Today I went out to the backyard to check on food and water supplies. I had an extra kiddie pool in the wild garden, but it was too deep - as is - to use for birds. I kept water in it so the pool would not fly away in a storm, but the water showed it was not used. I did not even see the mud that would suggest a raccoon cleansing his food.
I grabbed a Cutco knife and cut the entire pool, to make the sides half as tall. The birds have loved this at the Community Pool. Today two starlings were splashing around and having a great time. The pool is always filthy with bird dust and short on water, and I check it twice a day. Catching the birds having fun, looking from the bedroom window, is quite entertaining. Often I see birds flying straight toward me to reach the bird swing, the platform feeder, or the finch feeder.
I was filling the new pool at the Jackson Bird Spa when a cardinal showed up, only 10 feet away, watching me.
Male cardinals are very shy and often bathe far in the background. They let females eat first to see if the coast is clear. Having a male cardinal so close is a genuine thrill, because of the trust and the beauty of the bird.
He kept looking at me and tweeting. All the birds know that there will be fresh water and food when I leave the backyard, especially fresh water. The cardinal came down from his roost nearby in the tree, next to the spa, where I was, and landed on the new rustic fence, which we fashioned out of the dead tree. He tried one branch sticking up, then another.
I finished filling up the new pool, set up watering in the Jackson Aqueduct, and went inside. I left the spa the same, except for the new pool. Birds are very suspicious of changes. I will move the shallow pans around the yard, under the aqueduct, to allow more places for birds to bathe or toads to hydrate.
|Cardinals decorate the greys and whites of winter,|
and they seem quite droll when they eat their seeds so easily.
|Nurturing cardinals in the summer|
means enjoying them all winter.