Birds flock to the feeders; community dinner planned

Published 5:24 am Thursday, February 18, 2016

Did you notice how ravenous the wild birds were last weekend? I believe that they have their own meteorologist who predicts the cold and winter precipitation for them.

The finches, red and gold, share the small bird feeders with the titmouse, wrens and sparrows. Some bright red cardinals join them for a delicious meal of sunflower seed. An occasional bully blue jay will swoop in but he quickly finds that he is too large and too heavy to stand on the feeder. 

The jay resorts to gymnastic contortions by hanging upside down with his claws and feet wrapped around the feeder rail. He then bends his heavy body upwards to take a quick peck with his bill. He flies off to a nearby limb to shell and eat his prize. 

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Woodpeckers, red-bellied or pileated, try to do much the same acrobatic stunt on the feeder. Their feet are zygodactylous (two toes forward, two toes back) which allows them to get a good grip on tree bark and other objects. Outdoing the jay, they will hang on to the bird feeder, taking repeated dips into the sunflower seed reservoir.

Doves and other birds will hang out on the ground below the feeder picking through the seed and shells that fall from above. If the cold and snow last long enough, other famished seldom-seen birds will fly in looking for food.

All birds seem to feed with a voracious appetite early in the first light of day and just before evening twilight. 

As the days get longer and warmer, Mother Nature awakens that mating urge in all of our feathered friends. They will feed and cavort about building nest for their coming families. Mating calls and dances will add to the beauty of the coming spring.

Community Communiqué

The Prospect Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary will be hosting its annual pancake supper Saturday from 5-7 p.m. at the Prospect firehouse. The meal will include pancakes, sausage, bacon, apples and a drink. The cost is a donation at the door.

A Grief Relief workshop is scheduled Thursday, from 6:30-8 p.m. at Glenn Memorial Baptist Church in Prospect. The speaker will be Angela Edmunds, a social worker and counselor with Centra PACE.

Glenn Memorial Baptist Church will host its Kitchen Light Community Dinner from 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday.  Feel free to come early and enjoy an Italian-themed dinner and fellowship with others before coming upstairs to the classroom for the Grief Relief workshop (the meeting is upstairs due to dinner activity in the fellowship hall).  

The Glenn Memorial Baptist Church Senior Adult Ministry will host its senior meal Friday, Feb. 26, at 6 p.m. Come out and bring a covered dish or two and a friend to enjoy good food, fellowship and musical inspiration.

Laurie Justus spent last weekend with Hilda Allen.

Lois Johnson, Hilda Allen and Elfrieda Kerns attended the Doyle Lawson concert at Appomattox County High School on Sunday.

Please keep the following people in your thoughts and prayers: Patty McCombs, Ann Norton, Joan Wilson, Jimmy Coleman, Noreen Murray, Kenneth Brisentine, Martha Whitehead, Betty Jean Bolt and Gary Fiscus.

Sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Ruth Pearl Kelsey Simpson.

“The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege.” – Charles Kuralt

If you have any news, call Edwina Covington (434) 574-6576.

EDWINA COVINGTON is a retired teacher and columnist for Elam. Her email is