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Birding From Your Window

Posted on April 10, 2024 at 1:45 PM by The Meadows Senior Community

Here Come Our Fine, Feathered Friends!

Spring has sprung in Iowa, and with it comes a chorus of chirps, tweets, and whistles. As the days get longer and warmer, our feathered friends return from their southern journeys, filling the air with their delightful songs. But you don't have to go far to enjoy the beauty of spring birds. Many can be spotted right from your window, or flitting through the trees on the grounds of The Meadows Senior Living community.

When spring arrives, many seniors in assisted living or independent living look forward to spending quality time with family and friends. Birdwatching is a wonderful hobby for seniors. It's a calming activity that gets you looking out at the world, enjoying fresh air (when the weather allows), and learning something new. Here, we'll introduce you to common birds you might see in Iowa during spring, and how you can create a welcoming environment to attract them a little closer, even to your window sill!

Familiar Faces: Birds You Might Recognize

  • The Robin: This cheerful red-breasted bird with a friendly chirp is a true symbol of spring. Robins are often the first to return, busy building nests and raising their young. Look for them hopping across lawns or perched on branches, searching for worms.
  • The Cardinal: This vibrant red bird with a pointed crest is a year-round resident, but its bright colors seem to pop even more in spring. Cardinals love sunflower seeds, so if you have a feeder outside your window, you might attract a handsome visitor!
  • The Blue Jay: This bold blue bird with a loud, distinctive call is a common sight in Iowa. Jays are intelligent and curious. You might see them flitting from branch to branch, investigating everything that catches their eye.
  • The House Sparrow: These small, brown birds with streaky chests are frequent visitors to bird feeders. Sparrows are social birds, often seen in groups chirping and darting around.
  • The Goldfinch: These bright yellow birds with black wings are a delight to see. They love thistle seeds, so consider planting some thistle in your garden or adding a thistle feeder to attract Iowa’s state bird.

Creating a Bird-Friendly Haven

Now that you know some of the feathered friends you might see, how can you make your window or balcony more inviting? Here are some simple tips:

  • Food: Birds need fuel for their journeys! Setting up a bird feeder filled with black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer (thistle) seeds, or suet cakes is a great way to attract them. Remember to keep the feeder clean and filled!
  • Water: Just like us, birds need a place to drink. Placing a shallow dish filled with fresh water near your window can be a welcome sight for a thirsty bird.
  • Shelter: Birds appreciate a place to feel safe and protected. Planting trees and shrubs near your window can provide a natural haven for them to perch and hide. Even hanging a birdhouse can attract nesting birds.
  • Patience: Creating a bird-friendly environment takes time. Don't get discouraged if you don't see feathered visitors right away. Keep your feeders filled and the water fresh, and soon you might just be rewarded with a delightful avian guest!

Birdwatching from Your Window

Birdwatching doesn't require fancy equipment! Grab a pair of binoculars if you have them, but even just using your eyes is a great way to observe these fascinating creatures. This may be especially meaningful for those with limited mobility, memory issues, or cognitive decline. Keep a notebook handy and jot down the birds you see, their colors, and any interesting behaviors you observe. 

Sharing your birdwatching experiences is another way to enjoy this hobby. Chat with fellow residents about the birds they've seen, or even organize a birdwatching club where you can share stories and tips.

All the Delights of the Countryside and All the Conveniences of Town

At The Meadows Senior Living community in Iowa, we take pride in creating a senior-friendly environment where everyone, regardless of age, feels a sense of belonging and joy during this exciting time of the year. Together, we build traditions that stand the test of time, making each season at The Meadows memorable for our cherished 55+ community members and their extended families.

We invite you to learn more about the maintenance-free apartments in our senior living community in Iowa by scheduling a tour for you and your loved one today!

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