Lessons Learned as A Bird Brain

Thursday, February 24, 2011
We fed the birds last winter at the Shack, but I feel like life in general took place on a smaller scale at the Shack. The living space was certainly more cramped. We weren’t quite as deep in the woods. It was kind of a mini-life, where we got to try on adulthood. A trial run if you will. You should never make assumptions based on a trial run.

So why, when the few chickadees, woodpeckers, and grosbeaks who stopped by the Shack’s two feeders last year consumed about 100 pounds of bird seed, I assumed that was how much bird seed we’d go through in every winter from there on out, I have no idea.

At the cabin this year, the feeders went out in early November. Since then, we’ve consistently gone through about 50 pounds of sunflower seeds . . . a month.

Don’t be fooled. Those little buggers can really pack it away. Lesson learned.

Just the other day, when Andy mentioned needing to run into town for something or other, I asked him to pick up some more bird seed.

He turned a little green when he glanced at the deflated bag of bird seed in the corner behind the front door.

“You mean they ate all of that seed already?”

Just a few short weeks ago, I’d made the belabored bag boy at the grocery store haul a 50 lb bag of bird seed from the back of the store out to the truck.

“Sure did,” I replied.

The temporary thaw last week exposed a veritable birdie wasteland of discarded sunflower seeds. It’s gonna look real classy around here come spring. . . .

Now I know why those birds are so chirpy and cheerful all the time: they’ve basically found the land of milk and honey in our backyard.

I think I’m going to put a little jar by the feeders, kindly requesting the little birdies drop off a nickel every time they belly up to the feeders. Squirrels and Mr. Al “the man who came to dinner” Pine Marten, I expect a dime (or two) when you come calling to the “Sunflower Seed Buffet on The Lake.” I need a little more of a return on this feeding the birds thing than just your colorful (dare I say, heartwarming) company and the guano calling cards that you’re so keen on splattering all over everything.

After all, times are tough. The economy still stinks. You guys, ladies and gentlemen of the birdy world, are wild animals. Go, head off into the woods and fend for yourselves. (You know, the way you’re supposed.) The fact that you are eating me out of house and home is just too ironic.

Do you feed the birds? How many lbs of bird seed do you go through in the winter?

 Mama's Losin' It

This post is part of Mama Kat's "Pretty Much World Famous" Thursday writer's workshop. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Oh, Ada, I love this. Love this writing style of yours! The two of you are very generous! These are certainly the most spoiled birds in Minnesota.

  2. I had started feeding the birds at one time but it was so messy that I stopped. You are very kind to your feathered friends!

  3. I don't, but my neighbor does so we get cardnals and blue jays and some chickadees (I think that's the right bird). On occasion we've even had some cool woodpeckers!

  4. I have basically fed the birds all my life, my folks were backyard bird watchers as well as my in laws so its only natural that my hubby and I feed them as well. Living in the woods we get a large variety of birds, some like open feeders some like the mesh kind, some don't like to be in the open etc. so we have 4 feeders in the winter with seed and 2 with suite, in the summer we add in the 4 humming bird feeders. In the winter I would say we go through about 50# of seed every two weeks, they know my husband at Dan's feed bin and he usually gets 2 to 4 bags each trip as well as a couple bags of cord for the ground bird and squirrels, the deer think its a special treat as well. By feeding the birds we have actually on occasion also fed the birds of prey, which are pretty cool to watch when they come through.

  5. My dad used to feed stray cats on his porch, and the birds would come and eat the cat food too!

    Stopping by from writer's workshop. Here's the link to ours if you get a chance to visit: http://zemeks.blogspot.com/2011/02/alternate-bowling-style-lesson-writers.html


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