Emma has always been a bird lover. I'm not quite sure when her fascination with birds began, but I distinctly remember her enthusiasm at choosing to be a duck for Halloween when she was only 18 months old. Her love and fascination for all living things with beaks and bills has continued to this day. So, it was unsurprising the other day when she expressed interest in building a birdhouse. She was staring out the window at the "little birdies" flapping this way and that and suddenly she looked at me and said, "Mommy...I need to build a birdhouse." I guess she thought her winged compatriots would appreciate a roof over their heads.
I told her that maybe we'll get to building one at some point, but in the meantime we do have two lovely bird feeders hanging from the trees in our backyard. We have yet to actually put seed in them, but they are hanging there. Emma looked out the window and asked "Mommy....why we not put food in them? We need to feed the birdies."
So, we went to the hardware store later that week and bought a huge bag of bird seed. The kids were so excited to fill the bird feeders and re-hang them high from the branches of our trees. They both enthusiastically watched from the window of our house for the birds to start feasting, but unfortunately none approached within the first 30 seconds, so Matthew quickly lost interest and turned his attention to other things. Emma, however, kept a dedicated watch.
The first nibble at our bird seed came from a large squirrel. He climbed up onto the tree and then took a courageous leap from the branch to tap the bird feeder just enough to send a shower of seeds to the ground below where he would eat and gather them rabidly. Emma found this quite disturbing at first - "That food is for the BIRDIES" - but quickly got over that and soon became attached to the squirrel. Still, she kept waiting for the birds to finally fly in and eat.
Finally, one morning, while eating her breakfast and staring out the window, she was rewarded for her patience when a multitude of birds suddenly flew in to visit the bird feeder. Cardinals, blue jays, robins, and little sparrows all began flying about and enjoying the seed the kids had set out for them. And of course, our squirrel friend was there too. Emma was thrilled. She had a huge smile on her face while watching the flip and flutter about. It was such a cute sight to behold!
Now, Emma spends every morning bird watching from her perch while eating her breakfast. She has lamented not having a pet in the past, but now she considers all the birds of the neighborhood to be hers! Even Lucy has started to get in on the bird-watching action.
Someday, maybe we will build a birdhouse together. For now, I love watching my little ones enjoying the miracles of spring!