This Spring is the first time I have fed birds from a feeder having always fed them through winter by throwing seed on the ground. I never thought that so many varieties would come to the feeder and it was getting to be too much, as though I was the only one feeding the birds. The female House Finch in the photo above is one of many visitors.
I began to think it wasn’t such a good idea when by chance I saw a female sparrow carrying a moth to her nest. That was when it dawned on me that perhaps seed was too easy and that they should be looking for their natural food. Then a couple of days later I saw that a Starling had appeared and if there was one species I did not want on a bird feeder it is Starlings for they take over very quickly. A day or so after that my husband saw a squirrel in the tray below the feeder and the heavy glass roof above the feeder was knocked at an angle. This meant that some brave squirrel had jumped from quite a distance to reach the food. And that was the end for me so I took the feeder down and carried the pole holding it away.
But I felt very guilty..would my little friends starve after I took their food supply away? such foolishness on my part. Yes, they did hang around looking forlorn for a few days and I continued to feel guilty. I decided to put some seed out on the ground in different places and it wasn’t long before a few of the birds came back. This morning I was lying on a swing in our back yard and a Chestnut-backed Chickadee flew in and landed on my knee. It looked at me as if to say, “that’s OK, don’t feel so bad.” This little Chickadee who formerly would swoop down, grab a black oil sunflower seed and fly into the tree was now going down to the ground. And I also noticed that there is a new flock of Sparrow fledglings coming to the seed on the ground as well. For previous fledglings it was difficult for the mother to entice them to the feeder so ground-feeding is better for them.
What does the bible say about feeding the birds?
Matthew 6:26 “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them……”
I do still provide them clean water in a bird bath every day, and I still have my hummingbird feeder up because we had such a cold and wet Spring but I think that in July when everything starts to bloom I will remove that as well.