That sweet bird feeder life


I never thought I’d turn into a crazy bird lady.

Or, um, a faithful Walmart shopper.

But here we are. Ah, the suburban life.

At some point in the homeownership/adulthood process, Walmart — and its seasonal department — became our new hotspot. You know you’ve settled into married life when a stroll through the potted plants, bird baths and mulch is fine entertainment . . . especially when combined with a trip to Lowe’s. (Likely your third that week.)

My pregnancy-addled feet are so swollen that walking anywhere is a chore right now, so I prefer to lean on the cart and waddle behind my energetic husband. Now that spring is here, with trees beginning to bud and our dormant yard is coming back to life, my husband has big plans for grass and gardens and grilling.

All the Gs, basically.

Our bird feeder — like a new grill — was a bit of an impulse buy. While I’m more of a saver than a spender, especially with Baby J on the way, I was lured by the idea of having a cute spot for birds to hang out. Our persistent cardinal and his girlfriend are still around, tapping on windows and loitering in Bradford pear trees, along with lots of other birdies. I love to hear their trilling in the woods behind the house.

Armed with a new cedar feeder and a starter bag of seed, Spence suspended the birdies’ cafeteria from the deck railing near our living room. It’s visible from where I typically plant myself on the couch, giant feet propped on the coffee table, and we’ve already gotten hours of enjoyment out of it.

First of all, there is nonstop traffic trying to land at the feeder. I can look out at any given moment and find birds coming in for a landing or quickly departing, depending on who is in charge, and usually they sort of . . . line up along the railing for a turn. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of chaos.

We’ve seen blue jays and woodpeckers, our cardinals and tiny bluebirds. And lots I can’t identify. Some are pudgy and stout, others lean and aggressive. Some prefer the feeder all to themselves while their compatriots are happy to share.

I spend a lot of time staring at birds.

And I’m oddly okay with it.


There are times I still miss our condo, conveniently centered in a neighboring town. It was the first place Spencer lived without roommates and the first place we lived together as a married couple. I miss the gorgeous sunsets painting the sky from the second floor, and I miss walking to restaurants and bars when we wanted to combine exercise with a deliciously fattening pub dinner.

But we’re coming up on one year since we bought the house and moved. Though it was a process getting here, it has completely become “home” to me. I can run my hands along walls in the dark to feel for light switches I know to be there. Though I still have those weird moments where I don’t feel old enough to have my own place, let alone my own place with my husband, that has faded. And I’m sure will only fade further when our little boy is here.

Hanging the bird feeder feels domestic — and permanent — in a way that few other home tasks have. Though we still talk about the condo, living on our own in the woods is actually . . . pretty great.

Until the bird seed runs out — and those buggers totally turn on us.

Speaking of which . . . er, better run to Walmart.

11 thoughts on “That sweet bird feeder life

  1. I have a complicated love/hate relationship with birds but I love watching them from my window. There are more varieties here at my Brooklyn window than I would have imagined. I’m glad your place feels like home. You’re so lucky to have space all your own to grow things, grill things, and lure the birds. Enjoy it!


  2. I’m so happy to have found your blog! You and I share all the same loves- books, birds and food! (If you also adored wine, then perhaps we’re twins separated at birth.) My favorite springtime activity is sitting on the back patio drinking tea, reading a good story, and watching the birds hit the feeders for a midday snack. Yes, I even bring my binoculars to get a better look 🙂

    Happy birding, happy reading!


  3. Nothing wrong with being a crazy bird lady. With four bird feeders, three bird baths and several nesting boxes in my yard, I’m a member of that group. Now I’m landscaping with native plantings so the birds have food and shelter.


  4. I love this. I’ve wanted to add a bird feeder to the little patch of yard that our bedroom window looks into but it’s not actually our yard, it’s our neighbor’s. I bet I could convince her to let me add one, though. I’ve never really been into birds as pets (it seems almost cruel to me for them not to have the freedom to fly) but I do love watching them in the wild sometimes. 🙂


  5. That sounds beautiful 🙂 I can’t wait until I have saved up enough to buy a house and can have a bird feeder and a back yard!


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