Taking an Experienced Birder’s Advice

Date October 10, 2007

“Son,” the grizzled retiree with the scraggly goatee and the stud in his ear said, as they stood in Lowe’s pondering avian feed, “Black oil sunflower seed is the only way to go. You see this stuff over hear with this meal in it? That’s worthless.

Yessir. Black oil sunflower seed. That’ll bring the birds to your yard.”

So, the two men loaded up a 20-lb. bag and returned to the son’s new house. The previous owners had left a freestanding birdfeeder in the backyard, and the son’s middle child was quickly turning into an avid avian-watcher in his own right, following in the footsteps of his paternal grandparents.

It took only a couple of weeks for the 20-lb. bag to disappear. The last of the sunflower seed had been loaded into the feeder, and the son had made a mental note that he needed to get some more.

The feeder had attracted its share of birds, certainly, and also quite a few squirrels. “Wildlife is wildlife,” the son and his family concluded, so there was no point in trying to discriminate as to whom was fed and how.

A couple of days later, in the middle of the day, when only the son, his wife, and their daughter were at home, their eldest dog noticed a strange bird indeed at the feeder.

Strange bird, indeed! By golly, they had attracted an 8-pointed Deerbird! And it was BIG!

The son headed out that evening to buy a 40-lb. bag of black oil sunflower seed. And, he made plans to build a deerbird feeder in the near term as well, as he had heard that deerbirds, especially the 8-pointed variety, prefer corn.

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