Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Watch the Little Birdies Go Tweet!

I'm not talking about the tweeting on Twitter or the cartoon Tweety Bird (even though she's a favorite!). I'm talking about watching our feathered friends who hop around on our lawns, across our decks and perhaps in our indoor cages. Taking a few minutes to observe the birds flit about, scrounge for food and just sit there can be very relaxing and can remind you of the whole of nature that exists and continues to thrive right beside your current situation.

There are lots of ways to watch birds. And just as Your Situation is Unique in caregiving (Care Tip #3 in Caring for a Distant Parent), your bird watching opportunities right where you live will also be unique.

1) The easiest way to watch is to take a little time to observe the surroundings right around your home or apartment. Where do birds congregate within sight? What time of the day do they appear (birds do have rhythm!). Then when you need a mini-vacation, be at the window or on the porch at that time and watch for a few minutes.

2) Draw the birds in closer. Go to the local hardware store and buy a small bag of "all purpose" birdseed, usually the store brand. It's inexpensive and several bird families like that seed. Scatter the seed where you'd like the birds to appear. If you scatter, they will come.

3) Get formal and buy a window-mounted bird feeder. These come in small sizes or in the large economy sizes, but the point is that you will hang your feeder on any window--somewhere you can easily and safely refill the feeder--fill it with that all purpose seed and see who shows up for lunch.

4) Get crazy and buy a whole set of feeders with pole systems and hanging hooks and suet feeders and nut feeders and ones that look like lighthouses and others made from copper that shine in the sun and...

Sorry, I've got a small deck system that holds 4 feeders and I participate in the winter Feederwatch for Cornell University, so I'm just a little crazy.

5) Or go indoor crazy, do some research on birds that do well in cages and buy a pair to live in your home with you and provide endless mini-vacation possibilities.

Birds reside everywhere that we do. (In big cities, the birds are called "urban birds". So sheek.) So go to your window. Walk out on your balcony. Hang a feeder. Scatter some seed. See what kind of feathery beauty appears. Smile at the antics. Scold the birds for arguing over a sunflower seed. Share your troubles.

Just lovin' these mini-vacations.

Blessings on your caregiving day!

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