By Alkali Springs Correspondent
By the time we are through writing about our bird feeder
this winter season, you, gentle readers, are going to be
totally sick and tired of reading about it.
And yet, it is so exciting that we cannot but write about
it again and again. Probably the reason we are so excited is
that for the first time since our alkali springs days, we
have a bird feeding station that is attracting more birds
than we have seen in one place for a long, long time.
When we go out to the cabin, first thing we do is put more
seed and suet out. And it takes about five minutes to
achieve huge results.
How to describe the scene? It is sort of like right out of
a Monte Dolak picture. Remember, he is the fellow in
Missoula who paints beavers in the living room and ducks in
the bathroom. Things like that? Well, looking out of the
living room window, the best way to describe it all is to
say that it is like looking at perpetual movement. Just
Usually, there are three or four male woodpeckers around.
They are both hairy and downy and flit from tree to tree to
the suet and are never out of range. Occasionally, they will
stop at the main feeder for a black sunflower seed too.
Then there is probably a score of chickadees at any one
given time, flitting around landing, taking off but never
flying far from the food. And there is that huge blue jay,
always the same one and always therebeen there all winter
long. These days we have been putting out peanuts in the
shell for him and from that we have learned that his
storehouse is in the thicket down below the cabin and that
he is storing as many peanuts as he is eating. But when
there are peanuts there, peanuts are his thing.
Twice daily pheasants come in and not only eat on the
pheasant cake we have put out for them, but also like any
spilled over sunflower seeds that have landed on the ground.
Then out come the rabbits who cavort around the feeding
area, also eating sunflower seeds and playing in the snow in
the late afternoon.
The whole thing is just a riot of movement and color and is
like nothing we have ever seen before in the beautiful Bear
Paws. Probably we will never have such a winter for feeding
again, but while we do, we are really enjoying it.
And, most amazing of all, is that when we do not get there
to feed those birds for a week or so, still, there they are,
just seconds after we put feed out when we do.
Well, we have written about all this too many times lately
and won't write again until spring and we are getting new
birds except to say that last year at this time, we were
going through lots of thistle seed in the thistle feeder.
This year there is nothing touching the thistle feed at all.
What a joy to share it all with family and friends. When
feeding time is there, it is hard to read or to watch
television or to even have much of a conversation. All any
of us want to do is to look out the window to see what G