Monday, October 29, 2012

The new bird feeder

About twenty years ago I happened upon a window bird feeder in a nature store. It was large, had six feeding posts, a mirrored back so the birds couldn't see us but we could see them, and stuck on the window. It was heavy but would only fall off under the assault of strong winds or two squirrels. We loved it.

But after many years of service, it wouldn't stick up any longer and was, quite frankly, a bit of an eyesore. I wasn't able to find a replacement so made do with two smaller stick-on-the-window units which one squirrel could take down with a flip of his tail. Not satisfactory at all.

Then, just a month ago, I found an adequate replacement. Though only four stations, it appeared to be much sturdier, so, longing for the days of active bird watching, I bought it.

It's been up a week and I haven't had any takers. What! It's getting cold outside! Aren't the birds hungry?

I thought back to our original feeder. It took two weeks for the birds to catch on. I was despairing of its placement. The window is about a half story off the ground, near bushes and a fence where birds could land and look over the situation. And that was precisely the problem I realized when driving home and seeing who could also look over the situation: our cat.

There she was, perched on the fence, not two feet away from the feeder, waiting. I gave her a stern talking-to and removed her to the house, showing her she could also keep watch from the inside through the mirrored back. Some time later, our first customer arrived and then it became a bird feeder frenzy. We saw bird species we'd never noted before.

And our long ago cat? She would observe, note in some kitty way which of the birds were susceptible to her abilities and bound out through the cat door to get her lunch or a plaything, whichever.

I haven't noted any cats around our new feeder, but I'll keep an eye out. After all, it's getting cold, and the feeder is loaded with sunflower seeds. Come and get it!


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