This month marks the one year anniversary of our Wildlife Habitat and Bird Sanctuary, and as I reminisce over the last twelve months, I’m reminded of how blessed we have been. Common visitors to our bird sanctuary include chickadees, Steller’s jays, juncos, pine siskin, and house finches, while special appearances were made by a black-throated gray warbler and Williamson’s sapsucker. We have several birdbaths and over a dozen bird feeders, AND we go through about 80 pounds of bird seed a month.
Getting to experience the birds and wildlife every day is a special treat but the real gift lies in the wisdom I’ve acquired in such a short time. Nature has its music for those who will listen and I’ve done my share of listening. Here’s what I’ve learned in the process:
- The date and time stamp on the trail cam matters in keeping good records.
- Birds will not set a limit on how much food I should provide them, so I have to.
- Indoor window clings are critical in avoiding aviary window strikes.
- When time or resources are limited, water is more important than food.
- Having a contact at the local US Fish and Wildlife Service is really helpful.
- Photographs are required to support a claim of wildlife or bird species.
- There will be injured, sick, or orphaned wildlife and knowing in advance what to do when I find them will reduce stress – for me and for the wildlife.
- Volunteering at a local wildlife rescue organization is an ideal hands-on learning experience.
- The traffic patterns in my habitat may not match the information in various field guides, and that’s okay.
- Knowing the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 will help keep me out of jail.
I should probably write a book about everything I’ve learned this past year, but for now this is my short list. And if you’re interested in hearing the details around each of these ten learnings, check back here over the next several weeks. My goal is to elaborate on each and every one of these in greater detail. In the meantime… happy birding!