You heard it right. I will be 40 in a couple of weeks and instead of a new sports car or a face lift, I opted for some new binoculars. I just got them and can't wait to try them out tomorrow morning from my kitchen window. I am hoping the white throat ed sparrow I saw this morning will be there so I can get a better look at him. I am both amazed and proud that I can identify one sparrow from another today because just 6 months ago I never really gave much thought to birds and could only identify a few of them.
To me birds were cute little critters, but I was far too busy with my hectic lifestyle to pay much attention to them. That all changed during May of this year when I got into gardening again. My neighbors have a beautiful garden so I went over there for ideas and saw birds I had never paid attention to before. I saw my first hummingbird, goldfinch and chickadee and I found it very exciting. Here I was 39 years old and I didn't know what a chickadee was. Was I living in a cave?? No, I was living in my office, my car and my home. I was so focused on getting things done, that I didn't have time to pay attention to birds or gardens or even the weather at times. That was about to change!
Off I went to Home Depot and bought myself a hummingbird feeder and other feeders and set up shop!
To my amazement the birds came immediately. I always had birds in my yard and never noticed it. Not only did I get the usual back yard birds who appreciate a feeder full of BOSS, but I also had Cedar Waxwings, Baltimore Orioles and even a hawk!!! You see I had all of these trees in my yard that I never paid much attention to either.
I moved into my home four years ago and with it came some of the weirdest trees I had ever seen. One had them strange berries that were white and would drop from the tree and onto my driveway and would make a mess of my shoes and my car. There was another tree that was huge that had these berries that looked like blueberries, but I wasn't sure, and the area behind my garage was so neglected that it had vines and berries all over the place and looked like a jungle.
I found out this year that the tree with white berries is a mulberry tree. From what I have read, this is the tree of all tress if you want to attract birds! I was out one afternoon, digging dirt and I looked up at the tree because I could hear a lot of bird commotion. I saw these brown birds, with yellow wing tips and black eye markings making a faint whistling sound. I looked in my guide and read that they were cedar waxwings. I called my neighbors in an excited furry and they thought I was probably mistaken (HA, being a first time birder and all, they told me it was probably a robin or something as they had never had waxwings in their yard before). I urged them to come over to see for themselves and sure enough I was right, they were cedar waxwings. We also saw Baltimore orioles feasting from the tree that day and a variety of other birds.
I found out that the large tree with the berries that look like blueberries is a privet tree. I still have robins feasting off of them and I love to watch them eating from my kitchen window because the weather is getting cold and it makes me feel good to know that the robins are still getting a decent meal.
Yes both the mulberry tree and the privet tree are considered weeds (and even invasive) to some, but I wouldn't part with them. The birds love them and so do I.
I have started this blog in an effort to record some of my sightings and observations on birds and nature in general. I have lived the last 20 years of my life in the rat race we call life. I was neurotic, stressed and not happy and needed to slow down. It took a little lone chickadee to remind me of that and for this I will always be grateful. Thank you little chickadee wherever you are.