Feeding Houses and Birdbaths in Your Garden Making Your Feathered Friends Welcome in Your Garden
When I was a child I remember reading a bird book about a little boy named Robin who was recuperating in the home of his uncle. He had absolutely no interest in life because he had just recovered from an accident which left him immobile. His uncle who was a very sensible sort of adult decided that his nephew could only get an interest in life if he began to make friends with his feathered friends outside his window and that could only be done when he made a feeding house for the birds on the windowsill outside Robin's bedroom.
The feeding house in the winter and the birdbath in the summer – can you imagine something giving more pleasure and adding a sense of activity to an otherwise quiet scene? The moment we are going to set up our feeding house, where we can best observe the birds flying to and from it, especially during the winter, from our bedroom or from our living room window, naturally we know that here is something which is going to give us endless hours of pleasure, especially on those long dreary winter days when we are cabin bound.
In the same manner, we are going to place the birdbath in the best site and position where we can see it best from our summer seat out in the open, under our favorite trees. Believe it or not, but the really social, even though we think plenty of them are scared or shy of humans. The moment they get to know that this particular human is rather safe to be around, they are going to come closer to us, provided we are careful not to scare them. This includes making abrupt movements or making any sort of noise while they are eating.
Believe it or not, friendship with these birds are really amazing, especially when I have been their Food providers and friends ever since I was a young child.
I regret one magic moment in the life of my father which happened about a year ago. That regret is that I did not manage to capture that magic interaction on camera for posterity. One fine day he was sitting on the terrace when suddenly a baby hill mynah (Gracula religiosa)hopped onto the back of his chair, and began chirping loudly into his ear because it was hungry.
This was the first time that I had seen a bird totally unafraid of a human being, but it had decided that this particular quiet sort of human was "good stuff" and could be persuaded to get up and give it something to eat, which of course he did.
After that, I was astonished to see it turning up the moment my father sat on the terrace, at all hours of the day, loudly demanding sustenance. And the nicest part was that my father had managed to persuade it to perch upon his palm and pick some bird seed from there.
This amazing friendship continued for about a month or so until one of the adult mynahs came, saw and disapproved loudly. That poor baby was scolded so loudly in a harsh tone, – we could hear it – that it never came back again to cadge food off from father, especially in such close proximity to a human being.
So anybody who says anything about bird brains can argue the point with me.
However, that mynah still cannot resist human companionship and the moment I sit down in front of the computer every morning, switch on my favorite music to help me concentrate when I begin to start a honest day’s work, it is going to appear on my windowsill.
It can hear some music coming from somewhere. It can hear some human creature singing nasally in a toneless and tone deaf monotone, along with the music. So naturally, it has to correct me, whenever I hit the wrong note and it does. So both of us still have this regular duet with us making noises – supposedly communicating with each other and definitely not understanding a thing squawked by the other – and enjoying ourselves hugely in the process!
There has only been one occasion when I have been afraid of a bird. When I was young, we were transferred to an area in the jungles, which was full of wild pheasants and peacocks among other native birds. So naturally they roamed our gardens because after all, these were time-honored natural pathways for them, which had been used for ages to reach their source of food. That was when the people living in the houses used to put out food for the peacocks, early in the morning or at night. Now this particular bad bird had the tendency of flying down from the roof or from the tree, the moment it saw me with a raucous screech. And it went for me wing, beak and claws. It scratched my back every time it caught me. Once it tried to peck out my eyes with a full frontal wing and beak assault.
These birds are really noisy!
In fact, it terrorized me so much, that I could not go outdoors, especially on my way to school without a stick with which to beat it off,
This is very unusual behavior for birds, especially when that particular peacock had a reputation of never doing anything like that to other human beings.
This book has given you plenty of information on how you can make birdbaths and birdfeeders especially when you want to enjoy the company of your feathered friends. Remember that bird watching is one of the most pleasant of outdoor activities, especially when you begin to recognize the different species of birds invading your garden or your community.
Different birds are going to appear in different seasons of the year, so bird watching is a year-round activity. So invite the birds in your locality to your birdbath and feeding house, and enjoy their activity and company.
Live Long and Prosper!