Put up a simple bird feeder, add a water source like a bird bath then sit back and watch. As said in a very popular older movie, if you build it they will come. I have a real bond with backyard birds and I have many years of memories of their antics, both good and bad.
My earliest recollection is from a time when I was about six years old. We were living at Ft. Riley, Kansas. A nest with five (or was it six) young birds was found on the ground. I know, I know, you’re supposed to leave it alone. But to a nature loving six-year-old the thought of leaving baby birds to the neighborhood cats, dogs, and boys with a mean streak didn’t sit well. I brought them home. I was going to bond with those backyard birds come hell or high water. And I did. Those babies were lovingly cared for and fed worms, mashed June bugs and occasionally things that they probably shouldn’t have been fed. Well, they survived. When they got big enough that they were taking test flights in my bedroom, mom decreed it was time to let them go. And I did. A few days later, they were found again. Squashed in the road. I was devastated. Chickens are supposed to cross the road. Not these guys.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
You got that right! I’d be freaking out of my mind if I could get a wild bird to sit on my hand! I’ve read articles on how you can do this. You know, standing still with seed in your hand… takes time, patience, etc. It can be done. You won’t see me try it. I want the birds to just recognize that I’m like Cinderella and they should just naturally be attracted to me. They should want to fly to me immediately and sit on my hand, shoulder, head. No, not head. We all know why.
Once in a while a really unexpected bird will show up which delights the heck out of me. Birds that aren’t usually found in our backyard. I love the unexpected visitors. I welcome them with open arms. Unless it’s a bird of prey. They’re beautiful, but they go after my feathered friends and I have to gently run them off. I attempt to explain to them why they need to hunt elsewhere. Then there are the birds that normally hang out on the power lines at night. Not fond of those guys. They come in like locusts and take over. That’s when I’m not gentle when running them off. Course they just proceed to the highest part of the trees and laugh at the crazy lady waving her arms and trying to get them with the jet stream from the water hose.
My bond with back yard birds is something that will stay with me till I’m no longer able to watch them. Like people, they have personalities, differing attitudes, different appearances, different ways of expressing themselves, etc. I spend a lot of money on birdseed and don’t mind at all. Birds may not be my favorite subject to paint (though I sometimes do), but I will always have my hand out to them in friendship.
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