Monday, November 26, 2012

Winter Bird Feeding

I am not particularly fond of winter. I am from Alabama where winter lasts about a month and I didn't even own a winter coat!  Indiana winters have been difficult for this southern gal to adjust to. I am like a bear and hibernate, getting out only if I absolutely have to!

One of the things that I learned early on that has helped me get through the winter months without symptoms of S.A.D, (Seasonal Affective Disorder), is bird watching! Most winter mornings you will find me at the kitchen table, in front of the sliding glass doors, with my coffee, Bible study materials, camera and the cats. I sometimes sit there for hours reading and watching the birds and trying to get a good picture of them. I think since I am at the window so much, the light and the enjoyment of watching the birds lifts the winter blues that I used to experience when I first moved here.

 This picture was taken in 2011. I had so much fun making the wreaths and watching the birds eat from them all winter.

With the cost of groceries, I had made up my mind that that I would not be feeding the birds this year. It was just too expensive. I was really sad about it. Since I had fed the birds for the last several winters they were already gathering, waiting for their winter sustenance.

While I was outside a few days ago cleaning the clay birdbaths and putting them away for the winter, I got a great idea!

The Lowe's Creative Ideas project for this month is about bringing the garden inside. It is all about how we continue our hobby of gardening throughout the winter months. While I love gardening, I also love nature and more specifically I enjoy photographing nature. I garden primarily for that end, to attract the butterflies and birds, (especially hummingbirds), to my yard.With that in mind, part of gardening to me is providing food and water for the birds throughout the winter months and if I can get a few good pictures in the process that is a great bonus!

I have several posts lined up for winter gardening but this is by far my favorite. While it isn't technically inside the house, it's close; it's on the patio! It is bringing the garden in closer, but not inside the house.

For several years I have wanted to do an evergreen tree for the birds during the winter. I can't tell you how many times I have been tempted to grab a used Christmas tree from the curb! By January it is already too cold and usually too snowy to seriously think about that project and I am too much of a penny pincher to buy one myself! I am absolutely thrilled to be able to do this project for my birds this winter! Thank you Lowe's for the tree, bird seed and feeders!

I attached the clay pot to the clothespin with Loctite all purpose indoor/outdoor caulk from Lowe's.
Hot glue would not hold up to the snow and cold weather. They are so cute on the tree!

I always pick up small baskets at Goodwill when I find them! They are perfect for holding seeds, peanuts or suet.

I could have taken the suet out of the cookie cutters, but I like them this way. It will also help the birds eat them by giving a little more stability and support.

I love Christmas trees in galvanized containers!

I purchased two new feeders at Lowe's. I have found that there is less waste with the cylinder feeders. That is especially important to me this year.

It didn't take long for the sweet little chickadees to find the tree! I was preparing lunch when I saw it go to the tree! I grabbed the camera and captured a shot before it quickly flew away. I get all giddy when I think of the photo opportunities this cute tree will provide this winter!

The birds will be well fed and this will bring me and my cats so much pleasure during the winter months! 

I don't know if the bird population is an indicator of the winter climate, but last year I had very few birds and no snowbirds, (dark-eyed juncos); it was an extremely mild winter. (Yea for me!) In the last three days the snowbirds have arrived and I have seen a Northern Flicker, (a first), Mockingbird, (second time) and three Eastern Bluebirds, (I haven't seen a bluebird in several years). While that is incredibly exciting, I am just a little concerned that we might be in for a harsh winter. It might mean that fewer people are feeding the birds and providing water for them. As much as I dislike winter, I actually would prefer the former.

As you prepare for Christmas and winter, please don't forget our feathered friends!If you have someone in your family on a tight budget and they enjoy bird watching you may want to consider a gift of a new feeder and seed!

Thank you for reading!



Patricia said...

This is so pretty, Robin. I can't wait to see the lovely photos you are sure to post throughout the winter. ((((Hugs))))

Ruth Hiebert said...

I love that bird feeder tree. It is decorative and yet functional.

Stacey said...

How beautiful. I made birdseed wreaths a few years ago. The birds and squirrels loved them. You've reminded me that I need to do that again. :)

Cloudia said...

wish I was a wild bird!

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Lisa at Greenbow said...

A wonderful post Robin. Your little tree is a big hit with not only the birds but with gardeners too no doubt.

Kerri Farley said...

Now that's my kind of Christmas Tree! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

A Garden of Threads said...

What an awesome pretty and festive. I wish I could something similar here but the squirrels would eat the suet in a day.

Indie said...

What an absolutely AWESOME tree! Love it!

I started feeding the birds last winter and was hooked. It's such a great thing to be able to watch the birds and wildlife when it's not gardening season.

LostRoses said...

Just charming, but sadly the squirrels here would quickly ravage it and that would make me very unhappy! Loved this post all the same.

Sue Garrett said...

I saw this mentioned by Shirl on her blog so popped to take a peep - What a marvellous idea! I love feeding and photographing birds too. WE have a magnolia tree outside our window laden with all sorts of feeders but nothing as Christmassy as yours.