|Our Feathered Friends - Feb. 16|
|Wednesday, February 16, 2011|
By RAY POPE
I had a few e-mails this past week telling me about the activity at their bird feeders. Beverly Stacy has really been enjoying having Dark-eyed Juncos around. Remember lots of folks call them Snowbirds.
She sent me a picture of several eating in the snow under her feeders, sometimes up to 10 birds at a time. I would be happy to have at least one here at my house. I am probably one of the people who keep out seed on the ground more than others, and now I wonder why I have no snowbirds!
Beverly, thanks for all your kind words and never give up on getting that perfect picture so you can send it to me to share with my readers.
Last week I was talking about my Juncos leaving the area and maybe going a little farther south to get away from all the snow. Melissa Sweeton wrote to inform me that they didn’t go south but headed west instead. Melissa was telling me about all the Juncos that have taken up residence at her house. At least I’m sure that they are in good hands at her place. She also brought up a subject that I have heard little of.
She and her husband have gone “green” at another piece of property that they purchased a couple of years ago. There are times that we make decisions that may not be in the best interest of our wildlife.
You can over saturate your lawns with insecticides to get rid of some pest, which does work, but it poisons the ground which has a trickledown effect. Birds, in turn, feed on the insects that are affected and later die off from internal poisons. Birds and other wildlife will stay away from infected area because there is nothing to eat there. I would like to hear from you on this subject.
Liz Franklin of the Laguardo area has several different species of birds that feed at her home. Liz has a bit of a problem when it came to storing her bird seed. She keeps it in a garbage can and it mildewed. Some of the garbage cans can be air-tight which allows for easy moisture build up. I personally like using a Rubbermaid container which has a couple of air vents around the handle.
So far, I haven’t had a problem like that. I told Liz to pour it on the ground where the ground scratchers can pick through it. Have any more of you had this same problem?
Now is the time to clean out old nests from the birdhouses in your yard. Sometime there may be birds using the box as a roosting place for the night. I can’t wait to get my table saw over here so I can build some bird houses and maybe a roosting box or two. I was over to the Lebanon/Wilson County Library and spotted what looked like a Bluebird house over by the parking lot. You know me, I had to check inside to see what kind of bird had been using it.
Lots of green moss means Carolina Chickadees have been nesting there. Of course I did my good dead for the day and cleaned it out. When old nests are not removed, the young birds face danger after a couple seasons because the added-on nest puts them closer to the nest entrance where some bird, even though it can’t enter can stick it’s head in, can pull out one of the chicks. Larger birds such as starlings have been seen doing this before.