What Birds Want for Christmas

Dark-eyed Junco_LaVetaCO_20100320_LAH_0126Santa is making his list—what do birds want for Christmas? There are all sorts of recipes and projects that are meant for wild birds, but so often they’re actually meant to keep us birdwatchers entertained. No one asked the birds for their opinion.

If you really want to please the birds, how about…

A special treat to eat
One year I received a pine cone, cleverly rolled in suet and peanut butter, then in millet. The greasy mixture held (most of) the seed in place. It was adorned with a ribbon for hanging outside as a treat for the birds.


A Gardener’s Wish List

While I’m on the topic of wish lists (see my previous post), I would be remiss if I left out what the gardener in me would like for Christmas. See, I’m making this so easy for my family!

  1. lettuce-after-hail-damage-home-2008jun04-lah-002No hail. If I had to pick one item, this would be it. How many times have I planted a bed of eager lettuce seedlings that I raised from infancy, only to have them turned into lime sherbet by the next thunderstorm?
  2. Regular, gentle, rainfall. After living most of my life in California, it still seems incredible that Colorado has rain during the summer. But does it all have to fall in a span of five minutes? I’m tired of watching our driveway wash into the culvert, the mulch pile against the fence, and my plants get reduced to stubs. And then, since it all ran off so fast, I still have to water! (more…)

A Birder’s Wish List

birding-leslie-joy-lake-fcnc-plh-028The gift-giving season is upon us, and many people are scratching their heads, trying to figure out the perfect gift for that special birder in their life. I thought I’d make it a little easier for you and spell out exactly what I would like to receive this year. I bet other birders would like many of the same things as I do. (I seem to be into lists lately.)

  1. Life birds. Seeing all the usual suspects is all fine and good, and I appreciate the familiar ducks and finches very much. But—nothing stirs the blood like a first sight of a new species. Even if you aren’t a lister, new birds are exciting. I’d like several of these, please.
  2. A weather front that blows through right about the middle of May. All those migrating passerines will be happy to sit still for a bit, after all that buffeting. I don’t want them so exhausted that their lives are in peril. I’d just like them tired enough to hang around while I learn their names and take their mug shots. (more…)