Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bird Feeding Update

I'm still (and will continue) feeding the birds a meager meal of mostly cracked corn with soy as I want to feed them but can't afford the bird seed. We do however live in the country so there are weeds and seeds around that the city birds wouldn't have access to. I also give them a few treats as I come up with them such as bread, an apple getting soft, a glob of peanut butter, or such. At least they are gettiing additional feed to make their winter survival easier. Of course once we feed them we much be committed to doing it for the whole winter. So I've kept it to the modest corn and soy meal in the suet blocks I make them and add a bit more as I can. They do seem to enjoy it. I also see many of them coming to the back door to sneak cat food I put out for a stray cat who adopted us a few years ago.

I wanted to tell you about a bird who's finally showing up and might not be such a well known species.... the pileated woodpecker. I've heard and seen him several times and I'm still trying to get a pic of him. I was even outside with the camera in hand but by the time I got the cover open and it on he was long gone. He's quite skittish and he is NOISY so easy to know if he's near. He's also a pretty loud pecker on the trees in the fence row.

I looked him up (googled) and found a few facts about him. It's interesting but not something to take time to "write home about" so to speak. He is, however, a very interesting bird to look at. Here's a link so you can see a pic and read a bit about him. It's not time consuming. ;) It's a Cornell site so should be pretty accurate.

I hope he or maybe she shows up during the February Annual Back Yard Bird Count. I'll be doing this again this year. It's nice that it can be done on line so doesn't take much to report. The time consuming part is the daily 15 minutes dedicated to the count which needs to be about the same basic time every day during the count. If you have kids, home school, etc you might really enjoy it more as it is a hands on science project and good for the kids' education but also following through on a project, commitment, etc. It's also an environmental project in a way and maybe they'll learn how important the wild birds are in the life cycle here on earth. After all, what great mosquito and obnoxious bug eaters they are!

And, in bird watching, how much more exciting can it be than when we see our first robin of the season here in the northern states! That's a spirit lifter for me!

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