BLANCHARD, Okla. (KFOR) – If you were a songbird flying over Central Oklahoma and the ground was blanketed with at least 4 inches of snow, where might you find a safe place to ride it out? Someplace sheltered with plenty of snacks?
“There are so many birds,” insists Diane Adams. “When it snows they can’t find food, so you have to feed them.”
For more than 40 years now, Adams and her husband David have provided a sanctuary for songbirds in winter.
“We have a busy yard,” she smiles. “If I fill up this feeder, they’ll eat the whole thing up in one day.”
Just about every day she fills a nice house with food and more on the ground.
It doesn’t take long after she heads into her own house south of town before the birds swoop in.
This February the cardinals are most plentiful.
Males with their bright, red plumage squawk and scuffle for the choicest seeds.
Diane tells us feed containing dried cherries is their favorite, but with snow on the ground no bird is very picky.
“I see one, two, three, four, five males,” says David Adams, peeking out the kitchen window.”
“I can sit here and wash dishes, or just watch them all day,” adds Diane.
She and David both watch from their own perch above the kitchen sink.
As a kid in Nebraska Diane says she hardly ever saw a cardinal.
Later on she read these bright birds might be visitors from above in more than just the literal sense.
“If you see a cardinal in your yard,” she recalls, “that means a loved one from heaven is visiting. So when I see them out there, I think of my mom and dad.”
Cardinals, juncos, chickadees, bossy blue jays, even woodpeckers crowd around the bird house and jostle for seeds spread on ground.
“It’s fun to watch them. It keeps us entertained,” says Diane.
It’s the best show on when the roads are bad and you can’t get out, and a comfort for one Oklahoma family who likes having these kinds of hungry guests.
The Adams live south of Blanchard with creek running through the backyard which, they say, is the perfect habitat for songbirds in winter.