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Feed the Birds Day
"🎶 Come, buy my bags full of crumbs.
Come feed the little birds, show them you care
And you'll be glad if you do.
Their young ones are hungry,
Their nests are so bare;
All it takes is tuppence from you."
~ Feed the Birds, Richard B. Sherman, Richard M. Sherman, Mary Poppins (1964)
Inspired by the Grosbeak bird family and their wild coniferous forest habitats, this tartan is a tribute to wild birds and visiting backyard birds everywhere. All grosbeaks—rose-breasted, blue, black-headed, pine and evening—share a common characteristic: the thick, conical bill for cracking tough seeds. And although these species go by the same common, they belong to different families. Pine and evening grosbeaks are finches; the others are in the cardinal family. The tameness and slow-moving behavior of the Pine Grosbeak in particular, gave rise to its local name in Newfoundland of "mope." During the deepest, coldest, and snowiest part of winter, when food is scarcest, backyard birds may rely heavily on food set out by bird lovers. Once you begin feeding the birds, it is important to do so consistently as the birds will rely on the seed for survival. Tweet, tweet! 🐦
"The Pine Grosbeak is a charming songster. Well do I remember how delighted I felt, while lying on the moss-clad rocks of Newfoundland, near St. George's Bay, I listened to its continuous lay, so late as the middle of August, particularly about sunset."
~ John James Audobon
Feed the Birds Day is part of Feed Wild Birds Month, to help encourage people to provide food, water, and shelter to wild birds in areas with cold temperatures and limited natural resources like plants and berries.
Heated water and species appropriate food can make a difference to help populations survive harsh winters.
Examples of high-energy food to put in winter bird feeders include:
Local bird research, sanctuary, or rescue organization can provide advice for particular regions.
To see original illustrations and descriptions of the Grosbeak by naturalist and illustrator John James Audobon, click the Pine Grosbeak.