This has been a most interesting summer at the Gypsy Queendom ~ The Airstream Aviary and Wildlife Refuge. It seems as if all the feathery friends and four legged wildlife critters have found safe haven outside my door, to include the neighborhood kitties that I feed outside each morning, and the Birdseed Bandit raccoon that takes down the feeders at night to eat the seed (but that’s another story for a later date). It’s never dull around here, that’s for certain.
I’ve always been fascinated with birds, watching them eating or drinking from the feeders. I started out with one little seed feeder and one hummingbird feeder. That should be enough, or so I thought. As it turns out, I ended up with seven seed feeders and three hummingbird feeders, and that still wasn’t enough because all the bird families, friends and frenemies were coming to feast, including the aforementioned Birdseed Bandit.
When the birds started showing up, one feeder was enough. Then more would come. Not enough room for all of them on the ledge. Then more came and they would fight for their territory. Seriously? So I invested in another feeder to calm down the masses. Yea, like that was really going to work out. All it did was bring in more birds! Needless to say, birdfeeders around the Queendom significantly increased in number.
There were all kinds of birds: Hummingbirds (and plenty of them), Cardinals (I had a Big Daddy Cardinal that ruled the roost), different types of Finches, most especially the Purple Finch (which really isn’t purple at all), even Doves.
All of these feeders hang from the canopy of Gypsy ~ The Airstream so I can watch them out the window. From my vantage point, there is a big Cedar tree about twenty feet forward from the front door and the birds would feed and then fly to the Cedar tree. Then they would come back. That tree would just shake, rattle and roll with the pile of birds that would sit in there between feedings. Constant movement, always. All from the birds. You can spend a lot of time sitting around watching these birds in action and not realize it.
One thing that is foremost in my mind is Big Daddy Cardinal. I call him Big Daddy because he is the biggest of the Cardinals that come visit but I didn’t realize he really was a Big Daddy until I saw him at the feeder one day, get some seed, and fly back to the tree. He was in there feeding another bird. His mate, or so I thought. I could see them both, him giving food to the other bird. How cool is that, I thought. This went on for a few days, back and forth from the feeder to the tree, feeding the bird. A few days later, I looked out the window and there was Big Daddy at the feeder, as usual. But this particular time I looked at the ground. Wow! What a surprise! Big Daddy had not been feeding a single bird, he had been feeding five of them. Big Daddy had five little baby Cardinals, and they were all at my doorstep! Big Daddy was up there slinging food to the ground and the little guys and gals were eating from the ground. There were three little males and two little females and they were so cute! Obviously, they were being well taken care of.
In a few days, I began to notice the babies flying up to the feeder. Bless their little feathers, they weren’t quite up to par with this flying thing yet but they were giving it their best shot. Sometimes, one or another could gets his little claws just right and almost fall but still managed to save himself or herself just in time. In just a few mere days, they were up there like they’d been doing this all along. They grew so fast and abilities at feeding themselves were impeccable. It was quite enchanting to spend so much time watching them gain their places in the world. Of course, Big Daddy was never too far away.
The corn harvest season started a few weeks ago and most the birds went away. What? I wondered what in the world was happening: were we going to have another hard winter and they knew it before we did? What I didn’t think of was there’s much more pickings to choose from in a freshly picked cornfield than what my numerous seed feeders provide for them. They wanted the real thing and, as long as it’s available, they’ll surely be eating that fresh manna from heaven. (P.S. Even the Birdseed Bandit raccoon took a hike when the harvest started).
Rest assured though, they will be back. They know where the food is and when all the corn has been harvested and the birds and other wildlife have eaten every morsel, they will return ‘home’ with a vengeance. So here I am, waiting patiently for my feathery friends to put in their reappearance so we can get on with this summer.
I have to admit – as far as summer goes with these fine friends, this has been a very interesting viewing and learning experience. As far as my view for each day, I’m not ready for this summer to end. However, there has been a time of two when I felt like I was reliving the old black and white movie, “The Birds.”