Full disclosure, I’ve owned a bird feeding company for 24
I, also, had a mother, am a mother, and gave birth to
a mother. Not to mention the other Mothers I’m variously related to, friends
with, and fans of who have influenced and changed my life in miraculous ways.
In other words, I know something about the genre.
So the title of this blog could seem like a blatant sales
ploy. OR, it could also be considered ‘Expert Opinion’ from a person with some
cred when it comes to the topic.
Reason #1: Your Mom Likes Birds/Bird Feeding
Duh. Self-explanatory and a no-brainer.
If your Mom is already a bird feeding enthusiast, then
getting her a new feeder is a hands-down winner. Some statistics tell us the
average person who feeds birds has more than two bird feeders. For people who
really enjoy it, in that statistic, I would focus on “MORE THAN.”
Your challenge with a Mom who already feeds birds is knowing
what she likes or already has in the yard. One thing you can rarely go wrong
with is a tube feeder. Not all birds will eat from them, but some beautiful
ones will, e.g., the American Goldfinch, brilliant yellow/black from Spring
until Fall and nearly everywhere in the USA.
Platform feeders, statistically, are the most purchased type
of feeders, possibly because they allow the least obstructed view of the birds.
Reason #2: Your Mom Likes Photography
If your Mom is a photography buff, she’s probably already
taken a ton of photos of birds. If she’s a newbie in the hobby, giving her a
bird feeder opens up a huge new avenue of photographic subjects. There is a
high and positive correlation between photography and bird images, if you doubt
it, Google ‘bird images.’ I just did,
here’s the response:
About 2,860,000,000 results (0.60 seconds)
Almost THREE BILLION images. It’s true some people shoot
birds in the wild, but nearly 3 billion prefer this alternative way of
‘shooting’ birds. In the wild OR in the backyard.
Reason #3: Your Mom Likes Gardening
Again, there is a high correlation between gardening, the
Number 1 most popular hobby/pastime and ‘birding,’ the Number 2 most popular
hobby/pastime. In fact, some gardeners plant plants* designed to attract
specific birds to their yard.
Gardening/Birding is like its own sub-ecosystem, they
complement each other in a very naturistic way. If you want to exploit this
‘partnership of pastimes,’ do a little research on what kinds of birds are
attracted to the type of plants your Mom likes to grow.
Here is a starting point: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/the-best-plants-and-trees-to-plant-for-birds-a-starter-list/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_Zjz9aGM4gIVWp7ACh1LRAnlEAAYAyAAEgL18vD_BwE
Reason #4: Your Mom is a Dog Lover
According to studies, nearly half the people who own dogs,
also feed wild birds. There doesn’t seem to be any apparent reason this is so,
but I have my own theory. I think it might have to do with caretaking and
nurturing, things for which Mothers are universally renown.
Whatever the reason, though, if you sometimes think your Mom
pays more attention to ‘Sparky’ than you, there’s a pretty good chance a bird
feeder will be right up her alley. Once a nurturer, always a nurturer.
Reason #5: Your Mom Needs More Chill
Who doesn’t, right?
The great thing about feeding birds is that it’s a super
easy way to connect with nature and that’s where the real benefit of a
More and more studies show that even the smallest brush with
nature positively affects our feelings of well-being, both physically and
emotionally. You don’t have to stand on the patio with a pair of binoculars to
derive benefit, a mere glance out the window as you’re carrying laundry through
the house will do. Small touches with nature can lower cortisol levels that
reduce feelings of stress, induce calm and encourage relaxation.
And according to a friend of mine (a self-described Bird
Nerd), there’s also a connection between bird sounds and our feelings of
well-being. Somehow, he claims, our human brains are hardwired to hear chirping
as a safety sound that “all’s well.”
So if you want to give Mom something that enables her
nurturing instinct and also adds to her well-being, give her a bird feeder.
Reason #6: Your Mom Loves a Connection to YOU
This is my favorite reason.
Bird feeding, it turns out, is almost always an ‘inherited’
activity. By that I mean the reason most people feed birds is because of
someone special in their lives. I call it the Love Connection.
When asked why they feed birds, the most often given answer
has to do with someone they care about who feeds (fed) birds. A connection with
a family member, a dear friend or a spouse is what generally triggers the
Bird feeding, more than a hobby, is a multi-generational
activity that connects us to nature and…each other.
Now THAT’S a gift.
Happy Mother’s Day!
* “plant plants” sounds idiotic but I couldn’t think of a better word choice, and it passed Grammar Check.