Saturday Night Feeder

From Oak Harbor, Ohio, Kenn writes: I don't like to brag, but one thing I can say for Kimberly and me -- we have some really awesome friends and neighbors.
For example, in our neighborhood there's a young lady named Delaney, an elementary school student with a sharp mind and a lot of artistic talent. Recently she has developed a strong interest in birds and other nature subjects, and she has been studying them and learning fast. As evidence of her powers of observation, a single Pine Siskin showed up in the neighborhood last month, and Delaney spotted it before Kim or I did. And her enthusiasm must be contagious, because her parents, John and Tiffanie, are now paying more attention to birds also.

We had had a number of conversations about birds with their family, and we had given them a couple of copies of our field guides, but we were stunned and thrilled recently when they knocked at the door and presented us with a beautiful, hand-made, personalized bird feeder that they had made just for us.

Here's another view of the feeder, hanging up outside and filled with seed, ready to attract birds.

Does the feeder work? Does it ever! We had just filled the feeder and put it up outside (and photographed it, of course), and come back inside the house, when we glanced out the winter and saw that an American Goldfinch was already checking it out:

Within a few minutes, the goldfinches were all over it. (Sorry about the picture quality -- I just grabbed the camera and the telephoto and was banging away at the feeder, through two panes of dirty window glass. These are documentation photos, not works of art like the feeder itself.)

Delaney and her family told us that they have started making bird feeders for other friends as well, so don't be surprised if you start seeing these elegant feeders popping up all over the place. And this talented family is pursuing an interest in birds beyond the backyard, too. Earlier today (Saturday February 19) I was out at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, looking at a distant eagle nest, and our neighbors pulled up to say hello. The whole family was out looking for birds on the refuge, and they had even brought along a couple of friends to enjoy the day.
Thanks to Delaney and Tiffanie and John for the beautiful bird feeder, and for sharing the excitement of birds with us!


  1. They are talented! What have you got in there? The first pic looks like suet and later .. black oil sunflower seed? or thistle?

  2. Yes, they're talented indeed. As for what's in the feeder -- in the first photo it's empty (you're seeing the snow behind it, through the screen mesh in the bottom of the feeder). After that it's black oil sunflower seed. Our local goldfinches like thistle (nyjer) seed but they can also handle the small black oil sunflower seeds.

  3. What an outstanding post Kenn! This would be one of those little blessings that make it all worthwhile. There is absolutely nothing more rewarding than knowing you have made a difference to a child - which is exactly what you have done. Actually, an entire family! Kudos in advance to this awesome family for the lives that I know they will touch in the future with their newly found interest!

  4. What goes around, comes around! You and Kim are so wonderful at helping others! You should not be shocked when that love comes back around to the two of you!!

  5. Nice neighbors! Proof positive of the great effect you two have on everyone around.

    I wonder if we'll be able to get one of those feeders through BSBO soon? (hint-hint!)

  6. ...that really is a cool feeder!! I love it! Congrats to little Delaney for spotting the Pine Siskin first! (Can you tell her to send one down to my feeders? I've been waiting patiently for 11 winters for one to visit...:-)

  7. Thanks, Everyone! Doesn't it do your heart good to hear about kids like Delaney?!

    Kelly ~ We will send any Pine Siskins we get from here on out yor way!

    I also wanted to point out that a BIG part of Delaney's budding interest in nature stems from our friend Laura Bonneau with Ottawa National Widlife Refuge. Laura developed a program for 2nd graders and she visits every 2nd grade classroom in the county multiple times throughout the year, and the students make three visits to the Refuge for nature studies. Kenn has gone with Laura on several classroom visits to teach the kids about sketching birds. It's a great program and we're super proud to work with Laura and the refuge!

  8. That feeder is beautiful.. better get those birds some diapers so they don't mess it up! Kidding... Sounds like you have great neighbors.


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