If this blog was about birds, I’d be in trouble.
My typical posts would be something like…
Oh, look, a bird at my feeder.
Oh, look, a bird eating off the ground, it must be a morning dove. Or is it a mourning dove? Or a pigeon?
Oh, look, a bird’s nest in my tree. I wonder what kind of bird nested there?
Oh, look, a flock of birds just landed in my tree. I wonder what kind of birds they are. Is it a type of bird I want in my garden? Or a bunch of starlings?
And so on.
I’ll admit, I don’t know enough about birds, or as much as I think I should know. Like most gardeners, I try to attract birds to my garden and feel validated when one chooses my garden as a place to nest and eat.
I put out bird feeders for the birds, and am happy to buy birdseed for them. (Although, I've never grown a bird from birdseed, just weeds.)
But I’m a bit suspicious when a bunch of birds are pecking at the lawn. I take this as a sign that I have grubs of some kind, or rather, my lawn has grubs of some kind, although how the birds would know that, I’m not sure.
Perhaps they just randomly peck at the ground until they find one? If there are a lot of grubs, it would be worthwhile for them to do that. If there aren’t a lot of grubs, I think it would take more energy to peck at the ground all day in hopes of finding a grub as the grub would provide them.
Therefore, when I see a lot of birds pecking at my lawn, I think there must be a lot of grubs just below the surface, feeding on the roots of the grass. (Plus I read somewhere about this being a sign of grubs).
I know enough about birds to let sunflowers, coneflowers and other such flowers go to seed so the birds will have something to eat. And I know that large shrubs, like many Viburnums, provide both shelter and food for them.
I’ve let birds nest on the curves of the downspouts, even though some bumblebees, or something related, once moved into one such nest, creating a potentially stinging situation for me. (No, I didn’t get stung removing that nest, but I could’ve gotten stung, and regular readers know I've been stung before, a couple of times, because getting stung is an event to blog about and warn others about.)
And I once let a robin nest in a wreath hanging on my front porch.
Every time I went out the front door, that ol’ robin would fly off and squawk at me from the edge of the roof, where she sat watching her nest until I was out of her sight. I soon learned to not leave by the front door. (See, I can be trained by birds!)
To reward me for my kindness of leaving the nest alone, all the baby birds left a huge mess on the porch when they learned to fly away, if you know what I mean, a mess I had to clean up with lots of water and a scrub brush. I liked it better when they nested in a nearby crabapple tree, though the mama robin still squawked at me whenever I used the front walk.
I guess I do know a little about birds, just not what kinds of birds are visiting my garden, unless they are robins, cardinals, or gold finches (yellow finches?). I think I need a good bird reference book to help me identify them. Maybe it should be one that just has birds of Indiana in it, so I don't get confused with too many choices when I try to identify the birds that visit my humble little garden?
Or maybe I should get some ‘bird flash cards’ to study in the evenings?
How did everyone else learn how to identify birds? (And yes, it seems to me that everyone else knows how to identify birds, except me!)
I think I have Bird Information and Reference Deficiency Syndrome... B.I.R.D.S
(I couldn't stop myself from coming up with another acronym.)