I don’t feed the birds anymore…

…with seeds in the summer, that is. What I mean is I don’t invest in expensive sunflower seeds all summer as I’ve done for 100 years. But I do provide food. It’s more natural food in the garden. We don’t have the variety of birds that we had keeping suet and seeds year round but we are royally entertained by those that frequent the landscape for berries, caterpillars and other insects, seeds on sunflowers, and we are generous with water. In an extreme drought like we are experiencing, all the neighborhood birds frequent the birdbath. Some simply sit and soak.

goldfinch on sunflower

Alas, I haven’t gone cold turkey with birdfood though. Maybe someday but for now  we are supplying mealworms to keep bluebirds (and us) happy. They are waiting when I take the feeder outside in the morning to have my coffee. And they are waiting when we supply mealworms at the dinner hour. We dine on the deck every evening and share space with 5 or 6 bluebirds of different ages…. parents and this year’s offspring.

Shortly after moving here, mister gardener made a bluebird box. It was doubtful we’d attract the birds in our small yard.  But, yes, if you build it, they will come. Last year was the first year. The couple had one nesting and now they have just completed their third nesting. That’s it for this year.


This morning I sipped my coffee and watched as the last youngster looked eager to take flight. I waited with a second cup of coffee.  And then it did…. with the parents there to protect and guide it to the big viburnum where the other fledglings waited. The parents and older siblings slowly urged the newest fledglings to the old oak tree at edge of the forest as they always do. We can hear lots of excited calls welcoming the youngest to the family. There they keep them safe, feed them from a variety of sources, and when they are older, we’ll see them coming for mealworms twice a day with the others.

August 22 - Last Bluebird Fledgling





5 thoughts on “I don’t feed the birds anymore…

  1. I am going cold turkey with seed and currents for the next week, as I am trying to rid my feeders of the dastardly finches, both red and yellow. I despise them. They are bullies and make a mess of my sunflower seeds and monopolize the feeders…Normally I feed 17 varieties of wild birds here with my custom feed mix from WF bulk department.
    A bluebird monitor for the past six years, I delight in the process, no matter how often these birds decide to use my box here in central VA.
    As a garden blogger for the past four years, and an avid photographer, I record what occurs here at Swallowtail Cottage. Thanks for following along…Diane


    • Our neighborhood was invaded by house sparrows this summer. Can’t tolerate them! Neighbors supplied corn and mullet seeds. Sparrows multiplied like crazy. One reason I went cold turkey. 😒


    • We’ve had our fair share of heat this summer in New Hampshire but worse than that, we’ve recently been upgraded from Severe Drought to Extreme Drought. We lived on the coast of Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay area. Loved every minute….


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