I have a garden wreath made of moss on my porch; it was acquired last Christmas during a Memphis Garden Club auction for the 2010 holidays. It hung on my door through the holidays until late winter when a pair of Carolina wrens decided to nest there. I opened the door and suddenly we had two wrens in the house. My eight year old daughter Madison loves birds, so as these birds flitted around the house my daughter declared that this was the best day of her life. We had to catch them in a butterfly net and my daughter got to hold and release the birds one at a time. We moved the wreath to a wall on the porch in lieu of the door and the wrens have now laid eggs and are raising young in the nest this spring.
Wrens are fantastic songbirds which seem to sing all the time. We live in a wooded area near Brunswick, Tennessee and have lots of great songbirds. They are a perfect complement to my love of trees. Madison and I recently saw a bright red Summer Tanager that I originally mistook for a male cardinal, until I noticed a different beak and profile. This beautiful woodland bird is the only all red species found in North America, and it really glows in the landscape. Debbie Bruce, Co-owner of Wild Birds Unlimited, told me that they were summer resident birds that eat insects especially wasps. I figure a bird that is beautiful, sings, and eats wasps is a good one to have around. I also had the pleasure of seeing an Indigo Bunting which is a deep blue songbird which is also a inhabitant wooded areas. None of these are typical bird feeder birds, but the wrens do love the mealworms we put out for feed on the weekends. Madison and I have also been putting out oranges sliced with grape jelly on them to attract Orioles but have not seen any to date. We are also on the lookout for grosbeaks, which we should have in the area now.
The natural landscape of the Mid-South is a forest which provides habitat for many fantastic bird species. I have also installed bird feeders at the Dixon, and we are attracting more song birds like Goldfinches and Purple Finches.
I have recently become interested in birds prompted by my daughter, and have found learning about these feathered creatures is great fun.
Come hear Debbie from Wild Birds Unlimited on June 1st as she presents a Munch and Learn at the Dixon to tell us more about summer birds. I think you will find birds an exciting and a natural extension to a love of gardening. It is another way for me to connect with nature while creating a bond with my child.