Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sleepy Finch

Birds sleep in the oddest places. Spurning our attempts to provide a warm place to sleep, they prefer an open branch out in the cold.

Several months ago, my mate-4-life designed and built a roosting box for the little birds in our back yard. It's a beautifully constructed box complete with heating coil embedded in the floor, and it keeps the box about 30 degrees warmer than the coldest nights, with an upper limit of 50 degrees (we wouldn't want to toast the little guys, after all). It is an engineering marvel. But the "Birdie Hotel," as we call it, seems to remain unused.

I hung a little plant saucer from the hotel and filled it with sunflower seeds, thinking that the free food might draw attention to the comfortable roost just above. So what do we find? The hanging saucer itself has become a favorite roosting spot for this little house finch. He sleeps, fluffed up against the cold with his beak tucked in, on the edge of the dish, or sometimes inside it. Go figure.

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