Looking at this picture of my bird feeder in Michigan about five years ago, I am reminded of why we are now living in Florida for a few months each year. The feeder is on a railing just outside of our kitchen sliding door, and many a summer morning is spent enjoying the many birds that come to see us each day. The feeder has an apple crate over the top of it each night because the raccoons in our area think that this is their personal feeding trough. They are very messy and they dig more than they eat. As darkness comes upon us each evening my husband heads for the deck to cover it up because the raccoons are night time feeders. But if I sleep in even a few minutes over my normal time in the morning the birds fly in and start tapping on the top of the crate.
So I go outside and remove the crate. Just to let them know that I am here I also tap on the crate, and as I watch I can see our feathered friends perching on the branches of the big maple trees in the yard.
I really love the birds. I just don’t love them enough to stay home in Michigan all winter in order to feed them. Guilt arises in me as I make this statement. I know that other neighbors feed them, I tell myself. I’ve thought that maybe I could arrange to have someone come in and fill the feeder for me. But the yard usually has three feet of snow and so does the driveway.
What to do? I have decided. Maybe the birds are smart enough that they too have flown to a warmer climate.
They must do that, because each spring as I come back so do they. They too must be “snowbirds”. I sure hope so.