, I admit to shock and awe. The first was that a pair of cardinals, one bright, one dull, came so soon to the buffet, @ 11:20 a.m. today, only the second day after the feeder was hung. At 12:00 noon, a pair of bluebirds came. What follows is the transcript of the e-mail I sent my brother at 12:14 p.m. today:

"Bingo! Bluebirds! BLUEBIRDS! Then nuthatches, now a Carolina chickadee, and tufted titmice---all within seconds of each other. Not an hour since the cardinals first arrived. The parade goes on as I type. Chickadees fighting over a spot. More and more birds coming and competing for the perches. A pair of rufous sided towhees---brown female, black male---now tons of chickadees. A sudden flurry of activity in last ten minutes---six feet from where I sit reading, with only a sliding glass door between us. Now Carolina wrens---it goes on and on---four and five birds at a time---all over the deck banisters---waiting their turns. Don't worry, I won't report every visit---but these first ones are such a surprise. I hadn't hoped for such an immediate and magnificent response---huge variety of birds in great numbers. I know I have a reputation for hyperbole, but you should see this---far exceedlng what I had imagined. Did the cardinals spread the word? The others arrived all at once. A blog-worthy day. dkm


hannahmiller said...

glad you're blogging again!

hannahmiller said...

glad you're blogging again!

hannahmiller said...

also-- the dull cardinals are the females, if i'm not mistaken. the bright ones are the males.

dkm said...

Me too! Feels good to be back. And glad you're reading it.

And right---I didn't think I needed to state the obvious:-)

Watch for tomorrow's follow-up to the half-bird forensic mystery---will use Lisa's expertise---

Anonymous said...

cool guys! check the latest saving [url=]casino[/url] games like roulette and slots !corroborate manifest the all trendy unused [url=]online casino[/url] games at the all redone, the most trusted [url=]online casinos[/url] on the net! day-dream our [url=]free casino software download[/url] and succeed in money.
you can also discontinuation other [url=]online casinos bonus[/url] . check out this new [url=]online casino[/url].