In the years that we have been hanging bird feeders in the backyard, it’s likely that multiple generations of cardinals, juncos, chickadees, and mourning doves have come here to feed. They have come this year as well, looking for the feeders that in any other year would be in place and filled with seeds well before the end of October.
Having made the decision to move to a new location, we believe it would be worse to hang the feeders and then take them down when we move. Were we to do that, the birds might not have the opportunity to find new sources of food before the winter snows came. If this coming winter is anything like last winter, that would be disastrous for the birds.
So our decision not to hang the feeders this year forces our local bird population to find other sources of food now, while there is still time to search them out.
How do these birds know to come to our back yard looking for food? Do birds pass down the knowledge of where to find food from generation to generation, or does each generation learn the location of good food sources on its own? Does it create the avian equivalent of a sense of panic to fly in each morning looking for food only to find that none is available where they expect to find it? Do they experience disappointment or am I projecting onto them my own disappointment on not being able to feed them this year?
As it happens, this October I’ve seen several birds in the backyard that I have not recognized. They are likely to be migrants and will find their winter feeding grounds much farther to the south, but would they hand around a bit longer if they found sunflower seeds available in this locale?
Many of the decisions that we make have consequences for us and for the people and the creation around us. God provides for the birds, as He always has and always will, so we move forward trusting that this is the better choice. We also are reminded once again that there are few truly unimportant details in our lives.
Thanks for stopping by.