Songbirds and squirrels outside their windows always brings joy

Help lift spirits at Belfast’s Tall Pines Commons and hang a bird feeder outside the windows

Thu, 04/23/2020 - 2:45pm

    BELFAST — A post on the Tall Pines facebook page April 21 caught the eye. It wasn’t about COVID-19, nor PPE, nor sadness in the face of a pandemic tearing through one of our local nursing homes. It was simply about the joys that bird feeders bring to those folks in the nursing home, as they watch the Chickadees, Cardinals and Blue Jays, and, of course, those mischievous squirrels.

    Dear Tall Pines Community Members:

    We've heard from many of you asking what you can do to help. Thank you all for your generous messages and kind intent. Unfortunately, we still need to turn away gifts intended to be brought into the buildings. While our staff are working to contain the virus and keep people safe, having new items enter the building means having new threats enter the building.

    However, we have an idea which we feel can really help to lift the spirits of our residents.

    If anyone wishes to bring bird feeders (and poles to hang them on) to the Tall Pines campus, you are very welcome to do so. Place them on their hooks outside resident windows at The Commons, and fill them with appropriate bird seed. This will allow our residents, who continue to be quarantined, to have an opportunity to see songbirds and squirrels outside their windows,which always brings them joy. And if you wish to come on to campus to refill any of those feeders, you will be welcome to do so, as well.

    This is a way you can bring joy to our residents without having items enter the building. It is a way you can make a positive difference in this difficult time.

    The Commons at Tall Pines has suffered an outbreak of COVID-19, and 10 residents have died. It has been tragic, and the Midcoast community is collectively saddened. 

    How do you cheer up those who are currently facing down an immediate and invisible threat, who are likely frightened and who are isolated from the normal traffic of family, friends and staff?

    Bird feeders, while simple, carry tremendous import, especially for the elderly and infirm. Who doesn’t appreciate the sense of hope and delight as a bird lights down on the edge of feeder to take nourishment before lifting back into flight, off to build nests or fly with the wind.

    Mainers feed the birds through the winter, and eagerly await the return of the different species.  They all represent the return of spring, of getting gardens in the ground, of warm sun and soft breezes.

    On April 23, Tall Pines reported they had some response to their Facebook invitation to put feeders up outside the windows of residents.

    “More have been arriving over the last few days, but there's still room for plenty more,” said a return post on the Facebook page. “The overall reaction to this idea has been very positive and we are getting calls and messages from people who want to participate.”

    Along with bird feeders, there is also the need for bird seed. Birds use a lot of energy, and need a lot of sustenance. 

    Make a difference in the life of someone at Tall Pines and hang a bird feeder for them. It is a simple, significant gesture of love.