bird watching

Some of you may not be aware (which would be rare because I brag about this all the time), but one summer before graduate school I had a pretty awesome job.  I built birdhouses and bird feeders out of recycled, re-used, and reclaimed projects.  It was so much fun.  My first day on the job I built my own work desk.  One day I was looking through all the loot my boss had, and noticed that he had quite a stack of old license plates.  As I skimmed through them, I found a particularly handsome with my birth state on it. I asked him if I could use it to build a bird feeder.  He said "sure."  Up to this point, we hadn't built any bird feeders with license plates, only bird houses (we were using them for roofs).

So the wheels started spinning and I put together this proprietary design.  It's made with some plywood, copper trim, and the bottom of an old wine bottle for the top.  Quite an ingenious design if I do say so myself.

So I've been trucking this thing around with me for the past six years, with nary a minute in the real world to see how my design actually works.  Now that George is becoming more and more fascinated with the outside world and wildlife, I figured this would be a perfect time to test this baby out.  With a quick trip to the crawl space and pet store (for bird seed), the feeder was ready to go!  As soon as it was up I kind of expected it to be crawling with birds... I mean c'mon birds, it's like a Furr's up in here.

(quick side note.  Once me and my brothers begged my parents to take us to Furr's for dinner. I think they were shocked at our request, but happily obliged. The thought of being able to stuff our faces with all the food we could handle was too good to pass up.  Keep in mind, this was in the early days of all-you-can-eat-buffets, so we didn't really know what to expect.  When we got there, it was like being a time warp. We were the only people below 70, no question.  Kind of weird smells from the food and patrons.  We didn't go back...)

 So George and I spent a few minutes picking out the perfect spot on our back porch, and I think you'll agree we found the ideal location.

I don't know how birds get the word out (twitter?) that there's a very anxious, family of nascent bird watchers providing a smorgasboard grub out there... but I'm hoping that all the birds in the know start telling their friends about our generous spread.

After an hour or so, 6-10 birds started coming out. They were very cautious, and any movement by George or I (behind a glass door) sent them away rather quickly.  It would take about ten minutes before they'd come back. They are cautious little stinkers!

It's pretty fun being so close to these little guys.   You think those small birds that you see frequently are just boring old gray birds.  But up close, they really have some brilliant coloring.  We are VERY excited to see what kind of visitors come our way and take advantage of our generosity.

That goes for both visitors of the avian and human variety.  Come one, come all!  Any of you have experience with bird watching, feeding, tending?  I'd love to hear your experiences.  I think my only prior experience to this was making a bird feeder with a ear of corn and peanut butter in 2nd grade, and wanting to eat the peanut butter really bad.


Priscilla said...

It is a work of art and it really is fun to watch the birds.

ashley said...

David just said that you were his #1 fan, Mom. "Your his best friend on his blog"-- so glad you are a devout reader.

We are loving the birds! So fun.