So I did at the end of December, and at first all was well: the titmice and chickadees found the feeder first, and then other birds caught on, and our yard was all a-flutter and it was interesting to watch. But then came the polar vortex, and its 3 degrees convinced me that without more seed our neighborhood song birds would freeze and fall from the sky. So I decided that I needed to supplement the seed in the feeder with some extra safflower and sunflower seeds sprinkled on the table. And the birds loved this!
But now I am often in a state of worry about what seeds are available, where, and when. And if a bird should stop by the picnic table and NOT find seed there, it is all I can do to keep myself from running out with a cup of seed and refreshing the sprinkling.
I’m trying to contain my crazy but am not always succeeding. I’ll leave you with an interesting bird event: one very cold Saturday a robin came to a tree in our backyard that was covered with red berries and that my parents the gardeners think is a kind of decorative crabapple. Anyway, this tree has been covered with berries since the fall, and all of a sudden on this one Saturday at the end of December, a robin landed and ate a berry and then summoned its flock to the tree. Soon there were twenty to thirty robins in the tree, all puffed up and plump, and gorging themselves on berries. They came at 9 and left at around 2 and when they did so, nary a berry remained on the tree. Here’s a blurry picture or two of the event: