Hummingbird heaven (July 26)

July 23, 2009

I have a love-hate relationship with our backyard fountain. When I bought it four years ago, it seemed like such a good idea. M. loved to play in it, and I loved the gentle gurgle of the water. We soon realized that birds loved it too. Really loved it. And do you know what? Birds have no compunction about pooping where they drink. Consequently, the fountain soon needed to be cleaned. And that’s where the hate part comes in. It’s a –tch to clean. For a while I tried discouraging the birds with anti-algae tablets, but the guilt was actually worse than the cleaning.

So now I’m trying to look on the bright side. We have a whole lot more birds in our yard than we used to, and I’m trying to figure out what they are so I can teach the kids. Last year we even had hummingbirds, for the first time I can recall (or perhaps for the first time I noticed).

We don’t have a hummingbird feeder because I’m afraid I’ll forget to clean it and inadvertently make them sick. (Why is cleaning always tied somehow to guilt??) But they’re so cool to watch that I’m sort of rethinking that too. I definitely have some questions for the folks at the Hummingbird Festival this Sunday (July 26) at Pere Marquette Lodge in Grafton. The Illinois Audubon Society will be there banding the birds from 1 to 4 p.m., and while they’re at work spectators will have the opportunity to get very close to — perhaps even touch — the tiny creatures. For a small fee, you can sponsor a bird and find out where it is throughout the year, courtesy of the society’s updates.

For details on the festival, call the lodge at 618.786.2331 ext. 338.

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One Response to “Hummingbird heaven (July 26)”

  1. Charles J Taft Says:

    We are jealous! We have been to bird bandings, but not hummies! I hope you get to this one.

    BTW, need advice on bird books for the boys??

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