by Marilyn and Keith Davis

"Food, Safety, & Welcome"

 Red-winged Blackbird

red wing
        Get that Bird Seed ready! The fall migration is on! Who will be coming to your yard? This morning I had a visit from about 150 Red-winged Blackbirds. I was busy inside my home when I heard this ruckus outside. I recognized it right away as being the sound of Blackbirds. Red-winged Blackbirds! They were perched in the tops of my trees, singing aloud their presence, and announcing . . . "We’re here! Now where’s the food?" No doubt these were the same Red-wings that stop over every fall and every spring as they migrate to and from their summer and winter homes. Many birds will come back again and again if your yard is a safe place, has a good food supply, and if they have a hankering that they are welcome.

         My first reaction to the ruckus was to run to the garage, get bird seed, and then find a place outside where they would see me throw the seed. This time I thought I would try to teach them one of the tricks our horses used to fall for . . . that of shaking the container of bird seed (birds have superb hearing), so they would know I had a friendly treat for them. Would it work? After getting their attention, I dramatically threw the seed where they could see it from their tree top perches and then went into the house to watch from my windows. Well, these untrained blackbirds are still up there in the trees, I’m still waiting, and they are still pondering what that strange human was doing.

         Along with the Red-winged Blackbirds, there were 3 Robins, two Red-shafted Flickers, 5 Ravens, and a dozen House Finches. When migrating, young birds have a tendency to follow other birds to stop-off places. Some birds know exactly where to go for a hand-out. Our home must be on that list for we have bird feeders, a bird bath, pasture ground, and lots of large trees which should meet their needs of food, safety, and a placed to rest. Check out your yard. See if you meet the needs of these weary travelers who keep our environment healthy. As more homes are built on the outskirts of St. George, the resident bird life must find new places to winter over. I hope they choose mine. We love the sound of their songs and the sight of our yard being lousy with birds. Hopefully this winter you too will attract birds to your yard. For the price of a little food and water, you’ll receive a lot of enjoyment.

         If you want information about birds or the upcoming monthly activities of the Red Cliffs Audubon, call 435 673-0996
, or visit our web page here.
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