In August, on one of our two trips to the Catskills, I bought a bird feeder to hang outside our apartment in Manhattan. When I was a kid, I loved birds. I got it from my grandmother, who had probably a half dozen bird feeders around her house when I was growing up. We both had Roger Tory Peterson bird books, and we'd compare the birds we saw. I distinctly remember the day I saw my first scarlet tanager, a thrill for me as a kid.
Dan made fun of me when I bought the bird feeder, and he continued to make fun of me for three months as day in and day out the level of seed in the feeder never went down. Until two weeks ago; he awoke one morning to find two birds perched on the feeder eating. It felt like magic when I later woke up and saw them: A pair of house finches sitting on the railing, fluttering up to the feeder (right), and eating the basil seeds in the basil plants that had long-since passed in my herb garden. They've been coming just about every day since they first found the feeder, and I must say I love having the little visitors. It's like having a bit of nature on our sixth-floor patio in the middle of Manhattan.
The one who loves the birds most: Toby. When he sees them, he freaks out, crouches down and stalks them as though there isn't a glass window stopping him from ever getting them. He's become so obsessed that throughout the day he stops what he's doing (napping, playing) to look up at the bird feeder to see if his new friends have returned.