We have a lovely little tree just outside our kitchen window that the birds adore in the spring. When the blooms on the tree are in full effect, it is THE place to be for our little feathered neighbors. Sometimes the tree gets so loud with all their chirping that I have to close the window to hear myself think. There was an old wooden feeder in the tree left by the previous owner when we moved in nearly four years ago. It was old then so by now it was getting really rotted and was falling apart. I imagined ticks and bugs and decided we needed to upgrade this year.

Steve somehow bent our outdoor broom handle in half (apparently I am married to The Incredible Hulk?) and as is customary when I am tasked with going out to buy something, I come back with that and more.

I found a "squirrel proof" feeder at the local hardware store and brought it home to the kids. We filled it with seed we already had in the garage. Last spring we made Pinterest cookie cutter feeders with gelatin and seed (super easy and a huge hit with the kids), but they were gone almost immediately thanks to the squirrels who ripped them from the rope and somehow hauled them across the yard for a feast. I will spare you the suspense, the feeder is not in fact "squirrel proof." I'm not sure if squirrels are like this everywhere, but the ones in our area are straight out of Mission Impossible, hanging upside down from a nearby limb and swinging their already well fed bodies over to grab a few seeds. Luckily, they don't like it when we bang on the glass or kick the heat vents, but this one red guy in particular is pretty committed to his task of taking allllll the seed. The kids are really enjoying our blessing to knock on the glass and kick things to scare him away.

We have so enjoyed this little addition. It came with an identification card which was really meant to help you purchase the correct seeds for the birds you wanted to attract to your new seed free for all. We have been using it to identify the chickadees and goldfinches and blue jays. We have two huge cardinals that make sporadic appearances, but those two young blue jays are the stars.

It is so soothing to sit at our kitchen table and watch them all swoop in and fill the still bare branches. I find myself ignoring my own work or sitting there for an extra moment to watch one of my favorite blue jays work to open a black sunflower seed between his toes. We moved a bench to the window and the kids have been setting up bird watching camp there, whisper shouting the names of the birds they see, pointing to them on the card and asking me to read the name. They are simple little creatures, but so soothing to watch,

until the squirrels come by.


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