“Come feed the little birds, show them you care
And you’ll be glad if you do
Their young ones are hungry, their nests are so bare
All it takes is tuppence from you”
– Tuppence – Mary Poppins
It’s been a long cold winter, and the first signals of spring are starting to appear in the form of feathered friends returning to the yard. These sometimes colorful characters are coming back to their spring and summer time hunting grounds to mate, lay their eggs, and begin the long preparation for the long journey south again. Bird-Feeding Month reminds us that sometimes they come back a bit early, and they’ve just finished a long journey. Shouldn’t you make sure they get enough to eat to share their lovely voices with you throughout the year?
History of Bird-Feeding Month
Bird-Feeding Month was established in 1994 by John Porter, a man who so cared about the health and welfare of the birds that he read a resolution into the Congressional record. “I would like to recognize February, one of the most difficult months in the United States for wild birds, as National Bird-Feeding Month.” These were the words he spoke to the Speaker of the house, recognizing the importance of birds both in our ecology, as well as the hearts and minds of people everywhere. Nothing says spring like the singing voices of our favorite wild birds.
1/3rd of the American population feeds birds in their backyards, making sure to fill their feeders to greet these travelers home. Small birds are often running low on resources, and large birds aren’t always able to get the food they need to prosper when they arrive to early. February is a testy month, and there’s no telling what you’re going to end up with as far as weather goes.
How to celebrate Bird-Feeding Month
One way to solve that is to make sure your bird-feeders are well loaded with all the good things that birds need to survive. Hanging a container of sunflower seeds in your backyard is a great way to make sure that you have singing birds in your yard all year round, though of course you’re likely to get your share of squirrels as well. But a person who hates squirrels is probably not the sort of person who has the compassion to care for the flying songbirds that frequent our lives. Just make sure that the bird-feeder is out of reach of cats, this isn’t a free lunch for felines you’re serving!