Often folks stop feeding birds once spring arrives. However, I am one of those bird-feeding enthusiasts that feeds birds throughout the year. As such, quite some time ago, I learned there are unexpected benefits to feeding birds after winter has released its icy grip on the land. Here are a couple of the reasons why my feeders remain full of seeds well after many winter residents have departed.
For the past weeks, every day my wife and I have been relishing the opportunity to watch male American goldfinches bedecked in rich black and bright yellow breeding plumage dining on sunflower seeds in our backyard. They are indeed far more colorful than they are in winter when they wear muted drab olive- green plumage. Every day we see at least a dozen or more of these birds. When we open the door to our deck and cause the birds to fly toward a weeping cherry growing in the back of the yard, the sight is indescribable. Then when they land, you have the impression you are leave you gazing at glowing yellow Christmas lights nestled in the tree’s green foliage to.
Spring feeding also gives us a chance to see two species of birds we only visit our yard in spring. The birds I am referring to are the blue grosbeak and indigo bunting.
The stunning blue plumages of the male blue grosbeak and the bright blue of the male indigo bunting are breathtaking. Although both birds nest throughout our county, we would never seem them in our yard unless we stocked our feeders with seeds throughout the spring. After a few days, they scatter across the county and settle in their respective breeding habitats.
If you ceased feeding birds a few weeks ago, restock your feeders and see what happens. Who knows? You just might see the three species I have just mentioned, or another migrant rarely seen in your yard.
As for me, I am waiting for the rare opportunity to take a photo the males of all three species feeding side by side. Now that would be a picture!