Don't come in but do have a bite
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 02:44PM

While I wouldn't qualify as a bona fide all-in birdwatcher, I do love the wee winged things as much as the next person.

As you know, I invite hummingbirds throughout the warm months, to sip nectar from hanging feeders outside my kitchen window as well as on my front porch.

They come every day and I delight in them without fail.

The hummers have gone to Mexico and beyond for the winter, but there are lots of birds still loitering about and I got the wild idea to tempt them to feed in my window.

It happened when I saw a feeder made specifically for that purpose -- as in, the clear acrylic feeder attaches to the window with suction cups and when the birdies come, they perch right there just inches from your face and enjoy a meal as you marvel at their sweetness from the comfy confines of your heated home.

So I got said feeder -- Wild Birds of Joy is the maker -- and attached it to the window. TG was dispatched to buy the appropriate seed and he came back with not one but two kinds, and I thought, what bird would not be ecstatic to see this buffet on my window?

Surely the cardinals and blue birds I see all of the time in the trees and prancing along on our fence will waste no time in eating their fill, I reasoned.

Except, I plastered the thing up there and filled it with seed, and no one came.

Day after day after day, no one came.

I Googled it. Search term: How long before birds come to window feeder.

The answer is as simple as it is frustrating.

Seems there's a rule of twos in such things. The birds may show up at the feeder in two seconds! Or it may take two minutes. Or two hours, or two days, or two weeks, or two months.

There's no predicting how long it will take in any particular instance. Will the birds see the feeder and desire a taste of what's on offer?

Maybe; maybe not.

Perhaps there are lots of good feeders in the neighborhood and they're getting plenty to eat in their known feasting spots.

It's possible that they feel threatened in my yard; I do not and would never own a cat, but there are at least two such critters that seem to love our place. They skulk all over (front and back) and stalk along atop the privacy fence, scaring away our cardinals.

Drives Rizzo crazy. He develops springs in his legs and a shrill manic bark when he spots a trespassing feline.

So could it be that the birds sense cat activity and would rather not chance dining on my windowsill?

It's hard for me to believe that would be the case, but it's been a month since I put the feeder up and so far, nary a seed has been touched.


Last night I opened my front door to peer out -- I don't know why I'm compelled to do this several times a day, but I am -- into the dark and cold.

There was a forty-percent chance we'd get a snowflake, so maybe that was why I looked. I can't remember.

What I do remember is that I had been in the doorway for less than five seconds when I heard a whirring beside my ear and felt the unmistakable touch of feathers on the skin of my neck right about where it meets my shoulder.

A bird had flown past me and into the house. 

Upon cursory inspection I saw no evidence of nest-building in my real-greenery wreath, which may have explained why a bird had been startled into sudden flight by the opening of the door.

Nevertheless, my avian visitor -- a fat Carolina wren -- was perched on a tall leaning mirror at the shadowy far end of the front room. I began walking in that direction.

As I approached (I don't know what I planned to do once I reached it), the terrified little thing flew back to the door, which I had closed to keep out the cold.

And keep in the bird, apparently. Because it flew to the jamb above the door and sat there like Edgar Allan Poe's raven, except it was the wrong species, size, and color, and did not utter Nevermore or anything else.

I walked back toward the door, thinking I'd ease it open and, Bob's your uncle, my feathered guest would go back out into the cold night.

Instead, it flew upstairs and perched on a hanging mirror in the landing outside the guest rooms.

I called to TG, who came up from his perch in the TV room and took a gander. As we discussed what to do next, the bird flew back down, past our faces, and returned to the front room.

Once there, it stationed itself on a blade of the ceiling fan. I jumped up to nudge the fan. 

The wren headed for the only exit he knew and this time, when TG gently opened the door, the bird flew back out.

As I went to bed, I pondered why it is that a bird who will fly right into the house -- where there's nothing for him -- will hesitate to partake of free food on offer outside the house.

It's a mystery. But I hold out hope that the birds will flock to my drive-thru in time for their Christmas dinner.

Where they may enjoy all they can eat, and we never close. That is a promise.

And that is all for now.


Happy Tuesday

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