When we came back after the winter holiday, I hung a bird feeder at the edge of the ravine behind my school. Initially, it was too cold to get much action, but as the weather warmed up, first I got cardinals, then chickadees, and starting yesterday, some blue jays. The feeder is readily visible from the windows in the school library.

I have been going back there on a semi regular basis, to refill the feeders, and also to get the birds used to people being around. Today when I went back there, as soon as I rounded the building, i saw a blue jay and heard it give a warning call. Since a blue jay's warning call sounds like a hawk, this sent the cardinals scattering. However, as I got closer to the feeder, I could see the chickadees were still flitting back and forth to the feeder. I circled round the feeder trying to get a good angle to take some pictures, and discovered I could get quite close without the chickadees minding. This made me decide to try hand feeding. I stood right next to the feeder with my hand outstretched. Several chickadees flew right pass me to the feeder, and soon they were landing on my hand as well.

Next step, bring out a small group of the kids and see how that goes.

The one downside to this is that yesterday we had a coyote come out of the ravine in broad daylight. They are sometimes attracted to areas with feeders because squirrels gather around them. I am not particularly concerned, as I have worked in Provincial parks with coyotes without incident, but if the coyote starts hanging around regularly, I might be asked to take the feeder down.