One of my favorite ways to pass the time is to watch birds. I have set up two bird feeders outside my kitchen windows, which we keep filled year round.
It is amazing the number and variety of birds that get into the habit of coming to your yard when you feed them consistently. We have logged nearly 30 species of birds over the year. We even had a bluebird--the only one I have ever seen--coming to our feeders for awhile.
There is a downside to this wonderful spectacle of nature. Birds sure do make a mess.
Now that the snow has melted, it is obvious how much the birds have used our deck for "target practice" over the winter. I cannot tell at this point if the deck is supposed to be solid brown or brown with white polka dots.
Apparently I have also spoiled these birds so much that they now refuse to eat any seed that falls on the ground. Even ground feeders like the mourning doves now land in the bird feeders. I got a second surprise when the snow melted--a vast amount of moldy birdseed covering an expanse of lawn and garden.
As much of a pain as it is to clean up these messes, I would not dream of removing the feeders. There is something relaxing about spending a few moments watching the birds go through their daily routines.
Also, you would not believe how much bird watching can entertain cats. We refer to the kitchen windows as "kitty tv" since at least one cat is always sitting on the kitty perch chattering to the birds. This breaks up their daily routine of eating, sleeping, chasing catnip mice, sleeping some more, knocking down any breakables they can find, and sleeping.
So I will continue the expense of purchasing large bags of bird seed and the occasional forays outside with a scrub brush and rake to clean up what the birds have left us.
You'd think they'd come up with a better way to say "thanks."