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BIRDS ON THE FARM
May 9, 2005
 
A lovely little goldfinch lands on the feeder and surveys its tempting cargo of big black sunflower seeds. I have read conflicting reports of their food preferences: thistle is their traditional first love, but some folks have noticed that they seem to want black oil sunflower seed instead. We offer both. The goldfinch dismisses the sunflower seeds and flies off. The thistle is over there, dummy, I tell him; there is a tube feeder full to bursting with thistle, not ten feet from where he was. All he had to do was turn around and take a look, and he would have had it all to himself. People shouldn't leap to conclusions before they've done the research.

The cardinals like black oil sunflower seeds, but they also like sunflower hearts, which don't leave such a mess under the feeder. Finches will eat them, too: just about everyone likes them. Woodpeckers like large seeds and nuts in a block of suet, and they also like peanut butter. Somebody must like strawberries, because our productive plants are picked almost clean every day, leaving only one or two berries for Q's cereal in the morning.

And, of course, hummingbirds like sugar water.

Betty's first hummingbird has arrived, Genevra writes. Genevra herself has not yet welcomed hers, but they'll be along soon, I know.

My feeders are out, clean and full and sweet. I grow all the hummingbird flower favorites. All I can do is wait. And not be so set on welcoming a hummingbird that I forget to enjoy the little visitors I already have.
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