Yesterday, while at the Butcher, I bought a suet bird feeder. Growing up the Yukon, mom would hang one outside the living room window each winter and we would marvel at the different birds that would come to feed there. While it doesn't get quite as cold here in the winters, there are lots of birds here that are up for a feed. And since we moved closer to the Port Hills we have seen far more natives like the Bellbird. So I decided to hang out a wee feeder and see who would come calling.
So far our most popular guest has been the Silver Eye. A wee green bird who was first noticed in New Zealand in the mid 19th-century. It is largely assumed that a storm diverted a flock of them from Australia and they ended up here (http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/tauhou.html). The Maori names seems to support this, as Tauhou means "stranger". So they were obviously a new creature for them as well. I have enjoyed watching them flit about outside the dinning room window, chasing each other and fluttering their wings along their backs, in what I am assuming is a territorial manner.
[A plump wee Silver-Eye waiting for his turn at the feeder]
My newest guest, just showed up this morning. A green finch, another greenish-yellowy bird, whose presence seems to calm the Silver-Eyes somewhat allowing them to spend more time eating and less fluttering about.
It is a lovely distraction to have and one that allows me to break from my work at the computer for as long or as short as I need. The cat too, seems to enjoy this new found pastime of bird watching.