Without trying to dust the cobwebs off of the gifts from Christmas' past, I will tell you that one gift I received this year easily has a spot in the all-time top 5 or so. And I've had it for a total of about 3 hours. Mom and Mark hooked me up with a big gift card to Wild Birds Unlimited, which was one of the few things I actually came out and asked for. I, typically, am not very good at pointing potential gift givers in any particular direction. I don't really like to feel like I'm asking for stuff, especially when they're typically just luxuries. Recently, however, I've developed this intense zeal for birdwatching, and I haven't felt bad telling folks that if the occasion for a gift arises that's a no-lose way to go.
So I spent some time planning my purchases, trying to maximize the new-bird attraction. New types of feeders will attract new kinds of birds, but only if they're anywhere near the yard to begin with. What I chose to get was a new pole system, which is customizable so I can add more feeders to it in the future if I choose. I got three new feeders . . a finch tube, a peanut tube, and a suet feeder. I also got stocked up on seed for my other feeders. The out-on-a-limb choice I made was a tray-type feeder to hang from the willow tree in the back yard. My hope with this one is to attract Northern Cardinals, which we see nearby but have not had an appropriate feeder for until now. The peanuts are supposed to attract woodpeckers, titmice, nuthatches, and chickadees, all of which I've seen in the neighborhood but again have never offered appropriate food to. So we'll see how it goes. The great thing about these is that if for some reason they're not successful they can always be handed down to friends and family in locations better suited for these birds. Thanks Mom and Mark!