poetry and prose about place

at the bird feeder #3

with 6 comments

I am amazed at the volume of seeds these little visitors eat.

The deer, racoons and squirrels take their unfair share, of course.  Last year, I watched a deer attack the feeder with its tongue, scooping up every bit of seed in a matter of minutes.  Even without the deer and racoons and squirrels, the birds descend in a flock and the food is soon reduced to a scattering of seed-husks.

We have come to a conclusion – next year we will put up a mammal-proof feeder.  My brother-in-law has it figured out.  He has installed a large cedar post in an open area and encased it in aluminum pipe and flashing. Enough seed falls on the ground to give a treat to the squirrels and other marauders, and the birds are the focus of the money-drain.



feeding the birds


I wait, no patience to speak of

for the next bird to find


this food more delicious than seed offered

by my neighbour, swears


he had cardinals, mine the left-over

chickadees and nuthatches, flocks of redpoll


litter the feeder, red-dotted heads, their toes

grip courtesy branches, a perch


impossible to find, after the freezing rain, branches

encased in slip-and-slide, candy-coated nutrition


won by complication, every kernel harder than stone

seed in a casing of black, sunflower


and pencil draw the finches, grosbeaks smash seed-coats

with deliberate jaws, shards of sunflower husk and ice-coat


fall as rubble



©  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

January 13, 2012 at 10:18 am

6 Responses

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  1. My neighbor gets the cardinals too.



    January 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    • Those neighbors! I wonder what they use for seed! Jane


      jane tims

      January 14, 2012 at 8:35 pm

      • If you figure it out, please let me know. I’ve been trying to capture (by camera) a male cardinal in the winter for 2 years now. He comes round, but speeds off as if the grass is greener (or the birdseed better) on the other side.



        January 14, 2012 at 8:37 pm

      • Robin, I wish you a beautiful shot of a male cardinal this winter!!!! Jane


        jane tims

        January 16, 2012 at 9:39 am

  2. We have a post with squirrel baffle and also two window feeders, which are about 9 ft off the ground. And whenever I fill them, I scatter some for the squirrels. Still, that industrious grey squirrel has found a way to leap to the window sill, then gripping toes, shimmey up the center post of the window to reach the feeder. Now we’ve vaselined the center post, but I know it is simply a matter of time until he figures some other means to reach the stash.


    Deborah Carr

    January 14, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    • Hi Deborah. Ingenious though we may be, they seem to get the better of us. I like to think these squirrels are the great-great-great etc. gandchildren of the squirrels who used to shimmy down a thin wire to get to the food about 30 years ago! Jane


      jane tims

      January 14, 2012 at 8:32 pm

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