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Bird watching forms fun new passion PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 23 July 2015 00:00

By Lori Pankonin


What an amazing boost it is to dedicate time enjoying Mother Nature. A simple act of watching birds sparked a new buzz in my summer.

We had a guest staying awhile who had obvious interest in being outside. On a whim, I picked up an inexpensive bird feeder, a stand to hang it on and a bag of wild bird seed. She added a small mesh bag already filled with finch food.

Simply filling the expandable feeder with seed, sticking that stake in the ground and hanging the feeder on the hook began the new backyard venture. I recall yelling out to the birds to stop by, as if they needed an invitation. After all I hadn’t seen much action.

Oh the thrill when I first witnessed some feathered friends helping themselves. Little did I know that draping the finch food bag over the stake provided just the right means for birds to stand on top of the feeder as they pecked a snack from the mesh bag. Others clung to the bottom of the bag while others hung on at the top and did their dining upside down.

It became apparent that there were more guests eating the spilled food off the ground so we started another intentional food distribution spot.

What a thrill it was to wake one morning to find birds on the feeder, on the ground tray, on the mesh bag, all busily pecking away.

I was soon evaluating their personalities. Some seemed to think they deserved priority having no problem taking over and shooing others away. Others kindly stood back to wait a turn. Some stood in the food and made a mess while others were neat.

Pretty soon there was a large pretty mourning dove. Kate, our outdoor expert, directed my attention to its nest in the front yard. Well. Well. We had some permanent dwellers among us utilizing living quarters in the front yard with a dining buffet and water on the back patio.

I found myself creating stories when a beautiful red-head flew in and another not-so-attractive cohort followed. Gone again, then back. It was like he/she was just wanting to be wherever Red was, longing for its companionship. Maybe she was infatuated.

I could swear two birds left and came back shortly thereafter with a group of friends. “It’s a party at the Pank Patio. Follow us.”

It became apparent that you had to be very still or the crowd would instantly vacate. It touched me to one day find my husband engaged in this addiction. He was standing back in the kitchen watching the birds with binoculars. And lo and behold, he brought home a telephoto camera lens so that he could capture the creatures on film.

How ironic that my grandson would come home from Science Camp with a bird book. I’m thinking this was all meant to be. We returned to the store for a 40-pound sack of bird seed and finch food in bulk.

A hot day found me investing in a nice bird bath, thinking our feathered friends might enjoy a fresh, cool dip. Patience didn’t hold too long and I dumped the water and added more seed to the bird bath . . . expanding the dining capacity.

What a simple means of entertainment, fun for all. The grandkids love it. I love encouraging nature over iPads. My heart is warm.

LORI PANKONIN is co-publisher of Johnson Publications newspapers in Imperial, Wauneta and Grant, and part-owner of the Holyoke Enterprise in Holyoke, Colo. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 July 2015 19:28