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Friday, February 1, 2019

February First

I confess that I feel that I don't have much to offer re the onset of February in this year of 2019 except to reiterate what Snoopy has to say re the date of 2-1 (in the comic strip that I've posted atop this blog entry). What I can do, dear reader, is to remind you that February is National Bird-Feeding Month.

According to a number of sources, including Wiki, "this celebratory month was created to educate the public on the wild bird feeding and watching hobby. Because of  National Bird feeding Month, February has become the month most recognized with wild bird feeding promotions and activities...

On February 23, 1994, John Porter (R-IL) proclaimed February as National Bird-Feeding Month when he read a resolution into the Congressional Record: 'Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize February, one of the most difficult months in the United States for wild birds, as National Bird-Feeding Month. During this month, individuals are encouraged to provide food, water, and shelter to help wild birds survive. This assistance benefits the environment by supplementing wild bird's natural diet of weed seeds and insects. Currently, one third of the U.S. adult population feeds wild birds in their backyards.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, backyard bird feeding is an entertaining, educational, and inexpensive pastime enjoyed by children and adults. Bird feeding provides a needed break from today's frantic lifestyles. Adults enjoy the relaxation and peacefulness afforded by watching birds -- nature serves to relieve the stress and can get one's day going on a tranquil note.

Young children are naturally drawn to the activities involved in feeding wild birds, which can serve as excellent educational tools. Children can identify different species of birds with a field guide and can learn about the birds' feeding and living habits. These observations can then provide excellent research opportunities for school projects and reports.

Feeding wild birds in the backyard is an easy hobby to start and need not overtax the family budget. It can be as simple as mounting a single feeder outside a window and filling it with bird seed mix. For many people, the hobby progresses from there. They discover the relationship between the type and location of feeders, and the seeds offered in them, and the number and varieties of birds attracted. Parents can challenge an inquisitive child's mind as they explore together these factors in trying to encourage visits by their favorite birds.'”

Wiki also states, "February has become the month most recognized with wild bird feeding promotions and activities." Naturally I hope that this fact will be something I can capitalize on (for lack of a better word) in getting the word out re my book series, Words In Our Beak.*

Words In Our Beak’s goal is to open readers to a simple understanding of the winged world and their environment. Set in a rooftop urban garden (mine) in New York City, my story is told in the voice of Cam, a female cardinal, who visits it. Words In Our Beak is directed to children and adults who are curious about birds, and want to learn about them from a unique perspective. The book includes hundreds of images of flora and fauna, links to movies, as well as to informative narratives that have been created by the author.

I am thankful to say that I have gotten five star reviews on Amazon re these books and I've made public speeches (presentations at schools and a prominent cultural institution) that are related to their content, but I truly need some exposure if I want to reach more readers as well as audiences who attend presentations.

At the moment I seem to be in a holding pattern even as I persevere in these endeavors and it's a bit discouraging; which is why I feel like Snoopy, although I'm unable to nap as he does as the pressure re my survival is mounting.

On a positive note, I've been given reason to believe that I will soon have a marketing intern at my disposal in the very near future, which should make a difference, so I hope that those who have promised me an intern will keep their word. Enough of that, except to say, please stay tuned re any progress on this.

For now, in honor of National Bird Feeding Month, let me share some photos (taken in bygone years) of different types of birds noshing in my rooftop garden, which is something they do (when they are in NYC) during all months – not just National Bird Feeding Month:

Female Northern Cardinal
Female Northern Cardinal with male House Finch
Male House Finch
Mourning Dove
Blue Jays
Male House Sparrows
Tufted Titmouse
Dark-eyed Junco
Male Downy Woodpecker
Common Grackle
White-Breasted Nuthatch
Male Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
Female Baltimore Oriole
Adult European Starling Feeding Young Starling 
Northern Mockingbird
American Goldfinch (on pole) with Male House Finches
American Robin

The series of pictures that are directly above represent a very small fraction of the ways in which birds that visit my place avail themselves of food and does not include all the bird types who have visited my place, or who are featured in the Words In Our Beak book series.

Btw, in honor of it being National Feeding Month, you may want to consider giving my books as a Valentines Day gift (fyi, that holiday is two weeks from today).

The purchase info re these books is at the conclusion of this blog post.

Additionally, you might want to consider giving Valentines cards of birds feeding birds and/or enjoying themselves at bird feeders. I have created a line of cards that include this and they can be seen in thumbnail format within the next set of images.

These cards are available (along with others) via Fine Art America (FAA), who can also print a given image on an array of surfaces for wall art and on the covers of spiral notebooks. 

In any event, not only is today the onset of National Bird Feeding month, it is Ground Hog Day Eve!

Given the frequency that I reference comic strips and or cartoons within this blog, it must be no secret  how much I appreciate this format and those who create within it, including Charles Schultz and Patrick McDonnell whose strips are included in this entry.

I began with Schultz's strip (Charlie Brown) re this day of February 1st and I'll end with Patrick McDonnell's (Mutts) in honor of it being Ground Hog Day Eve.

What say you, dear reader, will the groundhog see or not see his/her shadow tomorrow morning?
*Words In Our Beak Purchase Info:

Volume One: ISBN: 9780996378529
Book Seller Info:
Barnes & Noble On-Line:
book culture On Columbus (a bookstore on the UWS in NYC):

Volume Two: ISBN: 9780996378536
Book Seller Info:
Barnes & Noble On-Line:

Volume Three: ISBN: 978099637853
Book Seller Info:
Barnes & Noble On-Line:



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