Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chickadees and Goldfinches

In my yard there are a lot of birds that visit my feeders regularly.  The most predominant being chickadees, nuthatches and goldfinches.  I do have lots of other species that come but not in the numbers that these ones do.  I tried to take some pictures but they are all so fast that you don't even get a chance to focus on them let alone take a picture.  When I don't have the feeders out - they all sit there very patiently waiting for me.  In the trees, the ferns, the christmas lights that I never take down (they make a great place for the birds to perch) while waiting for a feeder or a place to sit when one is there.  As soon as I open the door with feeders in hand they come right over and start to eat before I even get them hung up.  They are so used to me and the cat, that they don't hesitate at all.  Some of them will take the food right from my hand.  Some of them are still nervous but with patience, they too will soon be used to my presence. 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Raccoons

As long as I forget to bring in the bird feeders or leave some tasty treats lying around outdoors, the raccoons will find it.  Just when you get a little complacent about cleaning up before retiring for the night you are either rudely reminded before you even get to sleep or you find out very quickly in the morning that you did not put everything away like you should have.  I spend half my time between cleaning up after either the bears or the raccoons.  Like the bears, they don't care if my houseplants remain upright or upside down.  They want every last one of those sunflower seeds that the birds left lying around or that crust of bread the grandkids left behind.  Anything will do whether it is edible or not, gets investigated one way or another.  Several times they have left little presents for me to find.  Not just one raccoon but the whole family leaves it one spot.  Usually on the top step just so you know they were there.   Thinking of this reminded me of a raccoon that we had when I was young.  We named him Bobby.  He was the most lovable animal with the softest hands that he would wrap around your neck and give you a hug or pat your arm when he wanted something.  We had dog kennels and he would often play with some of the dogs but he was always very confused because he could not bark like the rest of them.  He would sit for a long time and wait for one of the dogs to bark and he would go to them and watch them bark.  He never did figure it out. 


Friday, September 25, 2009

No more Hummingbirds

The humming birds have all gone south for the winter so we can clean up the feeders and store them away for next season.  We always know that summer is here when they all come back.  Even thought the humming birds have gone there are still lots and lots of other birds that will stay for the winter and we will continue to feed them. Some of the food I buy but some I make up myself.  I will buy or get beef fat or suet from the butcher or the grocery store and keep it in the freezer.  I also keep those net bags that onions or some other foods come in.  Then when I am ready I put the suet (fat) inside the mesh bag, tie or sew the hole shut and hang then up for the birds.  I also make sure I put them where the squirrels can't reach them. 

 If you want to see a cute humming bird video - check out my website. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chickadee Heaven

We have had a few trays of water out for the birds, chipmunks and my cat to get a drink.  This summer we bought a small fountain to enjoy the sounds of gurgling water on those quiet evenings when you get a chance to slow down a bit.  We discovered that the chickadees much prefer the fountain to not only get a drink from but they have a free shower included in the deal.  Being the polite little things they are, they even take turns sitting over the spout.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Homemade bird food

Indoor pets or wild birds dining at your outdoor feeder enjoy homemade birdseed treats. A simple treat for birds is made by bringing suet or lard to room temperature and mixing in birdseed, nuts, fruits or cereals. The mixture can be spread onto a pinecone and hung from a tree outside or in your pet's cage. Lots of other treats can be made. I will try to include more periodically for you to try.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


With all the wet weather this summer the little brown bats have been a welcome sight in my yard.  Although they are only out from after dusk to before daybreak they are not a visible as some of the other creatures I have around. They eat insects of all kinds like mosquitoes and black flies and can eat up to 1200 mosquitoes in one hour.  Thankfully it was too cool for the blackflies to be as much of a nuisance as usual but the mosquitoes kept the bats well fed.  Above is a great bat house to build if you want bats to stay around and not have to worry as much about them roosting in your house.  The old story about bats getting in your hair is a myth however the guano from bats can be hazardous so be sure to wear a mask if you are cleaning up any area where they have been roosting.  Otherwise - enjoy just knowing they are there and help to combat the massive numbers of mosquitoes in your hard.   

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chipmunks Everywhere!!

I never realized chipmunks could move so fast.  This year the chipmunk population exploded in our yard.  Of course we feed the birds and the chipmunks are a great maintenance crew.  Anything the birds drop the chipmunks clean up before the birds can get there to finish the job.  We even tried to live trap and move some of them to another location but we certainly got the surprise of a life time on that one.  We had an old fellow with a very short tail that ended up in the trap and took him about 2 km away and dropped him off where he would have a great supply of food and water.  About 3 hours later - he was back!!!  We then realized that every chipmunk we had transported to another location came back home again.  That is when we decided to let them stay.  Even the cat has decided they aren't worth chasing any more and they run right over her paws while she is trying to sleep.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My Birds

These are my birds that have found their way to my house one way or another.  The small blue budgie, that the kids have named Blue, was given to me by my great grandson Bailey.  He was very small and when he and his parents had to move they had no place to keep the bird so he asked if I would look after it for him at my house.   Although he doesn't know it - Blue has changed bodies since the first one came.
The gray cockatiel, that the kids have named Cloud, came when my brother-in-law could not  stand the noise he was making and decided that maybe he would be better off here.  He and the original Blue were great friends and chatted to each other and Cloud was much quieter.  A friend of mine had a gray female that she wanted to breed as it was always laying eggs and asked if I would sell my bird to her.  This meant that Blue was alone so we had to get him a companion.  We actually bought 'Sunny' and the two of them became best buds.  However, Cloud was not very happy and refused to do what he was supposed to do and made a lot of noise that my friend could not get used to and she brought him back.  I think I should get another companion for him because the new Blue and Sunny tend to ignore him and he is also very quiet.  The only time I hear him is when he "talks" to the blue jays outdoors.