Saturday, February 12, 2011

Feeding Stump

 A couple winters ago I decided I would help out the neighborhood birds and began to supplement their diets with three bird feeders in the backyard. I keep them going year round but it is during the winter that the feathered critters ready need the extra food. I offer them a mix of black sunflower seeds, Niger seed and a commercial songbird mix.

 Here are some pics of the local birds......

 I soon realized after watching a crow struggling to maintain it's balance on a small feeder that I had unknowingly left out the larger birds so scrounged a stump and placed it in the centre of the yard just under the large willow tree. I call it the feeding stump where I place meat/fish scraps, breads, black sunflower seeds and cracked corn. Not only can I now offer something to the larger birds but they now leave the smaller feeders alone so the Chickadees, Juncos, Goldfinches and Warblers do not get bullied off the feeders.

 Having saved some rib eye and mussel scraps from last night's supper and added some pork from today's breakfast I offered my neighborhood crows a decent meal on this chilly morning. Crows are surprisingly intelligent creatures and though many folks treat them like pests I do not share that view. They communicate, appear to have a(social) hierarchy and are suspisiously cautious. I think they also recognize me and greet me with "caws" most mornings. I also noticed today two distinct feeding techniques; the "touch and go" and the "land and approach" methods.

The neat thing about feeding birds are you get some great weather forecasting. When there are lots of birds at the feeders I often notice we end up having cold stormy weather the next day.A fluke or do they sense coming storms through barometric pressure fluxuations?

One word of advice.......if you decide to feed the birds during the winter stick with it until Spring as they will come to depend on you for food during the cold weather. Come Spring they most often will forage their own grub and will wean away from your feeders so that would be the time to stop supplementing their diets.

1 comment:

Sara said...

Nannie Gillmore would be very pleased with you feeding the birds :)