Bird Feeders


There are many signs of my slow decent into the word I HATE— Senior Citizen. My first wake-up call came when AARP sent me a notice that I was able to achieve Membership Status… Oh boy. Yep, I am a member. Next was my willingness to order off the Senior Menu, which was soon followed by asking for Senior Discounts. Soon I hit 65 and of course the Medicare was gleefully welcomed, as was the monthly Social Security payment. All the while, I was mostly in denial that I was among the millions of aging Americans.
One of the blessings and curses of spending 47 years in pastoral ministry, is that I have been able to participate with humans in every phase of the life-cycle. If I am honest with myself there are no surprises about where I am and what is coming. As a result of my Covid Delta Variant 18 day stay in the hospital last fall, I now have been visited with “post-covid” or “long- haulers” syndrome. The results are that my joints and soft tissues have sustained a hit and I need more rest. The good news is that as best I can tell, my heart, lungs and brain have been spared (of course there is a debate among some that this is not true).
When we moved to the far reaches of NW Arvada, just a stone’s throw from the foothills, 4 1/2 years ago, we were blessed with both a front south facing porch, and a back north facing patio. Our dining room looks out into a verdant open space which is mostly occupied by bunnies. We decided we needed not one but three bird feeders. Each feeder has its particular function and attraction to certain birds. In 1986 my dad gave us “The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Bird—Western Addition”. It has been more than useful, as I had no idea there were so many kinds of sparrows.
It has been fun to identify dozens of kinds of “dining birds” who visit our home by the hundreds. Bird seed is now bought in bulk. Last week I spotted my first Yellow Finch of the season. We have Pigeons, Grackles, Chickadees and Mourning Doves—when they show up together there is often a bit of a ruckus. We have a suet feeder which attracts a variety of birds with long beaks.
I am not a birder, but I certainly can see why people enjoy the adventure of observing and celebrating these amazing little creatures. Two years ago, a

family of barn swallows found a home over our front door. Two things— they build their homes from mud, and they poop a lot. They raised not one but two families before heading south. In Colorado it is illegal to disturb these amazing messy bug eating flyers. So, when they left, MK researched what we could do legally to keep them from coming back. Her answer was four inch metal spikes which come in strips you put above the door. The birds showed up and did their best to work around the spikes. They gave up. They came back this year and gave it another try—the spikes won.
Whoever came up with the phrase “it’s for the birds” was an “old buzzard’. Onward and Upwards,
Mark

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