A Mom's Promise

January 5, 2010

Vow to self: No child of mine shall suffer from Nature Deficit Disorder. Now that I’m sitting here, a mom, I can’t help but think about how I want my little boy—still wet behind the ears from his 4 am delivery earlier today—to learn about birds. Even here through our hospital window we can see bald eagles (recovered from the brink of extinction since the time when I was born) are flying against the backdrop of a gorgeous, cleaner-by-the-day Hudson River.

I ask my parents, the visiting grandparents: “Will you bring us a pair of binoculars on your next visit, please?”
Of course, they say. And they do.

January 6, 2010
“Honey, when we get home, will you help me set up some bird feeders by the kitchen window? (I don’t ask for much. Wink, wink.)

You might be surprised to learn that despite being married to a scientist who studies birds, I have no bird feeders. (Partly due to what I call, jokingly, the “shoe makers children” syndrome,” and partly out of practicality; We have always tried to lure birds to our yard by planting native trees, shrubs, and perennials, because none of these attract mice or rats that might move into our basement—or worse.)

January 21, 2010
Now that we are settling into a routine here at home, we are beginning to think about those feeders. Fortunately, we know what we will need. There are 5 types of feeders for bringing a variety of birds to a yard, and they are aided by a bountiful buffet of different seeds.

Another vow: We will follow these tips sketched out by some serious pros in the very pages of the magazine where I work.

And if we decide to get really high-tech, we will add a birdcam, and some apps for the iphone I'm planning on buying before returning to work. That way baby, dad, and I will always be in touch with each other (and the birds). 

As I sign off, I can't help but get a little sentimental: Not only are we lucky to be starting the New Year with a healthy, happy, wonderful new baby boy. But we are also starting the year out right, with high hopes for many more good things to come in 2010. Some will even have wings.

Happy New Year.
All My Best,

Rene Ebersole
Features Editor
Audubon Magazine

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