Wednesday, 17 June 2009


I have recently started to do something which many retired people find themselves doing. Remember this? 'You Tube video clip'. Yes, I've been feeding the birds in my garden. Of course, once you start feeding them, you attract them so you need to be prepared for lots of visitors.

At first I just chucked out some bread then I actually spent money on buying seed. That was a big step! Having spent money on them the birds sort of became a legitimate expense so now I went out and bought a bird table. Then I bought bulk bird seed so I needed a scoop. Then there were fat balls, raisins, seed cakes, a peanut feeder and finally a bird bath.

Well done dear reader, for making it this far. I quite understand that bird-feeding doesn't get me the street cred that say joining the reserve army or hang gliding might supply. 'Where's the pay-off?' I hear you ask. 'So a bird comes along and pecks up a bit of seed then flies off - big deal.' This is a legitimate question so here are the reasons why I am spending my hard cash on food for our feathered friends.

Firstly, there is quite a variety of different birds to see, even in my small urban garden. I'm still learning which is which but I know I see blackbirds, sparrows, blue tits, pigeons, house-martins, thrushes, finches, robins and starlings - and yes, it's fun to try to identify them.

Secondly, they don't just eat the food. They put on quite a cabaret. Sometimes they have a bath. Sometimes they squabble. Sometimes they just hop around looking like an avian line-dancing group. Sometimes they sing - now that really is something! Sometimes they mate. Sometimes they feed their babies by putting the part-pecked food into their beaks. Sometimes they just perch there looking at my window to remind me that we had a deal. I was to put out food and in return they were to tweet and eat. 'So get your ass out here and make with the birdseed!'

But I think there's an even deeper reason. Until my second marriage I'd always lived with dogs. I loved the things and even let my golden cocker spaniel have a litter. (See next post). Sadly my current (and hopefully final) wife gets allergies from them and to be honest, it would be impractical to have a dog since we go away so much on long breaks. So I just can't help but feel that the birds are my surrogate dogs! They are a source of animal fun in my life but without the vet bills.


  1. I'm on my way to the store to get some bird feed.

  2. You're a bird nerd! LOL Shhhhh, I'm one too but I'm not retired yet so I'm not as into it as you are .....yet.

  3. Ah! What a lovely story! I love listening to the birds that wake me every morning! My grandma had a bird bath in her garden and I loved watching the birds splash around in it!
    Ann X

  4. Haha, a bird nerd. Love that moniker, perhaps it will stick. :)

    I will admit I love all the bird life out here on the Kansas prairie. There are a few that have really beautiful birdsongs, and I just love listening to them.

    Perhaps when hubby gets home from work later today, we can sit in the backyard with a drinkie and listen to the birds. :)

  5. We have started to feed the birds in our garden too. Asda are quite good for seed and fat balls but I also make my own fat balls using old ice cream cartons; I use blocks of lard melted and add dried fruit I stick 6 drinking straws in and when it had set solid there is a hole to thread the string for hanging. You are right, feeding the birds is very good indeed :o)