From Our Backyard, A monthly column written by Charles

From Our Backyard

 You were probably once told that it wasn’t necessary to feed the birds after winter but spring and summer can be the most exciting and educational times to feed the birds. Each day unique and colorful migrants are arriving into our region. Some like the Rose-breasted Grosbeak only stay for a few days while others like the slate gray Catbird and Tree Swallow will nest in your yard. I find that by offering a variety of foods I can attract a variety of birds. Last year, I had a Pine Warbler stop by for some Bark Butter and a customer in Newark had a Blue Grosbeak at her feeders. There’s always the likely chance an Indigo Bunting or Towhee could stop by if you have your feeders out. Baltimore Orioles usually arrive in late April early May, at that time I set out oranges. I can hear the first brood of Bluebirds cheeping in a nest box. In past years, once they fledge, the parents brought the young to the feeder. You will notice other species do likewise. Woodpeckers are known for bringing their young to the suet in the summer. Of course the Hummingbirds will rely on your nectar feeders until their favorite flowers bloom. If you wish to see interesting birds and the next generation of birds in your yard don’t take down your feeders. Enjoy the birds year round.

   Sunlight pours through the window casting an amber glow upon the floor. It’s so peaceful to feel the light after so many cloudy days. Daffodils stand at attention upon the emerald lawn. Pink petals fall like snow from the already faded cherry blossoms. My Purple Martins are actively building nests and in the murky pond tadpoles are darting about. We’ve discovered Bloodroot atop the hill and Salamanders while quarrying for rocks. Spring is so abundant with life that you wish time would stop but the second hand loudly tick-tocks. They say you can repeat a perfect day by weaving a cat’s cradle and holding it up to the setting sun. The sun is then knot bound to return on the morrow.

 Happy Birding, Charles Shattuck