Feed the Birds, Feed Your Soul!

I started feeding the birds a few years ago because it seemed like the thing a gardener would do. I put the bird food out, waited, no birds! What did I do wrong? I changed the seed selection to another kind, put it in the feeders, no birds! What the heck?

I was feeling disappointed so I consulted the internet. I didn't think I had to research what I thought was an easy new hobby. Well, I learned that the birds needed to have a little time to discover the tasty morsels I put out for them. Just because I put the food out one time, didn't mean it was a habit (for me or the birds). What? No instant gratification? I was going to have to give this more thought. Do I commit? How much of my energy will need to be devoted to this task? Was it worth it?

The next day, I fed the birds. The day after that, again, I fed the birds. The crazy thing was that the food was being eaten, but I didn't see any birds. Well, this new arrangement seemed unfair. What's in it for me?

After about 2 weeks of putting out the seed, expecting nothing, and continuing with my yard work, THEY CAME! I started noticing bird sounds. I would lift my head from whatever I was working on to stop and listen. It sounded like chatter to me at first until I looked closer. I began to notice the little robins, who to me, always seemed happy. Some days, when I was really lucky, I would see a pair of cardinals. The male appeared first, so proud and bright red. The female made her appearance a minute behind, her colors not as bright but still so beautiful. I came to recognize their call. It is unique. The bluejays are not as gentle on their arrival. Often their call is a bit more robust, sort of like, "I have arrived so everyone, make room".

The most memorable of all the birds was a catbird that I named "Pretty-face". I recall hearing a sound, over and over, that was new to me. The little thing was trying for several minutes to get my attention. When I finally looked up, there he was, on the rail just out of my reach. I couldn't believe how close he was to me. His call was not one of warning or alarm but seemed