I don’t call myself a “birder” (heaven forbid) but I do love my wildbirds: we’ve counted 25 different birds who’ve visited our feeders and property. Man, they cost us a pretty penny too: I go through a 20lb bag of seed every 2 weeks then there are big sacks of whole peanuts, suet blocks by the dozen and woodpecker seed and nut squares. My guests LOVE the birds and many of them spend hours taking pictures of them.
Europeans are particularly crazy about hummingbirds, as they’re native to the Americas. I love seeing some of the amazing “traveler photos” on tripadvisor on my B&B page.
Jim built a great feeding station for me. Cantilevered over our balcony but within reach for replenishing. It keeps the seed, suet and poop off the deck. It all goes into the garden below so there’s a good bit of bird action down there too.
Over the years I’ve had quite a few people who DO call themselves “birders” staying here at the B&B and, to a person, they are rather peculiar [unlike me]. They get all fluttery and run round with big-ass cameras and scopes, all the while consulting their online birding guides. Too serious for me by miles.
When we were in Costa Rica we did a lot of “birdy” things including going on a 5am birdwatching tour, and before you think “Aha. she’s a birder”, that doesn’t count, because in Costa Rica most tourists end up doing birdwatching with a guide – it’s so worthwhile, else you wouldn’t know where to look, and what for.
Inevitably I have become a bit of an expert on some of my regular species (can’t be helped) – one thing leads to another and soon enough you’re learning their calls, their nesting habits: how many eggs, how long til they hatch and how long til they fledge. And it’s amazing to see the babies arriving at the feeder with their parents who patiently teach them what to eat and still feed them.
I collect bird-related decor and in spring and summer it is particularly abundant! In my mind it brings everything together, but most of all, it pleases me.
The birds have become a huge part of my life and I love to see people become calm and still and enjoy nature-watching here. I know for sure that when people leave, they go home and set up their own feeders.