Just a heads up: If you’re thinking of placing an order today with Wisconsinmade.com I recommend placing it on-line rather than by phone. For you see, Nina is participating in this weekend’s Great Backyard Bird Count. I’ll be birding with her as soon as I finish this post. To attract birds, we’ve been keeping the feeders full. (Nina stresses when the feeder is out of seed. I reassure her that mine down the road is always full. Not to worry, these birds won’t go hungry.) Chickadees, goldfinches, nuthatches, and northern juncos are our regular visitors. We get excited when a flicker flies past the window which makes Katie and Vicki look up from their computers. We have so much fun feeding animals! It’s better than just watching them, giving them food is a way of interacting with them. It makes us matter to them, which is satisfying because they definitely matter to us.

I used to matter to a family of crows. When we lived in Madison, every morning I put out food in my backyard, and watched three crows come for breakfast. It didn’t matter much what I put out, they weren’t too particular. They really liked hot dogs, but would eat noodle kugel. Despite being Wisconsin crows, they didn’t enjoy cheese. Instead they favored our meat industry. Boy, were they excited about the Thanksgiving-turkey carcass and the leftover, St. Patrick’s Day corned beef!

Over time, they lost their hesitation to try unusual-looking foods (as long as the food was in my backyard, of course.) My young daughter suffered from their boldness one Easter. I hid the brightly-colored eggs in the yard and hours later each egg Lauren found was pecked open and mostly eaten. Yes, I had noticed the crows sitting on the phone wires watching me when I hid the eggs. But I thought, ‘No, they wouldn’t….’

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