Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | May 7, 2012

A Red Letter Birding Day

“I don’t ask for the meaning of the song of a bird or the rising of the sun on a misty morning. There they are, and they are beautiful.” Pete Hamill

Yesterday we had a “Red Letter” birding day at our place.

We enjoyed a rare glimpse of the brilliant blue Indigo Bunting the fire engine red of a Scarlett Tanager at our birdbath as well as the Baltimore Oriel arriving back from its southerly winter grounds and singing all day from the tree top. We also put out three cedar bluebird houses and just yesterday, April 6, our first batch of five baby bluebirds fledged from the nest. This is always a very exciting event for us.

Song birds and their nesting habits are big news at the Small House Under a Big Sky. We feed and water them year-round and call ourselves the Small House Bird B & B. We have an almost perfect bird habitat here on our 5-acres because of our huge White Oak trees and leafy understory and surrounding acres and acres of forests.

Also we encourage bird feeding and nesting on our property with additional plantings of thick shrubs, an organic no chemical policy and lots of bark chip garden beds mulch that means fresh red worms as food! Did you know that putting down fertilizer on the grass kills the bug life and so the birds go elsewhere to find food?

Our bird feeding station is just past the curving sidewalk we had put in a few years ago

We splurge with five bird baths each spring so there is always fresh water (several I bought at yard sales) and in the winter we fill three thistle feeders and three sunflowers feeders and a flat homemade tray with black oiled sunflowers seeds. We offer fresh water year-round using an electric birdbath heater in the snowy winter season. Our birds eat as well, if not better than we do!

I also built a large bird feeding bed just outside our three-season porch so we can sit and watch ‘the show” after dinner. This bed has lots of leafy cover, food and water so the birds come to eat and flash a bit of color for us to enjoy.

We work hard to attract these delicate creatures – such a simple pleasure – and consider them a blessing from nature.

Small House / Big Sky Donna


  1. Wow, there are other bloggers out there who also care about birds and organic lawns. Hip, hip, horray! Where I live, we are in the minority of those with our earth based vaues and I often feel no one else here can be bothered or maybe they feel that the government will handle it…

    Six years ago I founded the Pullman Clean Team, a group of volunteers who go out on a monthly basis and clean up roadside trash and many months it is just my husband and I cleaning up the tires, trash and items tossed along the roadways and in the woods. Its been a slow process to change old attitudes about dumping.

    Thank you each and every one of you for reading this post, for giving me a renewed faith that it is worth the hard labor we put into our land and gardens and feel free to spread the word if it helps.

    Small House / Big Sky Donna

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