|Our Feathered Friends - Aug. 22|
|Wednesday, August 22, 2012|
Wilson County Fair time is here and if things keep going like this past Saturday night, it could be another record breaker. I did get a booth this year and found out about it Friday night through an e-mail from Zack Owensby. Talk about cutting it close, it was more like a shave, as to getting things set up in time for yesterday's crowd to come through. If you have the time, come by and talk to me at The Wilson Post booth located in tent #1and I will put your picture in our award-winning newspaper.
My first birdfriend at the fair was W.T. Nolen who was working the Immanuel Baptist Church booth. W.T was telling me about his Bob-white Quail covey that came out of his garden in his back yard. Bob-whites are getting pushed farther and farther out with all the people moving out into the country. Old farms are being bought where they are being made into subdivisions that take the wild factor out of the area. Mr. Nolen is also an avid beekeeper with several hives at his home place and also mentoring several students at the Wilson Central High School in the field of beekeeping.
Mrs. Foster Green stopped by to ask about the Yellow-hammer, or as most people know it, the Northern, or Yellow-Shafted Flicker. She moved from one location to where she now resides and missed her yellow feathered friend. Most times you will find a certain bird in a special setting and when you move to a different place, the birds will be other species that you may not be familiar with because of the change in territory. Remember my story a few months ago about the Flicker, where some Alabama soldiers in the Confederate army were called Yellow Hammers because of some bright yellow trim on their uniforms, and some of them actually had yellow tail feathers from the Flickers stuck in their hats.
Another visitor to my booth was Mr. Fred Brockette who lived next door to my mother when she lived on Clearview Drive several years ago. Mr. Fred was asking me some questions on the dimensions of a Bluebird house. The inside or floor dimensions should be 5 inches by 5 inches square with the height running 8 to 10 inches with the entrance hole being 1 1/2 inches in diameter located 6 to 10 inches above the bottom. In the bottom, always leave drainage holes so any rain coming in will run out the bottom.
I have known of times where babies have drowned because the water coming in had no outlet. On the top, leave some space or drill ventilation holes so the babies will not smother. If I was building the nesting box, I would use a piece of cedar wood for the top so that wasp would not want to build in it. Never place a landing peg under the entrance, as Bluebirds don't need them. House Sparrows would look at the peg as a perch where it could soon take control and keep your Bluebirds away.
The proper placement of a Bluebird box would always face east away from the prevailing winds so as not to take on water. Hang on a 7 foot pole so it will be 5 1/2 feet above the ground and where you can see sky above it. If you didn't get it deep enough in the ground, it could blow over and injure or kill the babies. Here in my yard, I have a concern that snakes might climb the T-post to get to the babies. You can add an 18-inch baffle underneath the house that would eliminate having predator problems.
It was good to see Gail Morris stop by to chat. Gail was off her feet for a while and she was taking advantage of the super weather to get out visiting the fair.
If possible, please stop by The Wilson Post booth in the main white tent to visit and we can swap a few bird stories and put your smiling face in the "Seen at the Fair" photo page.