Just flapping my beak. Don’t mind me.

Jun 2, 2010 | birds, geekery

I’m not really sure when I became such a budding ornithologist (and I use that term very loosely, ha), but these days, I’m constantly looking outside to see what’s at the various feeders in our backyard.

On any given day, I’ve got cardinals, house finches, blue jays, wrens, chickadees, robins, doves, and brown thrashers.

But I have one issue – the elusive goldfinch that I’ve been trying SO hard to attract aren’t coming. I haven’t seen ONE. Last Christmas, my grandma bought me a really nice bright yellow feeder specifically for the nyjer seed that finches love so much. I put some out immediately, but never saw any. So, I tried to put some brand new seed into the feeder every couple of weeks (they’re notoriously picky – the seed has to be fresh or they won’t come near it), hoping that would attract them. No dice. Last week, I even went to my local Wild Birds Unlimited store to figure out what I was doing wrong. The associate said that I was doing everything right, and to change out the seed again just in case (apparently finches can SMELL if the seed isn’t fresh!?) and just wait.

(Photo from here.)

I’m afraid that my backyard just isn’t suited to them, especially since they’re particularly picky. They tend to prefer fields, meadows, orchards, and gardens, none of which I’m close to. In my neighborhood, most of the backyards are backed up right behind each other, and our backyard is full of pine trees, which are better suited to cardinals and other types.

Oscar surprised me with a birdbath for Mother’s Day, and we have that out on the deck with a little battery-powered water wiggler (keeps the water moving and mosquitoes from laying eggs in it) to try and attract various birds, too. It had been a few weeks and I didn’t see any birds at all. I’m just starting to see some come over and drink from it, and Oscar said he did see one little guy bathing in it a few days ago.

We do have an indoor/outdoor cat, and at first, I thought maybe the birds weren’t coming to my birdbath because she has a tendency to drink from it when she’s outside and feels like it. (I asked the associate about that, too, and she said that unless Shredder (yes, our cat’s name is Shredder) is sitting by the bath stalking the birds, it shouldn’t keep them away.)

While browsing around in the store, I realized I was geeking out like mad. I looked at everything, and scoured all the different kinds of bird seed. It kind of made me realize that maybe working part-time at a bird/nature store wouldn’t be such a bad idea. (It also made me realize I needed to get out of there pronto before I bought one of everything.) Of course, this particular store is so small that they didn’t need any additional staff members, but I left my information with the associate just in case. It’s been a while since I worked in retail, but this environment would be completely different than my previous one at Aveda. For one, it’s not in a mall, and it’s a much smaller customer base (not to mention completely different demographics, I’m sure). Aveda was mostly women who could afford to spend a little more on their beauty regimens. The only reason I used the stuff (aside from being required to as an associate) was the freaking amazing discount.

Just something to think about once the baby’s born, I suppose. At the very least, it would get me out of the house more, and I could talk to other bird enthusiasts. And perhaps, even figure out a way to get the goldfinches to visit my dang feeders.