Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gail Sattler and Costco are feeding the birds

As I think I'm settling down for the rest of the winter, until Valentine's Day, anyway, one of the things I do every year is make sure my little feathered friends are looked after. Here on the west coast we don't get a lot of snow, and most of the winter is spent huddled under and umbrella, or at the local Starbucks lamenting the lack of an umbrella. Birds don't drink coffee to keep warm, so instead of putting latees outside for them, I put out a bird feeder filled with good healthy generic birdseed for them to share.
Many days I get a non-stop lineup of hungry visitors, many different species from plain little sparrows to a large kind of bird that's bright yellow that I haven't identified. In the summer I even get Stellars Jays, although they're too big to actually sit on the feeder. They sit on the wooden railing and reach into the feeder.
Feeding the birds doesn't have to be expensive. All winter long Costco has big bags of generic-type wild birdseed for a very reasonable price. A feeder doesn't need to be expensive or fancy either. For a time, I used a large plastic pop bottle that I cut holes in, rammed 2 pieces of wood dowel in for the birds to sit on, and glue-gunned the bottom of a plastic milk jug on top of the bottle for a roof. It fed the birds just fine, although the feeder I have now does look much better (it was on sale, too!). It even has a green roof that matches the paint on my house.
So everyone, please do what you can to feed the birds in the winter. Just please don't make a feeder with birdseed and peanut butter, because they can choke. That's what I heard anyway.
Go to someplace like Costco for your birdseed, because it's "cheep". For me, I think I'm going to pour myself a coffee and watch the birds for a while, then get back to my computer. Who knows, maybe the scene I'm writing today will have birds in it.


  1. I have an unhealthy fear of birds. I'm pretty sure it stems from growing up with a sadistic brother with whom I had the misfortune of watching Hitchcock movies. But they seem to sense this in me somehow. I especially dislike walking into a pet store and discovering birds sitting freely on perches, staring at me. "Don't worry," I've been promised. "Their wings are clipped. They won't come anywhere near you." I'm not sure the clerk had even completed the sentence when that bird THREW ITSELF from its perch toward me. On the other hand, dogs really do like me, so I'm probably not all bad.

  2. I feed birds too, but I feed them dried bread. I set a slice on the ledge of our cinderblock fence and wait. We have a tangerine tree in our backyard that the birds nest in -- so I don't have to wait too long. I love seeing them nibble at the bread. The slice is gone within no time. This reminds me...time to go put a slice out!