|"Feed them and they will come."|
St. Gregorius, Patron Saint of Arkansas Birds
We have had almost constant traffic at the feeders during this cold spell, especially since grandson Alex and I offered four pounds of suet to the birds. The first response was a frenzy of feeding with so many extra lumps and fragments of suet scattered outside the mesh bags - and several bags packed full.
We had tossed lumps and crumbles of suet in various places around the Jackson Bird Spa, instead of putting them in the front bags. The downy woodpecker obliged by moving his feeding from the front to the backyard. Today when I went outside, the starlings took to the air but settled in trees nearby to see what I had for them. Most of my trips in the backyard are to feed them, so we are conditioning each other.
I may pour some water in the baths, too, but they will freeze over fairly fast. Next year I will buy a birdbath warmer and smile if I never need it. That is why people rent storage space, so they can look for the birdbath warmer from Minnesota they did not need in Arizona.
I went to Walmart's new Supercenter today, since I follow the advice of union members and shop the locally owned stores. Walmart began a few miles away, and we know one of the major stockholders. The little store has grown a bit since she make popcorn for her dad in downtown Bentonville.
The new Springdale Walmart has a great bird feeding area in the gardening center, which was strangely quiet today. I found supersized metal suet baskets from Pennington, which are far better than overpriced mesh bags. The next meat market buy will include chunks of suet I can jam into the baskets and hang on the trees.
Walmart sells bags of field corn, far too expensive when squirrels eat one ear a day. Instead I bought a block of corn, all fuzed together with sunflower and some other seeds. As Sharon Lovejoy points out in A Blessing of Toads, a variety of seeds will bring a diversity of birds.
Corn has attracted blue jays time and again, so I am happy to have them. Lately I have seen crows stealthily eating. The crows seem to know the moment I spot them, and they leave. Like all the corvids, crows are famous bug eaters and fun to watch (when they allow it). One night we saw a mass of them swirling in the sky in New Ulm, Minnesota, looking for a place to roost. Here is a link about that habit.
|I bought this block at Walmart today, about $6.00|
|Cracked corn is very popular with the birds.|
Share the Lint Program
Nothing disappears faster than twine pieces and dryer lint in the spring. I am using my tiny suet baskets to hold both, so birds come near our window for nesting material.
There is a little more activity on the bird swing too, as they get used to the strange new device. Once they decide it is for their safety rather than a danger, the birds will use it more often.
|String, twine, and lint are just what birds want in the spring.|
I saw a robin tugging on string from my chicken wire,
determined to have it for her nest.