I learned how to appreciate the beauty of birds early on in my life from my father. Dad always would feed the birds. When I was 10 he would load his bird feeder on the terrace with sunflower seeds. This attracted may birds including chickadees, cardinals, grosbeaks, gold finches, purple finches and sparrows. He did not mind what birds came to feed as long as they were birds. One animal he would not tolerate was the gray squirrel. He would try and scare them away and devised ways to prevent them from eating seed at the feeder for they would scare away the birds he love to see. He could tolerate them on the ground under the feeder, just not on the feeder. He kept a bb gun by the dutch door leading to the patio. He would fire on persistent squirrels to keep them away.
Dad had several bird books, which I used to page through hours on end leaning and identifying the birds with him. He taught me to listen for their song in an effort learn their names - sometimes you can't see them, but if you know their song, you know they are there.