Bird Feeding Tips

Tips on attracting and feeding backyard birds.

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Feeding Rituals – Part 1 of 2

Posted by on in Attracting and feeding wild birds
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Feeding Rituals – Part 1 of 2


It is one of the little miracles of our relationship with wild birds that something usually considered a chore can feel so much like a devotional ritual. Our lives are increasingly filled with deadlines, emergencies and unending “to-do” lists. Birds let s step outside the artificial schedules we live by and get back in touch with natural cycles.

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Filling the feeders while the chickadees scold me to hurry up can make me smile even when I am my most harried. Doing it gracefully without spilling a seed gives me a sense of satisfaction and prepares my heart to also appreciate the sound of birds splashing in the just-filled bath. After along and harrowing evening commute, refilling is indeed a devotional ritual. It allows me to decompress in time to enjoy my birds’ early-evening acrobatic displays as I stand back and watch (As the late, great Yogi Berra once said: “You can observe a lot just by watching!”)

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As bird feeing has become more and more popular, American and Canadian ingenuity has produced gear and feeders that make related tasks satisfying to perform. Feeders with removable mesh floors allow for easy cleaning or for hosing off debris. Seed storage containers, whether beautifully decorative or strictly utilitarian, help keep pests at bay. Our enjoyment of hummingbird, fruit or mealworm feeders is enhanced when their food containers are dishwasher safe and so filling the feeders has become a satisfying experience.

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Next time: Seasonal Rituals and Personal Rewards

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I am delighted to join the Birdzilla team through this blog, sharing ideas and topics related to feeding and attracting wild birds in your backyard. Bird feeding is my life-long passion,  instilled by bird-feeding parents who raised me on an 80-acre farm in central Michigan.  After college, my wife and I served as U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer high-school teachers in Africa and then as staff members over an eight-year period.
 
Those wonderful times led to 30-years of bird-feeding leadership as founder of the Wild Bird Centers, franchising and supporting wild bird specialty stores across the country. I helped found the Bird Education Network and was a key financial supporter of PROJECT WILDBIRD, I currently serve as Executive Director of the National Bird-Feeding Society. Several years ago, I was asked to join “The Birder’s Team”, a working group of birding leaders selected by the National Wildlife Refuge System to recommend ways to better serve birders. millions of whom visit our extraordinary network of more than 500 Refuges. These “conservation jewels” actively protect critical habitat and conserve bird populations of all kinds. Most recently, I served as a judge to select the winning artist for the NWRS’ 2015 Duck Stamp Contest.

I now look forward to helping our readers experience the best our wonderful hobby offers. As I often say “The closer we live to each other, the closer we want to be to Nature.”

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