Bird Feeders

No disrespect to all the church activities, but I think the most important thing I have done this winter is to put up a bird feeder. it is not elaborate, just two tube feeders with a sunflower seed mix. They hang from a wrought iron pole in our backyard where we can view them from our kitchen window. Our feeding station must have received a positive review in the Bird Times, or whatever they use for communication, because it has proven to be a big hit. Cardinals, bluejays, sparrows, chickadees, nuthatches and other birds I cannot identify are regular visitors. Often a dozen or more at a time–on the feeders, pecking off the ground and hanging around in the rhododendron (if this were a restaurant, that would be the lounge area). So far we have only had one pair of squirrels join the party and most of the time they are content to gather seed from the ground.In my little bit of reading on the subject is seems that feeding birds is a good thing for the birds. No dependency issues, or allergies to worry about. The researchers say it may not make a huge impact on the diet of the birds in our area, but it sure can’t hurt in this kind of weather. it certainly appears as if they are enjoying the meal and staying healthy.

The much greater impact is on my soul. As I gaze out the window I immediately feel my heart slow down, my muscles relax and my mind takes a vacation for a few moments. During these days of snow and cold this bird therapy seems particularly effective. The need of the birds to be fed provides a sense of satisfaction, but this is not the entire reason that it helps me relax. it is also reminds me of my priorities. When our neighborhoods are covered with snow and it is bitter cold outside then it is time to slow down and focus on the things that are most important–food, safety, warmth. These are good things. This means we may not be able to do so many other activities in our lives. This is initially frustrating, but take a clue from the birds and focus on the basics. Stay warm, eat well, be safe.

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