feeder        When my honey was a kid back in the age of dinosaurs and glaciers covering the earth . . . everyone, or so it seemed to a little kid, had canaries. Honey's mother loved canaries and periodically she would let them loose in the house so they wouldn't be stuck in the cage all day. Luckily his mother could go to the local Five and Dime stores and buy birds, for their canaries always had a short life span. At that time there were eight people living in this small house, and invariably someone would open the door when the bird was loose . . . and out it flew. Freedom! My Honey has great memories of canaries and bird songs when he grew up.

        Now, in the mornings we brave the cold to go outdoors and fill up our bird feeders. With just a little seed we are rewarded with beautiful songs every day. This January we have lots of Red-winged Blackbirds at our feeders. First they arrive in the tops of our large Ash trees, then they fly to our shorter trees with bird feeders where they wait their turn to dine, and sing their song of "thank yooooou, thank yooooou." We have an average of ten different species each day visit our place, so we hear lots of songs.

        If you don't have trees and feeders, the next time you go to one of our super markets, stop your car in the parking lot and listen. Tune out the sound of traffic and people around you and you will hear the songs of the Great-tailed Grackle, House Sparrows, and House Finches. These birds are making a good living in parking lots. The best time for birds to be seen and heard is from daylight till around 11:00 a.m. when they hustle to find breakfast. About noon they find a place to rest, digest their food, and stave off the cold. For birds who need more food before they call it a day, they will be out hustling again in the afternoon. Don't fret if you drop food by accident. There is always some hungry bird to pick it up.

        Enjoy winter in southern Utah. Remember, when outdoors, tune out the sounds of the city, and tune in the sounds of our wonderful bird life.

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