Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Here, Birdie: This Ledge Is for You; Riverside Resident Learns What It Takes to Create Dining Hot Spot outside a Window

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Here, Birdie: This Ledge Is for You; Riverside Resident Learns What It Takes to Create Dining Hot Spot outside a Window

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF BRUMLEY

I first felt the urge to feed birds in the spring of 2006.

No, not in the park, pulling bread crumbs from a wrinkled brown paper bag as young couples strolled by. I'm talking about putting a bird feeder outside my second-story apartment in Riverside.

The desire was born from watching the busy bird feeders at a friend's house in Yulee. It was fascinating to watch the birds' social behavior in and around the feeders. They operated with such order that I wondered if they were getting their landing and departure instructions from the air traffic control center at JIA. It was cool to sit there and see where the term "pecking order" came from.

I think my desire may also have had roots in my seeing, at a very young age, Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. I pulled for the birds.

I asked my Yulee friend how long it would take for birds to start eating seeds if I put them out on my window ledge. Two to four weeks, he said.

That's also what they told me at Wild Birds Unlimited when I purchased a nifty double-tray feeder, one with these little suction cups to keep it securely in place on the brick ledge outside my bedroom window.

I left the store with a bag of wild bird seed (which resembles trail mix) and excitement about my planned experiment in urban-dweller bird feeding.

The days went by. Then the weeks. Then the months. No birds. I kept bugging my friend: Where are they? No idea, he said.

What, did I need to take out a classified ad or something?

Eventually, I just gave up looking and forgot about the feeder.

Then one morning in August or September of that year, an uproar awoke me. I sat up and joined my kitty friend (Crazy Cat) in staring at three or four small, brown birds on the window ledge. They were eating, singing and dancing.

I must have called and sent text messages to a half dozen friends right then and there as the sparrows ate their fill from my bird feeder.

The wait had been worth it. …

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