Obsessing Over Birds (and why you should)
I have an album full of photos and I see no end in sight to how many pictures I will add to it? Why? Because – the world is full of birds.
Yes, birds. This may not sound super appealing to you and it didn’t to me, growing up with a bird obsessed father, but now….well…I guess it runs in the family and it’s part of how I find new every day adventures.
It all started with a simple bird feeder and a little yellow finch.
And then, another little yellow finch
and a blue bird and an oriole.
Add a noisy old owl,
3 more bird feeders and about 25 more little yellow finches throw in a very nice digital camera and you might have yourself a mild to severe Bird Obsession.
So, here’s what to do with that!
Hang up Bird Feeders – For this you may want to figure out what kind of birds are in your area and which ones you are hoping to attract OR you can just dive in and go to your local store and start experimenting. Once they are set up and filled with different seeds, you may start to notice which birds seem to be attracted to which feeds. Several types of wood peckers in my area adore the Orange Suet I hang up. I told my Dad, who lives about an hour away and he put out several of the same kind. The birds where I lived greedily gobble it up, while Dad’s birds left it sitting in the feeder to rot. Finnicky! So, my advice is not to buy all of one kind of feed to start. I currently have feeders filled with Niger Thistle (the yellow and red finches enjoy this) and a wild bird mix which attracts several varieties of woodpeckers, blue jays, cardinals and blue birds.
Birds Get Thirsty, Too! – Make sure you have a fresh water source near your feeders. This is for them to drink and yes, for them to bathe. I had a beloved bird bath that broke in a recent storm, so right now I have a dog’s water dish on top of a plastic lawn chair. I’d say it works just as well, as you can see from this photo:
Keep a Journal – I don’t do this, but I aspire to. Keep track of which birds are at your feeders during certain times of the year and what they like to eat. This could help you determine which bird feed you should purchase throughout the year.
Give ‘em a home – My parents had a Martin House for years… it’s beautiful on a long pole, reaching clear into the sky in the middle of the yard. They also have Blue Bird houses and they put them on our farm, years ago. Blue birds are a family favorite. If you don’t know which houses the birds you are hoping to house like, there are many great resources at your local bookstore, library or through your Game & Parks websites.
Here is the link to Bluebirds Across Nebraska: and a plan to build your own Bluebird House, inquire about membership or purchase a house from their site
Take a Walk and Shoot Them (with a camera, that is!)– I take a ton of photos of the birds near my home, but I also enjoy taking the time to walk around a lake or on a hiking path with my camera, just looking for birds and other wildlife to photograph. If you have kids along, let them take a few shots. We’ve discovered our daughter’s love for photography and her eye for it. Are you walking with your spouse? Take turns taking those pics. Make it a family affair.
Try something new – Talk to other people who love birds and see what they do to create a welcoming environment for their feathered friends. My parents have been a great resource to me. You can also follow my Pinterest Board (Bird Obsession) One of the things I learned from my family is how to attract Field Orioles. I love these birds for their bright orange color. They love oranges! You can simply cut oranges in half and nail them to a tree. While they are quite smitten with oranges, their true love seems to be grape jelly. My Dad puts his jelly out for them in a seashell or a laundry detergent cap nailed to a tree. I have an Oriole Feeder, purchased from Earl May, that is an Oriole buffet, holding nectar, oranges AND grape jelly? Overkill? I haven’t seen any birds pass out, yet, so – I think we’re okay.
Why Obsess Over Birds?
Why not? So far, my little obsession has offered me peace, long walks, moments of focus, a closeness with our Creator and some really fun photos.
Why you should? Well, that’s up to you….it may be your New Every Day Adventure!
If you have advice on how to attract birds or if you have photos you’d like to share…I’d love to hear from you. I’d chat more, but there is a bird just waiting for me to take it’s picture….
Feel free to download the photos I’ve shared here to print or to share from neweveryday.org
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Matthew 6:26-27
God bless! Sheila