Sunflowers and birds of all kinds go together naturally and beautifully. Several years ago some “volunteers” came up from the seeds I had been feeding. The birds loved the fresh seeds that formed when those flowers finished blooming! The goldfinches preferred them over the expensive nyger seed. The house finches love them, and the doves hang around under the flowers waiting for the other birds to drop an occasional seed. Since that first year of volunteers, I plant sunflowers each year. Although I always intend to plant them right after average frost-free date, some years I don’t get them planted until mid-summer, giving me and the birds flowers and seeds in the autumn. This year I got them planted early, and the flowers have peaked and the birds are enjoying the seeds. Within the next couple of weeks I’ll be removing the spent ones, and resowing seeds for a second bloom in fall. While this past Fourth of July weekend was an extremely busy one, I did make time to relax one afternoon and photograph some of the birds enjoying the sunflower seeds.
The reward for the time and effort spent gardening? It is the simple joy of spending a morning like this enjoying the beauty of the flowers and the birds and the clouds and the sounds!
The rose in the foreground in ‘Cesar E. Chavez,’ a hybrid tea.
The two larger birds are house finches.
The cute little black-and-yellow birds are a pair of goldfinches.
Sheer joy in a Saturday morning!