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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Feeding Birds and Blogging

Chez May Dreams Gardens, my new and improved bird café, has seen business steadily increase in the last few days. Management, acting on the advice of several bird feeding consultants, improved the menu by filling the feeder with Black Oil Sunflower Seed (BOSS).

Yes, the birds are again feasting at my feeder and bringing their friends.

It started off as a trickle, just a few tracks in the snow of one bird checking out the situation.


Then more birds showed up.While they haven’t eaten an entire feeder’s worth of BOSS yet, I’m sure it won’t be long before I’ll need a new bag of seed.

In many ways, feeding birds is a lot like blogging.

You have to have ‘the good stuff’ to attract the birds. They won’t consume just any old seed. The same is true with blog readers. They are more likely to spend some time reading your posts if you have “good stuff’.

It takes awhile for birds to find a feeder that interests them, and it takes awhile for readers to find blogs that interest them. You can’t just load up the feeder and expect the birds to show up within minutes or even hours or days. Nor can you post blog content and expect readers to show up right away.

If the feeders are empty most of the time or full of old, molded seed, the birds lose interest. The same is true with blog readers. You have to publish new posts with fresh content occasionally; maybe not daily, but often enough to keep readers interested enough to come back.

If one bird finds your feeder and likes it, somehow they seem to get the word out to other birds and soon you have more than one bird coming to your feeder. If one reader finds your blog and likes it, they’ll likely tell someone else about it and soon you’ll have several readers visit your blog each day.

Birds don’t like to have their pictures taken and will fly away if you get too aggressive in trying to figure out who they are. Most days, you won’t know who visited your bird feeder; you just hope they found something they liked there.

Likewise, some blog readers don’t like to be seen or make their presence known with a comment; they just want to enjoy the post and then move on to the next one. Most days you won’t know who came by and read your blog, but you hope they enjoyed whatever you posted.

Here are some of the visitors who came to my bird feeder today.

This little bird had the feeder all to himself.

A female cardinal (one of the few birds I can identify) came around and another bird is patiently waiting for an 'open seat'.

The female cardinal must have told the male cardinal about the menu change, and he came to see if the seed was as good as she said it was.

Wow, word must be getting around about the new menu at Chez May Dreams Gardens.
And now I wonder who came and visited my blog today? I hope they liked what they found here!

30 comments:

jodi said...

Well, Carol, of COURSE I'm here...you're a daily stop for me. and I'm totally delighted to see that the bad review that Chez May Dreams Diner got has already been reversed. Plus I have cardinal envy to boot (they don't normally come to this part of my world). Way to go!

Carolyn gail said...

If you were thinking your neighbor Carolyn, you'd be right .

I just love birds and would love to feed them but we have a huge RAT problem in the city and the seed attracts them. I do give them water, however.

Glad you got the problem solved.

Leslie said...

Since you're on my Google Reader I read all your posts! I always enjoy them and find some interesting info to think about. But sometimes I lurk because I can't seem to even comment every day, let alone post very regularly. We have roof rats here and since I have tube feeders...one for cracked sunflower seeds and one for thistle seed...I got those dome covers that pop on top. They've kept the rats off for several years.
And I have major cardinal envy...I think they're my favorite backyard bird and they don't ever visit Davis :(

Mary said...

Carol, I love the analogies here. Perfect. And I'm glad they are spreading the news. See? You DO have birds and they will love your gardens...

You are always fresh and new. I like your sense of humor, your style, and everything you share about gardening.

Mary

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your analogy is so right Carol. I just love the way you express your opinions. This on is for the books.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I'm so glad to see that you have birds, and not just any birds, you have cardinals!

I sure wish I had just started out with black oil sunflower seeds instead of the cheap stuff. Those awful starlings and sparrows are such a nuisance. Hopefully you will only have the finest mannered birds at your posh diner.

jennifer said...

Another daily stopper here. I'm just glad you keep your garden open all year. Thanks Carol!

vonlafin said...

So many people by the junkie seed, and the birds throw most of it out. I always go for straight sunflower,thistle seed, and suet. They don't seem to waste as much that way. And, of course you seem to get a better class of bird. :)

kate said...

You went to the perfect place for good information. Mary's always got some action happening at her bird feeders.

I like the way you compared blog readers to birds. So true ...

I also enjoyed your observations about birds at feeders. The pictures were also great!

And finally before the day ends, posted my day-late GBBD post.

janie said...

I love to watch the birds. We do have cardinals, but I want bluebirds. We can't be always satisfied.....

Once, we were astonished to see a small parrot at one of our feeders. It seems that we have a bird breeder in our area, and sometimes the door gets left open and a bird or two escape.

Also, we have blue jays and green jays. The green Jays are not as disagreeable as the blue.

I hope you continue to feed the birds. They are such an important part of my garden, and I can tell, yours.

okra35 said...

I've enjoyed your blog for sometime now I stop by often just like the birds which I enjoy watching too my husband says I just encourage the destructive squirrels but I can't stop feeding the birds.

Molly said...

I know I can always count on maydreamsgardens.blogspot.com to have the equivalent of black oil sunflower seeds to keep me coming back :)

Kerri said...

A fun post Carol :)
We enjoy feeding the birds too. They're great entertainment and it's another way to brighten the winter days.
Last's week's warm spell was welcome, but the snow and cold brings more birds to the feeders, so there's something positive we can chalk up to cold temps and snow!

Sherry said...

Love the analogy, Carol. I still think you should write a book :-)

Yolanda Elizabet said...

How nice to see that the birds have appreciated your efforts and are now coming to feed at the new and improved Chez May Dreams Gardens! And it's also nice to see many bloggers flocking together at MDG blog too. ;-)

Curtis said...

How very true comparing readers to birds Carol. I don't get to comment everyday and post to my blog like I want too. Looks like the birds love the Boss seed.

Frances said...

Quality wins out again! Love your writing and posts, I am a daily visitor and then repeat to view the comments. It seems funny that some want the cardinals, they are our most plentiful bird and are very mean to each other and the chickadees, titmice, wrens and others trying to get a bite. Our favorites are the woodpeckers and nuthatches.

Nan Ondra said...

Oh, that was a brilliant analogy! You have such a knack for giving us a fresh perspective on our favorite subjects. So much for the "there's nothing new to say in garden writing" grumble.

Naturegirl said...

Carol I missed out on Bloom day however I was delighted to scoot around Blogsville this a.m viewing some glorious blooms! I am so preoccupied with my ((break))it consumes me. I did manage to post my ~peacemakers~ and I also had some
nocturnal ((brick layers)) visit my blog!
Good analogy writtten here in this post about blogging!Sweet visitors to your feeder! Have a great day! hugs still hobbling NG

RuthieJ said...

Hi Carol,
What a fun post.
I recognize that Wild Birds Unlimited Hopper feeder from my days as a WBU employee.
You're doing the right thing with BOSS--it's the one seed that almost all birds will eat and the favorite of Cardinals.
You're also right that birds do have the ability to let other birds know where there's "good eatin!" (especially in winter when some of their natural food supplies are dwindling).
Now you'll have to start a "Birds at My Backyard Feeder" list and see how many species are feasting at your place.
P.S. Good pictures too--especially the little tracks in the snow!

Colleen said...

Another great post, Carol :-)

You never fail to offer up the "good stuff." I read you all the time, even if I don't have time to comment :-)

verobirdie said...

I like the comparison very much!
Don't worry, your feeder is full of visitors :-)

Weeping Sore said...

Your blog is the garden blog equivalent of black sunflower seeds. I also have red cardinal envy. I recall them from childhood but the reddest birds I see in Southern Cal are robins.

Marsha said...

A great post...
Yes, I am guilty of stopping by often to read your posts and not always having time to comment on the blogs I read. I know it is nice to receive comments so I will try to post them more often...I enjoy your blog especially Bloom Days. By August 15th maybe we'll see a self sown sunflower compliments of your bird friends and BOSS!

KGMom said...

Carol--great comparison.
I think a number of us are on the bird theme right now.

Carol said...

All... I pulled up this post this evening to respond to the comments and was blown away... I didn't realize, as the comments came through my email in two's and three's that so many had responded! Thank you all!

I'll continue to try to post "black oil sunflower seed', but every once in a while, I might throw in some cheap seed, because that's all I'll have. But I promise not to leave the feeder empty too often! Thanks for all the kinds words and comments.

Carol, May Dreams Gardnes

Shady Gardener said...

Great job! Fun photos and comments... and it looks as though you're receiving a lot of blog visitors as well! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Very interesting as usual. Wow, 27 comments!

Diane Alberta Postcards

Orlando Realtor said...

I just love your analogy. I enjoyed reading about the birds in your yard. I live in Florida just north of Orlando and enjoy attracting the birds. In one day I viewd 9 different types. My problem here is the bird food also attracts the squirrels and mice and rats. I had to stop putting out the bird food to eliminate the mice and rats...ugh. Now I just have the squirrels.

Diana said...

So wonderful that you keep the Bistro open for the birds when they need it so badly in winter. It seems they love your menu, as do I. There's always something great "cooking" on your blog!