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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Happy Birds

Early last summer, I had a surprise visit from an Orchard Oriole, quite uncommon in my neck of the woods.  In an effort to entice him to stay, I quickly put out some treats - namely orange halves and jam.

To contain the jam, I grabbed the closest container, the lid to an empty carton of milk still sitting by the sink, and secured it to a wooden compost bin on the perimeter of my yard.  It was the perfect size for a teaspoon full of jam.


Sadly, the oriole move on.  But much to my delight, the song sparrows and robins cleaned out the proffered sweet treat on a daily basis.  It became, and still remains, a morning ritual to carry my little teaspoonful of jam out to the compost bin to fill the tiny dish.  I swear they wait for me because no sooner do I turn to step away then they are sampling the day's tasty treat!!  Until I set up my summertime feeding stations, I also offer dishes of water and other treats on this pseudo-tabletop.

Moral of the story:  It doesn't take much effort to have happy birds!


11 comments:

Susan said...

So glad someone's enjoying your efforts Karen - so true, it doesn't take much. Nice little set up there! Speaking of water, we're trying to plant a garden area in the backyard with flowers, shrubs, etc. we'd like to add a birdbath with a 'bubbler' so the water will stay fresher. It will have to be homemade as the store bought ones are costly, I've seen them here and again on home improvement shows. I will look up online what's out there, but thought I'd ask an expert first - do you have any special designs for one or know of a website that has a good 'how to' plan? Thanks!

Heather said...

Karen, that is so neat! I've tried putting some fruit pieces (apples, mostly) out for the birds, but no one really seems to take the bait. I should try some jam sometime. I never would have guessed that the song sparrows would eat it. Very cool.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Holly: Those birds can really train us how they want feed. I buy unsalted peanuts and as soon as they are on the rail Mr. Jay shows up for the offering.

walk2write said...

I planted blueberry bushes last year in the hopes of having some delicious berries to eat. The birds have been on those bushes everyday since the berries started to form, checking their progress. I expect to have to share some berries, but that's okay. It gives me an excuse to plant more bushes!

Wren said...

I haven't had any luck with fruit or jelly, but I'll try again. I think I've only seen one oriole since we've been in this house, but if there are other birds that will eat those treats, it's worth another go.

Lily Hydrangea said...

What a great idea! & it sounds like you have a lot of fun caring for your feathered friends.
I love hearing the birds sing in my backyard.

Rambling Woods said...

I didn't know that song sparrows liked fruit.. I have seen red-bellied woodpeckers eating the jelly...thanks for the reminder as I haven't done it this spring yet...Michelle

Kerri said...

Ok ~~ I've got to put some jam/jelly out! That is a GREAT idea!!

Bird said...

What a lovely story - and it shows that simple things are what count. I throw out the applecore and banana end from my breakfast in the same place on the grass every morning, and every morning there is a blackbird to eat them. It's tame enough to let me watch over it while it eats, which I have to do because of the prowling cats. The bird feeder I bought this winter got pulled to bits by squirrels, so I guess often these simple improvised things are what work cause they can't be broken - or improved :)

eileeninmd said...

The jelly is a great idea! I would love to see any oriole visiting my yard.

Kay said...

Hi, Karen
Just catching up on your blogs! It's harder now that my computer is gone, but I've taken over my husband's when he's not using it.
As usual, I find thsi fascinating. I quit putting out jelly when our migrating orioles left but I think I'll start again for the other birds (especially the Golden-fronted Woodpeckers). Why should Orchard and Baltimore Orioles have all the fun?
-Kay