Monday, June 11, 2007


Birds are the gardeners friends although sometimes I'm not so sure that they are my friends when they wake me up with their morning chorus at 4.30, which for me is a tad on the early side. But on the whole I adore them and can't imagine my garden without them.

To ensure that my garden is never without a bird or two, I lure the birds into my garden by providing them with all kinds of food.
My walnut tree is full of bird feeders and offers bird food such as mixed seeds, peanuts, blocks of lard stuffed with fruits and insects, bread crumbs, apples, carrots, raisins and sunflower seeds, to name but a few.
By putting out bread crumbs I caught a very special kind of bird in my garden; little Kadootje who's now an indoor kitty and has access to much better food than dry bread crumbs I'm happy to say.

My garden also provides our feathered friends with all kinds of insects such a aphids, slugs and snails. Here you see my roses being very obliging in the aphids department. The Blue tits love to stuff their little faces with aphids so I don't spray my roses but let the birdies and the ladybirds do the work for me. So much more environmental friendly, don't you think? And less work for me, of course!
My garden is also rather forthcoming with slugs and snails which the birds appreciate I'm sure, although I'm less than happy about those creepy crawlies. The Thrushes love snails and have a special way of eating them.
First they firmly grab them in their beak and then slam them hard against a rock, stone or a concrete paver until the shell cracks open and they can have their delicious hors d'oeuvre of escargot on the rocks. Bon appetit!

I also grow shrubs and trees to provide food for the birds such as honeysuckle, elderberry and amelanchier because the birds love to feast on their berries and I enjoy watching their antics.
Apart from food, the birds also need water so everyday I make sure that there is plenty of clean drinking water for the birds. I see many birds in my garden that come to drink daily and also use the water for something else ............ bathing!
Every day around 4.30 in the afternoon Mr Blackbird comes to take his bath. It is such fun to watch him bathe, he's such a little show off.

It's good to have large shrubs, trees and hedges in the garden as they provide safe places for the birds to rest or nest in, well away from cats and other predators.
A few nest boxes have also been put up for various bird species. Here's one for the Blue Tits,
and here is one for the Wren to either nest in or to keep warm in winter.
There is also an apartment block for Sparrows as they like to nest together in little groups.
Every bird has its own housing requirements. Here's a very special one that somebody else put up for the Stork.
They do need a safe place to rest and nest. It is hard work delivering babies at all hours of the day and night, you know!

Last week the young black birds had left the nest and were taking flying lessons in my garden. To make sure that they didn't meet with a sticky end, my kitties stayed inside until all birds got their flying certificates.

Dolly was not amused!

There are many birds to be found at Bliss: Robins, Sparrows, Starlings, Doves, Turtle Doves, Finches, Blackbirds, Thrushes, Blue Tits, Magpies and even a very unusual kind of Bluebird as you can see here.
They're like magic, don't you think? :-)

Wise men store up knowledge, and learn many truths from a garden. Maureen Gilmer


SchneiderHein said...

Und keine vom Bliss-Team ist erfolgreich bei der Jagd?
Zum Glück spielt Allegra mehr mit Organza-Tüchern, Graswedeln oder Federn am Faden. Maus ist leider im Moment wieder an lebendem Spielzeug interessiert, obwohl wir sie erst morgens gegen 8 Uhr spazieren gehen lassen und abends gegen 19 Uhr wegsperren, erwischt sie doch das eine oder andere Jungtier. Allerdings bietet unser Garten auch genug Raum und Gelegenheiten zum Brüten, was Vögel in den Nachbargärten nicht mehr in dem Maße vorfinden. Trotzdem stimmt es mich jedes Mal wieder traurig, wenn sie erfolgreich nach Hause kommt.
Vögel bereichern den Garten und sind äußerst nützlich. Daher dürfen sie sich auch gerne unsere Walderdbeeren, Johannisbeeren oder den Holunder abernten. Und im Winter gibt es reichlich Fallobst für sie.
Ich wünsche Dir viele gefiederte Besucher!

Julia said...

Yolanda, you are such a marvelous person to create such a beautiful haven for birds and other animals. Your blog is aptly named. I love the look of resigned frustration on the kitty's face as he waits for the baby birds to learn to fly.

Tiny said...

Die heb je er wel heel mooi opkregen al die vogels, leuk om te zien.
Ik hoor hier wel vogels maar ze ze te weing...en dan zijn ze te ver weg.
Goed gedaan.
groeten en nog een gezellige avond

marl1 said...

Een poezen èn vogelparadijs op één plek, dat is heel knap!

Kylee said...

We love birds here, too! I'll have a future post about them.

I'm wondering about your aphids. I'd freak if I saw that many aphids on my roses. I have some, but nothing like that, and the few that I get sometimes ruin the new blooms. Do the birds get them off there before they do damage?

Marian said...

Wren, dat moest ik toch even opzoeken,aha, winterkoninkje,
weer wat geleerd!
Die hebben hier hun vaste stekjes
waar ze hun jongen uitbroeden,
net als de mussen, daar hoeven we niets voor op te hangen, want die kunnen bij ons allemaal onder de pannen en dat doen ze ook!
Jij houdt je katten binnen
maar anderen laten ze gewoon loslopen, jonge vogels of niet
dat vind ik altijd zo krom. . .

Birgit said...

Na das ist ja ein schöner Zoo, den Du uns zeigst. Ich finde es sehr schön, wenn die Vögel zum Baden, Brüten und Fressen in den Garten kommen und man sie dabei beobachten kann. Deine Vogeltränke steht ja auch schön geschützt und versteckt, so können sich die gefiederten Freunde in Ruhe austoben. Schön finde ich auch das Storchennest, noch schöner dass Babies geboren wurden. Schönes Schauspiel. Du bietest den Vögeln ja wirklich viele Nistmöglichkeiten.
Das Mobilé ist klasse. Wirkt bestimmt toll im Dunkeln. Schönen Abend noch und liebe Grüße

Andrea's Garden said...

Bei uns sind gerne Bachstelzen, Meisen und Amseln. Mit Würmer können wir auch dienen und in diesem Jahr auch mit jeder Menge Schnecken. Ganz viele Marienkäfer sind eingekehrt. Wie du, haben wir auch Sträucher ausgewählt, die im Winter mit Futter dienen. Nur die vielen Läuse würden mich stören. Wir hatten ganz viele am Geissblatt, welches ich zurückgeschnitten habe. So viele Marienkäfer hatten wir nun doch nicht, um die alle zu eliminieren. Wieso ist Kadootje wieder eine Hauskatze? Macht ihr das nichts aus? Stella leidet gewaltig und heute machten wir den ersten Ausgang ohne Leine. LG Andrea

RUTH said...

A wonderful post in praise of birds. I love seeing the birds in our garden...all part of my garden helpers team. Lovely photographs.

jodi said...

Mmmm, Yolanda Elizabet, you have many birds I never see here--like storks, and blue tits; I wish I could send hummingbirds to you but you have a wonderful selection of birds in your blissful haven.We'll 'share' them all electronically. The photo of Dolly is priceless!

Robin said...

What a wonderful bird post! You are such a creative person and always have such interesting things to share.

Betty said...

what a charming posting of your birds.....and kitties....thank you for sharing...Betty at Country Charm

Layanee said...

YE: Funny we were thinking of birds on the same day! I love to watch them take a bath. They are really funny! I have one who actually dives into the pool. A shallow dive but I guess it is like a car wash for birds. I love those Ikea birds!

LostRoses said...

Yolanda, quit showing that bird chandelier, and now it's lit up, and I am so jealous. And I can't find it on the Internet to purchase!

You are a very good friend to all the birds, if they are lacking something, it certainly isn't your fault! Oh, the stork! Do people actually have them nesting on their rooftops near you? That is only the stuff of fairytale books here.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss!

Silke: our cats are hunters and we cannot blame them for catching birds, it's in their nature. But, like you, I am not happy about it when they catch a bird.
Macavity is a stray cat so I think he catches a lot of animals as he has to eat. All my other kitties are indoor kitties, they can play in the garden unter aufsicht, they are not allowed to roam the neighbourhood.

Surprise is very good at catching prey as she used to hunt to keep alive for 2 years or more.

Vita is also a very good hunter, this weekend she caught a mouse in the garden.

Last week I didn't let the kitties outside in the garden because of the young blackbirds that could not fly very well. They would have been very easy prey for my cats.

Julia: to me a garden should be a sort of paradise for all that live there and that includes the birds. ;-) Dolly knows the score as we have done this before. Last year we had a family of Blue Tits in the garden and when the babies flew the coop, my kitties stayed indoors until all the babies could fly properly.

Tiny: fijn dat je er zo van genoten hebt!

Marl1: met een beetje goede wil en wat aanpassingen kan er veel. Tis uiteindelijk gewoon een beetje rekening houden met iedereen. :-)

Kylee: no need to freak, I took this pic one day, the next day there were very little aphids left and the day after there were none. The birds and ladybirds get them off in time, before they can do any damage to my rosebuds. You've seen the pics of my roses in flower, haven't you? :-)

Marian: dit jaar hadden we een nestje van het winterkoninkje in de haag dus dat was helemaal leuk. Het speciale nestkastje voor het winterkoninkje wordt vaak door hen gebruikt als een warm schuilplekje in de winter dus dat is ook helemaal prima.
Ja, als de jonge vogels uitvliegen dan mogen mijn katjes even niet in de tuin.

Birgit: I enjoy watching the birds in my garden and they are good friends as they keep many insects under control by eating a lot of them. ;-) I cannot imagine a garden without birds! The bird mobile are wonderful at night and they give enough light to read a book by.

Andrea: Kadootje was a stray kitten when I first met her in wintertime. It was Kadootje herself who choose to come inside and when she was inside she didn't want to go outside anymore. She likes to play in the garden when the weather is fine, but that is it. BTW all my cats are indoor kitties and are allowed to play in the garden unter aufsicht only.

Ruth: glad you liked it and yes, birds are great helpers in the garden!

Jodi: it's getting warmer over here so perhaps in time there will be hummingbirds here too. (A girl can dream, can't she?) Thought you might like this pic of Dolly. She has a very expressive face, hasn't she? ;-)

Robin: thank you and I'm glad you liked it!

Betty: you're welcome!

Layanee: What a coincidence! I see that you love birds too! A pool diving bird, wow!

LostRoses: LOL
Re the storks: in the Netherlands there are several places where Storks come to nest year after year. People put up those special Stork nests on their roofs or on high poles in the garden. Wonderful isn't it? When the Storks have babies, it usually makes the news so it is a very speial occasion when that happy event takes place.

Friso said...

Wat een leuke serie foto's. Ik geniet ook altijd zo van de vogels in onze tuin. Ik ben niet zo'n hele nette tuinierder dus er is genoeg voedsel voor de insecten en dus genoeg voedsel voor vogels. Ook wij hebben drie katten die helaas wel eens een vogeltje pakken maar toch blijft het druk met vogels.

Thalia said...

Dear Yolanda,

this is the best thing about gardens, they are beautiful tiny ecosystems in themselves and it's so wonderful to watch all the birdies nesting and feeding! Thanks so the lovely bird pictures!

Lis said...

Trotz vieler Katzen in unserer Gegend haben wir auch viele Vögel. Neulich habe ich gesehen wie junge Amseln zum ersten Mal ausgeflogen sind. Wir konnten sie dann noch zwei Tage lang beobeachten, dann waren sie weg. Jetzt brüten schon wieder Amseln in der Pergola, hoffentlich schaffen sie es auch diesmal. Die Meisen sorgen ja auch dafür dass keine Blattläuse mehr zu sehen sind, dafür nehme ich auch das morgendlich Gezwitscher gerne in Kauf:-)

Libbys Blog said...

I used to have bird feeders but the problem I found was the birds ate one and threw out three, then went down to the ground to eat the three they had thrown out and got caught by one of my cats!!!!!!!

Tracy said...

So exciting seeing what's happening there this week! Love, love, love those bird light..they are dreamy...Happy Days! :o)

stadtgarten said...

We also have a lot of birds in our garden and I like them.
Sometimes I have the feeling that they know me and they are looking at me when I am working there.
It is a good to place some water for them in the garden.
Groetjes, Monika

Kate said...

That is a cool assortment of birds ... a garden would seem rather incomplete without the sounds of birds. One of the things I love is watching birds near the pond, happily drinking and bathing. The fish don't seem to mind them at all ... Hazel used to spend hours hoping to nab one by the pond, but she never did. They knew better than to get too close to her!

Carol said...

I love all the birds. I always think it is a good sign when you have a lot of birds in your garden!

gardenmomma (Chris) said...

I just love feeding (and watching) the birds. My favorite is the cardinal. Do you have them? Unfortunately, feeding the birds has a downside...the rats come to feed on the what the birds leave behind. Which makes my neighbors very unhappy! :(

marga said...

Ik kan ook zo genieten van de vogels in onze tuin. Doe er dan ook alles aan om ze naar onze tuin te lokken.
Fijne dag, groetjes Marga

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss! Thanks for all your comments, I enjoyed them. ;-)

Friso: ik tuinier ook niet zo netjes en bewust want daar varen de beestjes in de tuin wel bij. Leven en laten leven, vind je ook niet? Tja, dat de katjes af en toe een vogeltje pakken, dat heeft moeder natuur wel ingecalculeerd ook al vinden wij het niet zo leuk.

Thalia: how right you are. The more we let mother nature do her work, the better it gets for all parties concerned.

Lis: I'm glad you have the company of birds in your garden too. What would we do without our feathered friends, eventhough they wake us up in the middle of the night sometimes. :-)

Libby: I have noticed that the birds in my area come to feed at specific times so at those times I keep my kitties indoors. It helps that they are all indoor cats anyway so used to being inside for most of the time.

Tracy: those bird lights are a great find aren't they? I sometimes can't wait to turn them on when it gets dark as they look so cute!

Monika: It is quite possible that the birds do know you as they see you often in the garden. My winter Robin is quite cheeky and comes quite close when I'm working in the garden and Mr Blackbird is not afraid of me at all.

Kate: yes, a pond and birds are very mixy. I used to have a pond too and hopefully will have one again soon (ish). It is such fun to watch the birds play in the shallow water. And how lucky that your Hazel never caught one but that she had bird tv in your garden to enjoy.

Carol: exactly, that's why so many of us gardeners take the trouble to make our gardens as bird friendly as possible.

Chris: alas, no cardinals (aren't they pretty?), but fortunately we have many other lovely birds.
Rats can be a problem, I agree.

Carol said...

Birds are like magic in a garden I think so too Yolanda! The European red robin is my fave! I had a good laugh at Dolly looking not amused! It is so nice that you don't leave the cats out while the little birdies learn to fly! Hugs Carol xox

Salix Tree said...

I adore birds too. I always think it odd that I love cats and birds, but I've met so many others who also do. I've had a lot more birds coming to my garden this year, much more than last year. I'm terrible at getting thier pictures though.. You got some nice ones!

Bert said...

Well Yolanda,
You've got many birds in your garden. Now I know why....your garden is birds paradise. With a little bit of exitement, because of the cats wondering about your garden. Those bleu birds are really shining bleu!!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss!

Carol: our gardens wouldn't be half as much fun without birds! It's very little trouble to keep the kitties inside until the birds can fly properly.

Salix tree: why odd? I like most animals. How nice that you have more birds this year. You'll get there in the end, it just takes a little practice photographing birds.

Bert: yes there is never a dull moment at Bliss. ;-) Glad you like the shiny and new blue birds!

Mia said...

I do love birds in my garden, except for when they dig for worms in my vegetable patch (especially when the veggies are still young). I had no idea that birds eat aphids as well (which I seem to have a plentifull supply of...) I knew that ladybugs were very obliging in that departement, but that blue tits (which abound in my garden) also were usefull, I had no knowledge of. But I do have plenty of birdhouses in the trees (inhabited as well, I am glad to say) in my garden. Lovely photos of birds, cats and your garden!

Christa said...

Those lucky birds have a whole feast! What a beautiful sanctuary you provide for them.

M Sinclair Stevens said...

Thanks for the stork photo. One of my favorite books is Meindert DeJong's "The Wheel on the School" about school children's efforts to find a wheel to put on the roof of their school so that the storks can build a nest.

It is a beautiful story but I've never seen a actual stork's nest. Thanks for bringing the story to life for me.

karin a said...

Birds and other small animals are an important part of the garden! We put out food in the winter and provide them with water but I haven't seen that much birds like you have. Nice pictures of birds and the cat!

A wildlife gardener said...

Beautiful photos of your garden birds, Yolanda. A garden without birdsong would be dull indeed.

Hannele said...

I love birs in my garden.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Great garden wildlife pictures so glad you gave little Kadootje has nice new home inside.