Words On Birds by Steve Grinley
Birds Inspire Gifts for Mom
April 30, 2016
By Steve Grinley
It is still April, but the first hummingbirds of the season have reached our area. There were also three Baltimore orioles at Mount Auburn Cemetery this week. More hummingbirds and orioles will be arriving in the weeks ahead.
A small wave of warblers came in this past week including parula, magnolia, black and white and palm. These brightly colored gems of the bird world are what every birder looks forward to in Spring. May is warbler month and that starts tomorrow!
House wrens should be arriving as well. Their bubbly song will announce their arrival and if you have an appropriate nesting box, you might enjoy their song all summer long. An added bonus is that they will also be eating the insects in your yard and garden.
Catbirds, and colorful rose-breasted grosbeaks, indigo buntings, and scarlet tanagers will also arrive in May. These birds often nest in suburban settings and though some will migrate through, many will stay and nest in our area. Catbirds prefer low shrubs and trees, indigo bunting nest in trees near open fields, while both the rose-breasted grosbeak and scarlet tanager nest high in the tree canopy.
May also brings us Mother’s Day and this year it is even earlier than usual. It is hard to believe that Mother’s Day is NEXT Sunday, May 8! With all these wonderful birds for Mom to enjoy this May, it should inspire you to chose an appropriate gift for Mom on Mother’s day that will help her enjoy them even more:
Hummingbird feeders make great gifts and there are many styles and shapes to choose from. The flat “saucer” ones are easy to clean and have a lot of red to attract the birds. The bottle type work very well too. The hummingbird feeders that adhere directly onto a window will bring the small hummers closer for better viewing. Even if Mom already has a feeder, a second is always a good idea. Hummingbirds are very territorial when they feed and each will want their own feeder well away from others, and will fend off any other hummers who try to encroach!
Orioles enjoy feeders that offer them nectar as well, but they really enjoy oranges and grape jelly. Many oriole feeders accommodate more than one of these offerings at a time. Both Baltimore and orchard orioles come to feeders and their colors are just stunning. Catbirds and mockingbirds will also visit a feeder with grape jelly.
Warblers, bluebirds, tanagers, orioles, and so many other birds are attracted to water. A bird bath makes a wonderful gift for Mom and could bring birds to her yard that might otherwise not visit. For the Mom that already has a bird bath, a waterfall rock or a “Water Wiggler” would be a great addition. Moving water will help attract more birds for Mom to watch.
Other feeders will attract colorful birds as well. Mom will enjoy watching more male goldfinches turning bright yellow at another thistle feeder and she can watch for the stunning blue of an indigo bunting that might enjoy thistle as well. Giving Mom another sunflower feeder that attracts cardinals might also lure the striking rose-breasted grosbeaks to her yard.
A nesting box, or bird house, is always a gift that never goes out of style. House wrens, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, swallows, bluebirds and so many other birds that are cavity nesters could nest in your yard for Mom to watch and enjoy. Bird houses come in all styles, from simple to elegant, and they will not only dress up the yard, they will provide shelter for the birds.
If you want to improve Mom’s view of all the birds, consider giving her a new pair of binoculars. Good quality binoculars are available in all price ranges and they will help bring birds closer and will make those brilliant colors “pop”. Quality optics will heighten Mom’s enjoyment of birds, and of all that May brings.
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