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Why We Feed and Garden For Birds
May 09, 2016

My wish is that all moms had a blessed day Mothers Day.

In years past, I would dedicate a special letter to all moms.

This includes anyone that has/had to fill the role of mom at anytime in your life.

Things have been out of sorts, however.

The Topsy Turvy weather continues here in Michigan.

Which limits my time outside right now.

In some ways that is good I suppose.

Cleanup and getting organized around here continues, but at a slower pace.

Last week Monday (May 2), Karen was getting Yolanda on the Commode, when she slipped or lost her balance and wrenched her left knee pretty good.

We spent more than 4 hours in ER. getting some love for her knee.

Armed with an immobilizing brace and some drugs we went home.

Today we will go to an Orthopedic surgeon for more observations.

(Great blue heron)

I'm pulling double duty on all fronts right now.

This includes everything with Yolanda (she's doing well).

I now have a new found appreciation for what all she does around here.

This is the time of year when I am the busiest, and the window to get everything done is small.

I don't mind saying, I am physically whipped, and nerves are growing short.

Still, Karen and I make a pretty good team.

Why we feed and garden for birds.


May continues, and the bird populations increase.

(Rose-breasted grosbeaks on a dark-rainy day.)

Especially with all the transients that stop for a couple of weeks.

White-crowned sparrows are in great numbers right now, and I can't recall seeing as many Rose-breasted grosbeaks at one time, like I am seeing this week.

With all the busyness around here, we can always listen to the birds when windows are open.

Personally, I like to mess around outside as much as possible, if for no other reason to hear God's orchestra.

As I grow older and wiser, I take more time to sit and enjoys my feathered friends.

On a deck or porch.

Under a shade tree.

Or simply while I'm doing some grounding (earthing).

I love birds.

We need birds.

But why go through all the effort to feed birds and to garden for them?

There are many benefits of bird feeding the backyard birder can enjoy, far beyond the company of the birds visiting their feeders.

Seeing Birds By Feeding:

The most obvious benefit of feeding birds is simply the enjoyment their company can bring us.

While birds will naturally visit any backyard as they look for a meal, or place to nest, adding feeders and different food attract more species.

Cardinals, Jays, chickadees, woodpeckers, sparrows and even hummingbirds.

You may even want to keep a yard bird list of the species that have visited.

You may keep a bird identification book and a pair of binoculars handy as well.

Colors, songs and behaviors that birds bring with them can all be enjoyed by dedicated and casual backyard birder.

It is possible to recognize a feathered friend by coloration, markings, personality, and so on.

Still, there is much more to appreciate by feeding birds.

Benefits of Feeding Birds:

Depending on your location, the number of feeders you have, the types of foods you offer and the birds that take advantage of your generosity, there are many benefits of bird feeding you can enjoy.


Feeding birds can be a fascinating educational activity for all ages.

You and your family can learn more about the birds that visit, and just observing the birds will help you learn about behaviors, identifications>

Personalities and other aspects of your local population, and how birds change season by season.

Insect Control:

Birds eat much more than seed, suet and nectar,

Feeding birds in your backyard also invites them to feast on the insects, worms, snails and spiders in your landscape.

This can provide ideal organic pest control with little need for toxic insecticides or other harmful chemicals.

Flower Pollination:

Not only do birds eat insects that can help keep your landscape healthier, but they assist with flower pollination.

This can result in more luxuriant, full flowerbeds and beautiful bird-friendly landscaping with less overall effort for gardening.

Weed Control:

Yes, weed control.

Many small birds such as sparrows and finches eat tremendous amounts of seeds, especially from seed-bearing flowers or weeds that might be undesirable in your landscape.

Feeding these birds will also attract them to the natural food sources in your landscape, including weeds.

Interacting With Nature:

For many urban birders (and children), the birds they see at their feeders may be the only wild animals they have the chance to interact with.

This can be an ideal activity for senior citizens, individuals with limited mobility, or young children to get their first exposure to nature while getting an education at the same time.


Photographers with an interest in nature subjects can enjoy a proliferation of poses right outside their windows when they feed the birds.

Painters and other artists can also similarly benefit from feeding birds.

The amateur photographer like you and me can take as many pictures as we choose to.

No way am I a professional shutter bug, and no way do i have the expensive camera.

But i can get a pretty good picture from time to time, by keeping my camera nearby.

All the while, your blood pressure lowers.

Your breathing becomes more relaxed.

Before you know it, you're having a pretty good day.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

Thoughtfulness for others, generosity, modesty and self-respect are the qualities which make a real gentleman or lady.

Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) British Scientist

Sounds a bit the the "Golden Rule' given to us from Jesus.

“So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do to you.”

Matthew 7:12

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed,
arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority,
lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued,

“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope,
serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy,
generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
The same fight is going on inside you –
and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute
and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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