Last weekend Gord and I spent some time outside in the treed part of our property -- we really needed to get out of the house and just be out there. Spring has been a long time coming, and while there is still a lot of snow around, the sky was blue and the sun was warm. So we went out to feed the birds, deterimined to take our time about it, and just enjoy being out there.
We have a lot of black-capped chickadees around here, and they have become less and less shy over the years. Often they will fly over and sit very close to us when we fill the bird feeders, and chirp loudly as if to say, "hurry up already, we want our black oil sunflower seeds!" At times there are dozens of them that come to the five or six feeders we have set up, for sunflower seeds, peanuts and suet.
This year has been a banner year for squirrels as well - there are four of them! It seems like they may be two mated pairs, but we really don't know for certain. They come to the feeders as well, and it is quite the show to see the squirrels and the birds vie for the prime feeders.
Gord has told me of how one of his uncles used to have birds eating out of his hand, and this Spring he really wanted to see if that could happen to him too. These chickadees were pretty friendly, so they seemed like they might just cooperate.
And last Sunday was the day - after standing still and sort of blending in with the feeder for about 15-20 minutes, the birds started sitting on the feeder while Gord's hand was there:You can see the squirrel there (whom Gord has named 'Chomper') in the background, keeping an eye on the situation.
A few minutes later, one of the birds landed on Gord's hand and took a sunflower seed out of it, before flying away. This happened quite a few times with a few different birds, and I managed to get one decent picture of this:
Not to be left out, Chomper came by in a little while for a closer look:
And then came closer yet for his share of the sunflower seeds:
I can tell you this was the highlight of our day! I've cropped the pictures so Gord's face isn't in there, but in some of these shots he is really smiling! There's something pretty amazing about having a little bird or squirrel think you're just another part of the landscape, safe enough to sit on.
Next time it will be my turn to try and stand still for 20 minutes at the feeder, and see what happens. I knew meditation was good practice for a lot of reasons, but I didn't foresee this particular application!
Wishing everyone a happy weekend, with time enough to stop and connect for a little while with Nature's goodness.
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