I am no birder. Not in the true sense of the word, as I fail to meet most of the basic tenets of birding. The ability to identify birds on the fly (see what I did there). Early mornings spent traipsing through the woods with binoculars slung around my neck and the Sibley Guide to Birds in the palm of my hand. Hearing the call and answer and knowing the species and habits of the pair.
What I am is a bird watcher.
From the warmth of my kitchen the view out of the back window is a landscape dotted with color and activity thanks to a variety of birds that are year-long residents of the Ohio valley (and a few that are in the area only through the winter months).
The show is made more spectacular against the gray backdrop of February. Bare limbs leave no place to hide.
In search of a food source that will provide the energy needed to stay warm they flock to the feeders layered throughout the yard. Stations placed on the perimeter of the yard draw in the timid bird, seeking a sheltered, more quiet, out of the way spot, while the feeder right up against the breakfast bay will welcome the more social group, including a host of squirrels that gorge themselves before begrudgingly giving up their seat to the waiting Cardinal.
Each spot offering something different to meet the needs of a diverse population, including mixed seed, thistle, black-oiled sunflower seeds and suet dotted with assorted nuts and berries.
With Spring several weeks away and perhaps the worst of Winter still ahead, I take a minute to breath in and breath out, soaking up a view that only Mother Nature can provide from my room with a view.