Just when Squeaker the storytime mouse thought life as a library mouse was a little dull, Swoop and Talon came to visit. Squeaker agreed that the owls are awesome critters. But when they began to stare at him in a hungry way, he was alarmed by their talons, and thought maybe life as a storytime mouse was becoming a little too exciting. I think that in the future, he will leave the adult programs to Pam, and stick with storytime for the time being. No harm came to a little storytime mouse in the Buckner Branch, Swoop and Talon had already had their dinner.
How I Became a Birder: I Blame the Library for My Fowl Obsession
As I'm sure you're aware, Mid-Continent Public Library was closed on Martin Luther King Day. So, what did I do with my day off? Instead of staying inside my nice warm house like a reasonable person, I bundled up and went out into the cold and rain just to look at birds. Why? I blame the library. Now before you jump to conclusions about my sanity, please allow me to explain myself.
I’m having so much fun watching the antics of the squirrels and birds on the deck. The squirrels hang upside down from the bird feeders and swing back and forth, stuffing their mouths with bird seed. A pair of cardinals aren’t very happy with them. Sometimes, two of the squirrels will squabble over the food, and one will lose his grip and hit the ground. The snow provides a soft landing and he tries again. Also, the puffy snow adds to the picture.
Water is one of the most important necessities year round for birds. A heated birdbath or heater designed for a birdbath will bring in the birds! Even the birds that don’t come to your feeder will come to your heated water, maybe the American Robin or even the Eastern Bluebird…depending where you live.
I have a peeping sparrow. He has decided to make a nest in between the screen and glass on my bathroom window. There was a small hole in the screen which he has made bigger. When I’m in the shower we, are eye to eye. He’s not really bothering me, but I can’t say that we’re exactly friends.
This is a great time of year for bird-watching. Many, many colorful species can be seen in Missouri in the spring and early summer. Some are just passing through, and others have returned for the nesting season. The patient observer can be rewarded with glimpses of goldfinches, summer tanagers, indigo buntings, and Baltimore orioles. Although no special equipment is necessary, a pair of good binoculars and a bird-identification book makes the experience more interesting. Oriole feeders and hummingbird feeders are readily available in lawn and garden departments of stores.
Twenty years ago, a South Korean soldier named Choi Jong Soo was standing watch when he saw an enormous white bird fly overhead. He thought it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. It was a red-crowned crane, and he resolved to learn everything he could about it. Today, he works for the Korean Society to Protect Birds.
As the trees begin to change color, the days get cooler and daylight is shorter, it’s time to think about our feathered friends. Some fly south and leave us until the spring, but some little birds stay and tough it out through our icy, cold Kansas City winters. It is such a pleasure to watch them come to our feeders and fill up with food to keep them warm on blustery winter nights. Just remember, if you begin to feed them, they will count on that food you are supplying.
Have you ever wanted to hold a wild bird in your hand? Once a month, Burroughs Audubon Center in Fleming Park conducts a bird-banding session that is open to the public. If you’re interested in birds, nature, or field biology, you should attend one. You’ll even be allowed to hold a wild bird in your hand and release it! Here are some videos from the October session.