While stuck inside doing previously put-off housework this morning, I saw a wonderful thing. Over the winter, I'd moved my bird-feeding operation, from the overhang by the kitchen window up to my back bedroom window on the second floor, in an effort to become squirrel-free (and because I decided I was investing in the suction-cup window feeders and that would be it for a while!). There is now a Hummie feeder, Al Warfield's "peanutbutter teaser stick" feeder, and three little suction-cup, clear, plexi-glass feeders with sunflower seeds, mixed fruit and nut meats, and small grass seeds (the thistle seed is in the front of the house). A downy male flew down and right into the feeder with the nut & fruit mix, and proceeded to stuff himself happily. After picking out what he liked and downing it, he sat on the rim, resting. I heard some furtative twittering and looked at the bottom of the windowpane to see another Downy, clinging on patiently, apparently waiting for a space at the feeder. Or so I thought. The clinger made a few meek attempts to fly up to the lip of the dish and land, but wasn't successful, and the male in the dish didn't seem as though he liked the intrusion. The Dish Male went back to eating...or rather, stuffing some choice morsels into the his beak. And then he did an amazing thing: he flew up over the rim of the dish and landed beside Little Clinger, siddled up, and began feeding him! The sight now drew me like a magnet, and I got 3" away from them on the other side of the window and behind a sheer white curtain. I watched. Little Clinger had a slight but noticeable red cockade...so that meant...Papa feeding his baby! Papa did this several more times, and while waiting, Little Clinger decided to peck at bits of debris on the glass and actually lightly drummed a bit. The feeding, chirping, drumming and attempts to fly up onto the dish continued, with fearlessly Papa fending off would-be incursions by House Finches. The Family Lunch drew to an abrupt close, however, when Mr. Towhee flew up and plopped himself into the nut&berry feeder, displacing all the other birds like an overweight swimmer at a pool party carefully aiming a cherry-bomb plunge. Ah well. ;) Irene in Southside You are subscribed to VA-Richmond-General. To unsubscribe, send email to va-richmond-general-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'unsubscribe' in the Subject field. To adjust other settings (vacation, digest, etc.) please visit, //www.freelists.org/list/va-richmond-general.