wild bird food

LONDON - JULY 23:  Parakeets feed from a bird ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

St Francis Bird Feeders - A Natural For Your Backyard Birds

One of the favorite activities of bird lovers and just folks who want to put a little bit of nature back into their yards is to put out bird feeders and bird baths in order to attract the local bird population. There are few things that match the simple pleasure of listening to the birds singing in your yard and watching their interaction as they take their turn around the feeders.

The type of feeder that one selects will often make a simple statement about the owner and the ambience they are trying to create in their yard. One can choose to go with a simple rustic design for a feeder, or something quite ornate and stately like a replica of a Victorian mansion.

But for many a simple statue or likeness of St. Francis is the perfect choice. The story of St. Francis and the local wildlife of his times are many. The source of this was the fact that Francis and his followers took a vow of total poverty and often lived in the wild.

One of the most famous was of a wild wolf that was causing a lot of problems for a local village, threatening not only the livestock but the

citizens of the village itself. St Francis spoke to the wolf and made a pact with it such that the local villagers began to feed it and it was essentially domesticated and was no longer a threat.

Another equally popular one and probably the source of his association with bird feeding is a time when he was traveling with his followers, and stopped to preach to the birds that had gathered about the goodness of the Lord and how he provides for each of us just as he cares for for the birds of the field (echoing the passage from St. Matthew). The birds stayed and listened to him, and the story followed from there, and today he is considered the patron saint of animals and the environment.

It's these images that account for the popularity of St. Francis bird feeders. You can find them in many styles, from simple statues with birds perched on his shoulders, holding a basket as a feeder. Others feature a larger bowl at his feet for a feeder. Another style is a plaque with a dish extending out from the plaque as the feeder. There are also some that combine a bird bath with a feeder.
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