Saturday, January 05, 2008

It's All About the Birds

For years, I've wanted to participate in Audubon's annual Christmas Bird Count, and this year, I actually did.

Just after dawn on Sunday, December 30th, I was privileged to be partnered with Steven Moore, the expert Stow/Maynard/Bolton area coordinator for the Concord CBC circle, and Katherine Reiner, a knowledgeable veteran birder, and we embarked on a 6-hour survey of the town of Maynard, in search of as many species and individual birds as we could find. For me, it was an absolutely wonderful experience, topped by the sighting of an Osprey roosting in the branches of a Weeping Willow over the Assabet River, which is a rare event in these parts, particularly at this time of year.

Since last Sunday, I've been like a kid in a candy shop, single-mindedly adding new feeders, seed varieties, and a heated birdbath to my yard, in an effort to lure more species out of the woods. Thanks to my years of "birdscaping," my home is surrounded by numerous fruit trees and berry bushes, which seem to be sustaining a large flock of wintering robins. I can only hope that they are joined by some Cedar Waxwings!

In an effort to attract more woodpeckers and perhaps some red-breasted nuthatches, I wanted to add some suet, but as a semi-vegetarian, I couldn't justify the purchase of the usual beef fat blends, so I wasn't sure I'd be able to create a tempting buffet for these tree-hugging species.

Imagine my delight, then, when I found three "veggie" varieties of suet, made by Pine Tree Farms, at Wild About Birds in North Grafton! I purchased several packages, as well as the birch log suet feeder pictured above, and am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the hungry guests!

No comments: