WHY FEED BIRDS ANYWAY?
At one point, we had three or four geese and, basically, they had just occupied the yard for some time. Geese are a feisty bird, and donít mix well with humans, but I guess we really didnít know until we experienced the nipping and the chasing first hand. At any rate, we had endured them for months. And then, one day, when I was in the yard, an entire flock of them were passing way up high, and right over the backyard. Of course, I could hear them and so could our geese. In just a few moments, they began to run and they took flight. They would join their kind and a life they were suited for and I was in awe. May I suggest that flight equals freedom in our minds and we see it all of the time. Do you escape, if only for a moment, when you see a bird in flight?
Poppy was our lone duck at the time, and he developed a ritual that took me a while to explain. He took to the road! Repeatedly, he walked maybe thirty feet up the road, crossed to the other side, and up a driveway leading to the church that we attended. I noticed this and then I began to notice the neighbors, traveling to and from home, just inching, patiently, behind him. They were awesome, dubbing him the ďcommunity duckĒ. So, one day, I was at the church and Poppy arrived. There he stood, content and looking in the window. He was looking at one fine specimen of duck! In retrospect, we should have had another duck, to keep him company. You may have lone birds coming to your bird feeders, but generally, they will come in groups and on a daily, even hourly basis.
And, of course, there is the beauty of nature. One of our ducks had wintered under the big Blue Spruce in the yard, whose branches touched the ground. And, all of us just went about indoor living until spring. So, on a warm and sunny day, I was walking in the yard when something caught my breath and I stopped. It was the eloquence of nature. One momma duck appeared from beneath the tree with about ten ducklings, in a perfect row, following behind her. Believe me, you want them to survive; to stay alive! But do you pin them up or bring them inside? No, you stand and watch. They went to an undisclosed location of their mothersí choice.
If you would like to feed wild birds, please be encouraged and keep this in mind; winter is the most difficult time for birds. Our ducks would slip and slide on ice and snow and often fall prey to predators. Shelter is much less abundant in bare trees. Fruit, nuts and berries are more difficult to find and insects lay dormant. Temperatures dive and our feathered friends need high energy food to produce heat.
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