For many years Castwell and I have made feeding the birds part of
our schedule. Like most fly anglers, the stream-side companions (birds
and beast) have become our friends. We might not be on talking terms
with them, but we feel a responsibility to protect them when possible.
And to help them out during the cold winter months. But being softies
we feed year-round. It's something about having a dependable food
source for nesting birds. And especially fun to see whole families
here for breakfast!
We don't have a very formal garden, our friend
Nils the plantsman, says we have a "managed woods." Add to that
a very small fishpond with a little moon bridge, lots of trees, easy-care
bulbs, some rhodies, moss-covered paths and you have habitat for
birds. Or maybe a visual reminder of the surrounding we so enjoy
when fishing. Maybe that explains why we have Forget-Me-Nots,
ferns, and Trillium.
We have planted some trees, shrubs and flowers
that provide food for the birds during winter, and have bird feeders,
suet feeders, and fresh water for them as well. The variety of birds visiting
is amazing. Everything from Oregon Juncos to Eastern Bluejays . . .(our
local jay is Steller's.) We have lots of woodpeckers, including the
one Woody Woodpecker was created after, the red-headed Pileated!
One back corner of our yard is left 'wild' - that is, I
haven't gone in and planted a lot, and leave it as natural as possible to
encourage wildlife to stick around. The bird books encourage what they
Why are we talking about birds on a fly fishing site?
Partially because we are an Internet site, it has come
to my attention the National Bird Count is on the Internet for the first time!
Cornell Lab sent an information packet on this year's count, and since most
of us can't fish (or fish much) it would be an interesting - and valuable
thing to do.
The count actually started on this past Friday, but
it runs through Feb. 22nd. The rules are simple. You can count as few
as 15 minutes or for several hours, for one day or on every day of the
There is an important rule: Report the highest
number of each species seen at one time. Then
you won't count the same birds more than once.
The BirdSource Web site, created just for
the Great Backyard Bird Count, can be viewed
here. Take a look
and maybe you can help contribute to the information on the health
and welfare of our feathered companions.
When logging onto the BirdSource site to
report your observations, counters automatically
add your information to your state, and a checklist of the most
frequently reported birds in your region is generated. Within hours,
Cornell Lab will be able to create a 'snapshot' of
North American birds.
We know some of the folks at Cornell
University are fly anglers as well, we see them on our
Ever notice what goes around comes around?
~ Deanna Birkholm
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