I used to love to feed the birds and watch them flock around a new batch of food in the feeder.  I think one of my favorite feeders was a clear plastic one that suctioned onto the window.  You could see them up close.  I had one attached to the window over my kitchen sink.  The only problem with that was that they left droppings on the outside of the house.  It was difficult to fill as well so it was a short lived feeder station.

Another feeder I enjoyed was a lighthouse feeder I bought years ago.  I really like lighthouses as well.  This black and white lighthouse served two joys for me.  I thought it would look nice hanging off the deck.  It did!  It has now been hanging in three different locations as we moved it from MO to MS to MD. 

When I feed the birds the song from ‘Mary Poppins’ normally pops in my head.  I can visualize the scruffy lady feeding the birds.  A picture of the bird lady from ‘Home Alone’ also comes to mind. 

We had a lady in my hometown that would feed the birds out on the ball field during the winter.  Marion Hayes would go over there every day and toss food for them.  Flocks and flocks of seagulls would come to her.  By the time spring came around there was an odor there from all the leftovers and droppings.  It would go away as the rains of ‘mud season’ came and the new growth popped up.

Once again we are feeding the birds off our deck.  Yesterday at lunch I watched them gather and eat and fly.  There were wrens and finches and titmouse and chickadees.  It was great entertainment.

The funniest entertainment I have experienced concerning birds came when we lived in Batesville, MS.  That house had a balcony off the master bedroom.  Off this balcony and the patio below we had one really large tree.  We hung the lighthouse birdfeeder on a branch of this one tree and enjoyed the southern birds.

My husband got very frustrated with this set-up.  The branch thin so the feeder could not go out very far.  The squirrels could climb up the tree and stretch to get into the feeder.  He would scream out the patio.  Then he came up with the idea of shooting the squirrels with his BB gun off the balcony.  The BB gun had permanent residency in our bedroom closet.

I share the following with permission.  Let me set this up.  If you were standing in our bedroom door to your right would be a side table, our bed, another side table and space then the outside wall.  Across from you is the door to the covered, though not screened, balcony.  On that back wall and to the right of door are two windows that face the foot of our bed.  To the left as you are standing in the bedroom door is a wall and in the middle of that wall is a door opening into our bathroom.  As you go into our bathroom you can see the door to go through to the master closet. Got it?  The bed is on right, bathroom and closet on left – balcony straight ahead.

One weekend day I was making our bed.  It was a gorgeous day and I had all the windows open as well as the door to the balcony.   I was in the bedroom on my side of the bed making it so I was far right of the door.  My husband was in the bathroom getting ready for the day. 

All of a sudden I heard some expletives and a rustle and hustling and bustling.  I looked up from tucking in my sheets on the far side of the bed just in time to get a vision I will not ever forget.  Tearing out of the closet through the bathroom and running out the door to the balcony was a streak.  I heard ‘GOTCHA!’  It took a minute for it all to sink into my mind.  THEN the Elmer Fudd like person came back into the doorway with a grin on his face gun at rest.  I realize that my normally clothed, sane, calm husband had just streaked through our house gun pointing out in the aim position to the balcony in his tightie whities!!!  I screamed ‘what about the neighbors’ and his comment was ‘I got the squirrel right in the butt.’  I sat on the bed shaking my head alluding to the fact that we could finally wear the badge ‘Redneck’ proudly.  The only thing missing from this picture was a rebel yell.  I was told that I had to be happy that at least he had some clothes on his person!!!

Feed the birds – they will provide tons of entertainment!  Sometimes more than you think.







    In 1949 my parents moves our family of four to Massapequa on Long Island about 30 miles from the land of the family holy grail, Canarsie/Coney Island. This was a big move and as usual my dad had to be the first to do it in the family. The others eventually followed over the next 10 years, but we Perideses were the pioneers. He would repeat this in 1969 buying a home in Ft. Lauderdale which I now use as my snow-birding winter home. Dad worked 6 days a week in his butcher shop in Canarsie and on Sunday mornings while we were at our Catholic church (he was Greek-Orthodox) he remained home working at the kitchen table on his paperwork.

    The table was in what would be called today a breakfast nook. This was our dining room in the small 900 sq.ft. Cape Cod home. Next to the table was a standard single sliding sash window. While it was only 36″ wide it was his Sunday morning window on Mother Nature. It revealed most of our 80′ wide by 50′ deep backyard where my mother had planted ample fruit trees, vegetables, numerous flowering plants and shrubs, and our two-swing kid’s swing set with slide. There was a generous amount of grass that I would eventually lose my prized baseball card collection to (but that’s another story and would be a dozen years in the future) and in the center of it all was the brightly-colored, painted ceeement bird bath. My dad loved birds. He was a pigeon breeder in Brooklyn in his teen years and my mother had to walk out once with my 2-year old sister in tow (before I was born) threatening it was her or the birds. He sold the birds to his birding partner, Gene Matarese. That was 70 years ago and Gene kept up the birding until late in life before they were released maybe 50 years ago. It strikes me now as I think of it; Dad and Gene are probably personally responsible for about a million of the reputed 20 million wild pigeon population of NYC.

    Back to the Sunday morning kitchen table. In order to improve our robustly burgeoning minds and mental abilities my folks, like everyone else’s folks in our neighborhood, invested in a 24-volume World Book Encyclopedia (Volume 24 covered X, Y and Z). Every Sunday morning Volume B was at his side as the birds flocked to the bird bath and the half-loaf of bread he sprinkled around it. Have you ever seen birds of differing species fighting? They usually steer clear of each other giving rise to the time honored saying, “Birds of a Feather Flock Together.” Well our backyard bird bath at 157 Chicago Avenue, Massapequa, Long Island, NY, USA was like the Geneva of Bird Land. All of the bird showed up at the same time in peace to splash and splash in the waters generously replenished by my dad early every Sunday morning. The World Book would be cracked open to the section on birds with all of the great pictures. It was a tradition for my sister and me when we were younger to squeeze and crowd under my father’s arms with our faces glancing between the yard and the book trying to be the first one to shout out each time a new species was spotted. What a panic when there was a new one!

    To this day, whenever my daughter, now 29, sees a red cardinal she shouts out “Hey, there’s Grandpa looking out for us.” She was born 3 years after his death but she knew all of the bird watching stories and from family pictures that Grandpa loved to wear red. Birds-red…Grandpa. Nice memory.

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