I live alone with my preschooler in an off-grid cabin on a remote island off the coast of British Columbia.
"Don't wish me happiness I don't expect to be happy all the time....It's gotten beyond that somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor. I will need them all." Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Wednesday, 28 December 2016
Taming the towhee
The Rufous sided towhee is a secretive little bird. It spend's it's time scratching amongst the fallen leaves and needles under the shrubs in the yard. In the winter I have suet hanging near some shrubs and typically they come and feed off it when we are inside the cabin. Once we are outside they magically disappear into the bushes only to reappear once we are back inside. But all of this changed when I was cleaning out a cupboard and found some stale peanuts. My daughter shelled them and we began leaving the peanut's by the suet. Towhee's love peanuts and very quickly they were able to associate us with the treats. Unfortunately much of the firewood I paid to get bucked up was cut too long so this winter I have had to saw it down to size in order to get it into my woodstove and I do this with my bucksaw. I do this task on the back porch. The female towhee which is a chocolate brown - (the male's are black) figured out where I was so when she hears the saw she comes looking for a handout. (If it is too windy than she doesn't come because she can not hear me) I toss her a peanut and she picks it up in her beak and hops away into the secret sword fern hideaway for her peanut picnic. For me this has really brightened a necessary task. In a few minute's she is usually back again. All of the towhee's are very tolerant of my four year old who with the upmost enthusiasm delight's in tossing them peanuts. Occasionally they have caught the peanut in mid-air. There is much joy to be found amongst the simple companionship of wild birds.