Feed the Birds, Feed Your Soul

The latest installment from Three Dog Farm. Inspiration for Joyful Living.

  Nestled in the South Shore suburbs of New England, our 1850’s Victorian Farmhouse is surrounded by eight acres of gardens and woods. We cultivate a simple life of harmony with the natural world, connection to our community, and of course romping with the dogs.


From the kitchen window of my farmhouse I can see my pair of bird feeders bustling with the activity of songbirds. After a few weeks of moldy seed the birds had given up on me, I’m sure in disgust and irritation. Having only cleaned and refilled the feeders an hour ago I find myself wondering how the birds got the news so quickly.

A dozen or so tufted titmice shoot arcs with their slender grey bodies back and forth to the magnolia tree. Perched delicately on its arms they peck open the black oil sunflower seeds then dash back to the feeder.  Last week a frigid dip in New England temperature dropped us to 19 degrees, causing the magnolia to drop most of her leaves the following morning in one glorious shudder. The chickadees are undaunted by the November weather; in between snatching seeds they take raucous turns at the birdbath.

Ornithologists say that birds hang out in areas where they’ve been fed and with their powerful eyesight and ability to discern movement they probably noticed the feeders were full again. Then all it takes is one brave bird checking out the fresh seed to inspire more movement and quickly the news spreads so now I’ve got tufted titmice in slender grey plumage, black capped chickadees, a female cardinal and a slim black and white downy woodpecker lunching at Three Dog Farm. I like to think that they were up in the trees watching me fill the feeders, probably cocking their heads at the antics of my terrier puppy, Rosie, as she snarfed up the spilled seed. 

Even more so I’d like to think that my actions tugged on nature’s cosmic consciousness. Maybe after I hung the feeder, did a tiny prayer bow and then shouted up to the trees “lunch is served” my positive message went out on a higher level, reverberating at a place beyond hearing. A place where the reverberations of good intentions are recognized and the interconnectedness of all things resonates. 

However the birds got the news, I think I’ll sit here awhile longer with Rosie at my feet. We’ll watch the birds flit and flutter and delight that our message was well received.

Gita Brown