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Friday, April 20, 2012

How I Became the Crazy Neighborhood Bird Lady

It all started out so innocently, as most of these things do.  I thought that since we have a yard with a tree in it, it might be nice to hang a bird feeder there.  I figured a few birds might come eat from it, and it would be a nice thing to be able to show the kids a little bit of nature.  My grandparents have lived on the river for over 35 years now, and their property includes an inlet with a dock.  Across the river from their house is a riverbank and a wooded area.  Growing up I had the privilege of witnessing all sorts of wildlife, including birds, ducks, geese, turtles, fish, tadpoles, frogs, lizards, snakes, deer, etc.  Obviously a backyard in the suburbs is hardly going to afford those sorts of opportunities for viewing wildlife, but I still wanted them to witness what nature we could at home.

So I did a little research on Amazon and purchased a sturdy, decent sized, and purportedly squirrel-free bird feeder and a jar of food.  Note: bird feeder is actually squirrel free, I haven't seen a squirrel yet!  After putting the bird feeder out the first time, it took a week for it to be empty.  Over the course of time we'd see 5 birds, then 10 birds, and now up to 20 birds in the yard at one time.  I now have to replace the food in the feeder once a day!  We had to buy a GIANT bag of bird food, the way people who have giant dogs have to buy dog food.  I have somehow managed to commit myself to feeding a very large bird population in our neighborhood.  I think our backyard has earned a reputation among the bird community for being the place to be.  It probably didn't help when I installed this bird bath, although I mainly did it for aesthetic reasons.

As if this bird situation couldn't get any stranger, I looked outside this morning while I was feeding the babies and was astonished to find two ducks!  They have been in our backyard intermittently since this morning and are currently camped out by the bird feeder along with probably seven other birds.  Our community has several lakes so it isn't surprising that there would be ducks nearby, just that they would decide to hang out in our backyard of all places.  Apparently they also got the memo about the new Ringley Family Bird Sanctuary.  I am not sure how long they will stay or if they will ever come back after today, we'll just have to wait and see.

Here is a picture of the two ducks:

Please also note how my bird feeder is EMPTY yet AGAIN, because all of these birds are eating us out of house and home!

Happy Friday to everyone, hope you are having a great day!



  1. LOVED reading about this! I was the crazy bird lady in North Carolina. We had a hedge of wax myrtles about 15' behind our house that made a perfect spot for dozens of bird varieties. I had 2 seed feeders and hummingbird feeder and they were hopping with activity every morning. Especially in the winter when there's little else food for them.

    Girl you wait till this winter!!!! Better join Sam's Club and get your seed there. Goldfinches winter over along the Gulf Coast, so you might want to look into nijer/thistle seed (and their special feeders) for the cold season.

    I hang suet blocks and use black oil sunflower seeds here in the warm season. We have cardinals, mockingbirds and lots of woodpeckers here. But it isn't crazy except when the goldfinches are here in the winter.

    You can consider additional feeders, perhaps larger ones?

  2. Feel free to ask me any birding questions -- I've been a crazy bird lady for years!

  3. Why do I not find this surprising? Be careful of the deposits left by the ducks.. it can be pretty disgusting if you step in it... just sayin'


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