The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Attracting Cardinals Before Our Snow Storm Arrives

Cardinals by Norma Boeckler

Grandson Alex, age 10, was looking our our window when he saw cardinals on the platform feeder just outside. He never saw them so close before. He was very excited to see them.

I said, "I put extra seeds on the feeder, so they would show up for you, Alex."

"You did that just for me?"

"Yes, and I put a lot of extra suet out to attract the noisy starlings, who attract more birds to the food."

He laughed and asked, "You attract the noisy birds to get even more birds at the feeder?"

"Yes, and it works."

I put seven pounds of suet out on various feeders, most of them near the window. I also cleaned out the finch feeder, which had closed down from moisture turning the seed to concrete. That big event kept birds away for days. The finch feeder lid was up for drying - scary. New food was out - ominous. Birds do not like big changes in their habitat.

I had a pretty good store of sunflower seeds and put them bird-ankle deep on the platform feeder. The squirrels show up early and late, but the abundance of feeding points - about 10 in all - makes sure each species will have a place to eat. Many times the platform features a group of the same kind, but at other times -  one of each.

I like the platform feeder because the mesh does not allow water to accumulate. I dump it upside down each day so the ground feeders can check out the leftovers.

Suet is super because a few pounds will last a long, long time. Suet is kidney fat from cows, and all the bug eaters love the fat. Starlings are quite comical, fussing and trying to get the best position on my very large suet cages and wooden holders.

The bug eating suet fans are starlings, chickadees, woodpeckers, nuthatches, etc. They will also enjoy sunflower seeds.

Corn is not heavily favored but the doves enjoy it. Corn at 50 pounds is no more expensive than a bag of ears.