Eric recently put up our new bird feeder, and now it’s like having a live show outside the window. The sun isn’t quite up when we come down in the morning, but it’s sort of light, so the birds are awake and hungry, and they have their breakfast at the same time as we do. (Everyone except me, that is – I’m never hungry immediately after getting up and ideally have breakfast about two hours after waking.)

The old feeder was a little hut on a stick, with openings on all four sides. It was nice enough and provided good viewing opportunities, but it attracted big, sloppy eaters like magpies and thrushes. They spread so much of the birdseed on the ground that one spring some of it sprouted. Which was weird but not problematic. The problems started when the spilled food attracted rats.

Last year we didn’t put up the feeder hut because we really did not want any more rats. But now we have this beautiful new contraption that is better than the old one in all ways. Except the old one was hand painted by myself and Ingrid and this one doesn’t have that personal touch. But on the other hand it has hooks for several feeders (mostly spill-proof) so we can serve different kinds of food. It has a bowl for water. It has branch-like appendages that the birds can use for landing and for just hanging around and checking out the place. And I have to admit it looks better than the old one.