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Grandma Jean

by Jean
(Artesia, NM)

I live in the Permian Basin Area of New Mexico, halfway between Roswell and Carlsbad along the Pecos River. For years, I have been feeding finches, wrens, and of course, the ever-present mourning doves... yes, they are not rare here ... in fact, they abound. I have to put stickers on my windows to keep them from flying into the windows ... they get "flighty" when there are approaching people, -- they are not, however, afraid of me, as a matter of fact, they "talk" to me. They love to sit on my roof top and watch the world go by -- they line up like little soldiers. I feed them wild bird seeds, which they consume by the truck-loads! People who don't understand birds are not aware that they communicate with each other. Every year in March, the migrating birds stop off at Wayside Grandma Jean's to load up on food and water, and every year, it seems there are more and more of them than previously. The finches and wrens stop chattering when I approach their nests, and resume chattering when I pass. I do talk to them and they seem to understand my mental pictures. I used to have a hanging feeder, but the doves couldn't get to the seeds, so now I spread seeds on the ground for them. They clean up the place nicely!
Thank you for caring about our feathered friends -- they bring me much joy, and my cats watch their antics through the windows ... they will even tell me when the food is all gone and needs to be replenished...the cats walk over to the cabinet where I keep the seeds, and tell me all about it.

Soon, my hummingbirds will be returning. I have a honeysuckle vine that they love to dine on. Now, there's a bird! Afraid of absolutely nothing and have been known to literally yank hair out of my head for their nests.

As they say "across the pond" -- Ta Ta!

Hello Jean
You are absolutely right. Birds have many human characteristics! Susan

Comments for
Grandma Jean

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Apr 01, 2010
Bakersfield, CA & Patio Nesters
by: Grandma Jean .Anonymous

Hello, fellow wild bird caregivers -- I noted your input about your nesting mourning doves on your patio,and I think you should be praised for what you are providing for them -- a safe haven for their babies.

While doves are generally gentle, I have seen them attack other birds, and literally fly off with them in their claws, to drop them "someplace else". They don't seem to be interested in hurting, they simply want the other bird "away".

When I lived in South Florida, I saw a lot of Blue Jays, and they can get pretty frisky at times, especially if food is involved. But then, isn't that true of everything in nature, including humans? If you want to keep the doves safe, how about a hanging feeder for the jays filled with sunflower seeds ... they love those. And, as long as their tummies are full, I doubt they will give the dove nest a second glance. A word of caution however, doves like sunflower seeds too, and they may "capsize" your hanging feeder trying to get to the seeds ... so set some down near the nest for them. Whichever one is sitting the eggs will appreciate that too. Set out a dish of water for the budding family ... they will actually coo at you, -- they are saying, "Thank you." (I usually say, "You're welcome." They seem to know what I mean.)

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