poetry and prose about place

making November warm #5

with 4 comments

I can watch birds any time of year of course. But, to me, November seems made for bird watching. Just seeing those tiny birds gobble up the various types of seed, makes me realize how lucky I am to be sheltered and warm on the bitterest of days.


I do not feed the birds until November. In part, this is to reduce the chance of spreading the various viruses that plague the wild birds. This year, I discarded all my old feeders and found feeders that did not feature sitting surfaces. I think it is better for the birds to land and leave. Flat platforms gather moisture and breed pathogens. The new sunflower feeder has narrow wire perches and no way to sit among the seeds. I also feed with nyjer seed and that feeder also has no perches, just small holes where the birds can pull fresh seeds from the tube.



We have a variety of birds at our feeders. I love the chickadees. They are greedy feeders, preferring the sunflower seed. They seem timid, landing only long enough to grab and go. But they often squabble with their own and other species.




I also like the little nuthatches. This year we have both red-breasted and white-breasted nuthatches. They feed happily together. The red-breasted nuthatches will store seed in tree crevices. I have seen them poke seeds under the shingles of our house!



We also have a small group of blue jays who love sunflower seeds and various types of finches who go after the nyjer seed. I do not see the diversity of birds I saw thirty years ago when we first fed the birds here. I think some of that is due to the large number of bird feeders in our area.


The birds I would love to see at our feeders are the Canada jays. Forty years ago when I was working on the draft of my thesis up in our attic rooms, the grey jays, also called whiskey jacks, would come and say hello and eat scraps from my hand. The other bird I have never seen at our feeders (or anywhere) is the cardinal. My husband has seen them in our grey woods, but I have yet to add a cardinal to my Life List.


All my best.

Stay warm!


Written by jane tims

November 23, 2022 at 7:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. I love watching my bird feeders too, Jane. I have moved away from platform feeders mostly to deter pigeons. All of my current feeders are squirrel proof (that is debatable) but the heavy birds like mourning doves and blue jays are coping. I have three different species of woodpeckers and a pair of cardinals. The chickadees are so entertaining.

    My watercolour efforts have not improved greatly but I have such fun with it and thought I would share. The cardinals are on a Christmas card that I made for Liz Mills last year (after plagiarizing a card front that I had been sent the previous year).

    I am now trying my hand at painting fruitcakes. I have collected a large number of recipes from family and friends with which I am creating an illustrated cookbook. If you have a family fruitcake recipe that you would not mind sharing, please send it along and I will add it to the collection.

    Best back to you.


    Liked by 1 person

    Debby Peck

    November 23, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    • hi Debby. We have squirrels too: little reds who must be the descendants of our squirrels 40 years ago … we had such laughs over them … and a big grey squirrel who I ‘talk’ to! painting fruit cakes … so unique but they have great colour. I’ll see if I can find my Mom’s white fruit cake recipe … used to make it every year when I was young.


      jane tims

      November 23, 2022 at 6:46 pm

  2. You better beat me with your Canada jay sightings; I think we’ve only had one or two here in decades. But we have cardinals all year long. You are right to want to spot one, they are spectacular!

    Liked by 1 person

    Jane Fritz

    November 23, 2022 at 9:53 am

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