Ed and I stood in the store and had quite the lengthy discussion this year about whether or not we would feed the birds. I don't think it was the cost of the seed that was the issue, although that is something to consider. Birds can be very messy eaters leaving seed on the ground that draws critters. When a gardener puts out feed for the birds, they also feed red squirrels and gray ones. The little brown furry rodents that scurry around and make me squeal get their share as well. Bird feeders also attract predators like hawks, and the fox. But I think it was the missing purple dogtooth violet bulbs that was the big issue. In the end we came home from the store with mixed seed, sunflower seed and suet cakes. The sunflower seed feeder, a present from Amy, is placed in a garden bed so that it can be easily seen from the living room window.
Ed searched the basement for some time for the suet feeder. Finally he discovered it hanging in plain sight out in the locust tree in the middle of the shade garden. It had been there all summer. Nuthatches, chickadees and woodpeckers are drawn to the suet. Woodpeckers also spend time drilling holes in the tree, making us wonder if that is a problem. We decided that the enjoyment of watching the birds in the winter garden outweighs any possible damage they might do to the tree. Now we just have to wait for the birds to discover the free eats. So far I've seen one nuthatch and a bluejay. Yesterday there was also a hawk sitting in a tree intently watching for new bird arrivals. Happy Thanksgiving to all my garden friends. They won this one.