Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bird Feeding

I'm not one of the "birders" who is into feeding birds "big time", but I do enjoy seeing the birds who are around during the winter out my kitchen window while I'm washing dishes and cooking. I can't afford to buy them the thistle and LOTS of sun flower seeds and such but wish I could do more than I do manage to do.

The big thing for me is that I KNOW that once we start feeding them we are committed until spring and they can fend for themselves. Otherwise if they loose their food source they can and do die if they don't find another close to their "home" area.

So I've taken the step and started feeding them yesterday and will do so on a frugal basis. They will get cracked corn, some bread bits and my homemade blocks of corn and fat drippings from cooking. I will need to pick up a pound or 2 of lard to have on hand to make sure I can keep up with them for the full winter feeding season. We don't eat as much fat any more and much less animal fat. I try to use olive oil as it's better for us health wise. So the lard will be a good back up and it keeps in the freezer so would be good for the next winter if I don't use it. This will also encourage me to be more frugal with trimming meat fat so I can add it to the feeders.

I've already enjoyed seeing so many birds come to dinner the last 24 hours! I've got cardinals, nut hatches, chickadees, downies, a flicker and the usual sparrows. I just had a good sized flock of the obnoxious "black birds" blown into the front yard for seeds from some weeds. I don't care for this bunch of birds as they are always trying to get into the underside of the eves of the house to nest and they are just obnoxious. They are also usually gone to their winter grounds by now. I would think the couple inches of snow we got since yesterday and the horrid winds would encourage them to move on! They've been out in my feeding spot too.

I did get my window box's stand and a board over it out by the feeder so I can put some corn on it daily as I'm doing chores. The birds are feeding there also. They may consume less of my feed blocks with the plain cracked corn available.

While watching them, I had a couple small squirrels run up the tree the feeder is on and they appeared to be fighting as they were in a "hot hurry" with the running around and around the tree and up through the branches lickety split. The chase was definitely on! I know some folks don't like squirrels at their feeders, but we have so few squirrels that I don't mind feeding them. We use to have an abundance of them and then for some reason I didn't see squirrels for years. The last couple we've seen a couple kinds that have moved back into the area. Hubby and I enjoy seeing them again. They are welcome to some cracked corn. I know they have a purpose in nature as part of the food chain for other creatures so they must do something beneficial! (We don't have the city squirrels that are black. We have a couple reds and a couple fox squirrels.) They also are entertaining in the winter to see them in the front yard looking for their stored commodities. They sure do leave some interesting tracks in the snow too!

By the time February's Back Yard Bird Count is here, I should have a nice bunch to count for them!

Yes, I'm a country girl and I do enjoy nature's critters!

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