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BS: Feeding the birds

GUEST 05 Nov 04 - 11:34 AM
MMario 05 Nov 04 - 11:38 AM
Cluin 05 Nov 04 - 12:06 PM
red_clay 06 Nov 04 - 09:04 AM
MMario 06 Nov 04 - 09:17 AM
Jeri 06 Nov 04 - 09:26 AM
bbc 06 Nov 04 - 10:25 AM
Little Robyn 06 Nov 04 - 04:39 PM
Cluin 06 Nov 04 - 04:42 PM
Mudlark 06 Nov 04 - 04:46 PM
red_clay 06 Nov 04 - 05:57 PM
Cluin 06 Nov 04 - 06:37 PM
Jeri 06 Nov 04 - 06:50 PM
Liz the Squeak 06 Nov 04 - 08:02 PM
Bobert 06 Nov 04 - 08:13 PM
bet 07 Nov 04 - 12:44 PM
bbc 07 Nov 04 - 08:40 PM
Billy the Bus 07 Nov 04 - 09:53 PM
dianavan 07 Nov 04 - 10:07 PM
Rapparee 08 Nov 04 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,bbc at work 08 Nov 04 - 11:18 AM
Cluin 08 Nov 04 - 07:53 PM
Bobert 08 Nov 04 - 07:57 PM
Rapparee 08 Nov 04 - 10:53 PM
Raptor 09 Nov 04 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,bbc at work 09 Nov 04 - 11:21 AM
Mudlark 09 Nov 04 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 09 Nov 04 - 05:26 PM
bbc 11 Nov 04 - 05:21 PM
Ron Davies 11 Nov 04 - 05:32 PM
Jeri 11 Nov 04 - 05:57 PM
Wyrd Sister 12 Nov 04 - 01:46 PM
Cluin 13 Nov 04 - 02:25 AM
bbc 13 Nov 04 - 09:32 AM
Raptor 14 Nov 04 - 08:04 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 14 Nov 04 - 04:52 PM
bbc 14 Nov 04 - 08:45 PM
Raptor 16 Nov 04 - 09:20 AM
bbc 16 Nov 04 - 07:16 PM
GUEST,Grandpa Abe Simpson 17 Nov 04 - 05:04 PM
bbc 17 Nov 04 - 05:24 PM
Joybell 18 Nov 04 - 05:31 PM

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Subject: BS: Feeding the birds
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 11:34 AM

Hi, all,

I decided I'd buy a bird feeder this winter & provide some free food for my local feathered friends. I bought a cylinder-style feeder w/ 2 small metal perches & hung it on a bracket on the rail of my deck, outside the kitchen window. I put it out Tuesday evening. Thursday am, I noticed it was half empty. By Thursday after work, it was completely empty! I started w/ a fairly gourmet mix of hulled grains & seeds, thinking I'd avoid a mess on the deck. Now, I'm wondering if I can afford this! So far, I've seen chickadees, tufted titmice, cardinals, & blue jays at the feeder. As far as I can see, the squirrels haven't figured out how to access the feeder yet. Any ideas on what kind of feed to provide or what kind of birds various feed will attract?

Thanks,

bbc in New York


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: MMario
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 11:38 AM

bbc - what some of my friends do is fill the feeder saturday mornings and ONLY saturday mornings. They get to view the birds more during the weekend - and when it is gone, it's gone for the week. The local birds soon learn the pattern of filling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Cluin
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 12:06 PM

Bluejays like sunflower seeds and peanuts; they seem to require the larger seeds to make showing up at the feeder worthwhile. Same with grosbeaks. The smaller seeds can satisfy the smaller birds like redpolls, chickadees, etc. but they also like sunflower seeds too. I never found any of them liked the cracked corn often found in the mixes. The peanuts and sunflower seeds (in the shell) unfortunately leave a mess of old shells behind though.

We also have a few crows that are used to coming for the peanuts and have no fear of us; they don't even fly away off the deck when the patio door is opened anymore (unless the dog runs out to chase them off and even then, they only fly over to the fence). The crows chase the smaller birds off and the only thing that moves the crows away are the black squirrels. Peanut Wars---gotta love it!

Chickadees are pretty bold too and can easily be trained to land on your hand and take seeds if you've got the time and patience for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: red_clay
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 09:04 AM

dang mmario!!! sounds kinda cruel to me! what if you could not feed yourself and depended on someone to feed you? and what if they only fed you on the weekend and left you on your own for the rest of each week?...
my wife and i have several feeders on our carport and feed the birds year round but especially during the cold winter months! a 50lb bag of oily sunflower seeds cost about $10.00 and will last about 2 months! we also buy the wildbird seed too, which is another $10.00 for a 50 lb bag. it too,will last 2 to 3 months!anyway,it's a small price to pay for the enjoyment we get to watch the variety of birds that pass our way and the regular ones that are native to our area and depend on that feeder when the ground is frozen and the weather nasty cold!!! we also put out a few suet feeders to give the birds the high energy food that they need to stay warm and survive during the wintery cold months! again,a small price to pay for the enjoyment we get from God's little feathery creatures that depend on us to feed them! by the way,a bird bath nearby is also required to help these adorable creatures!we have ...the chickadees, tuffted titmouse, nuthatch,cardinals,downey woodpecker,red headed woodpecker,junco(snow birds),gold finches,purple finches,blue birds,blue jays,humming birds(summmer time),indigo bunting,doves,crows(in the pasture only)rose breasted grosbeak,cow birds,cedar wax wings,mocking bird,brown threasher,robins,house wren,sparrows,...and the squirrels?,well,we have those for breakfast in the winter!


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: MMario
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 09:17 AM

well red_clay - since we are in an extremely rural area - feeding the birds is nothing more then a supplemental treat for them anyway; most of the properties around have been planted with shrubs, trees etc to provide wildlife feed and cover. and a 50 lb bag of seed would last about a week here if we filled the feeder every time it emptied.


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 09:26 AM

I'm rewarded in the winter for leaving the back yard weedy, because I can watch the birdies perch and pounce on them. All my neighbors have bird feeders, and I'd really like to have one too. I'm just not sure where to locate it so I could see the birds AND be able to refill it without walking through 3' of snow. Of course, with the amount the neighbors are feeding them, maybe I should open a little bird gym.


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: bbc
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 10:25 AM

Thanks for your input so far; I appreciate it! Just topped-off the feeder again, since I'm heading out to the NOMAD festival. So far, just the 4 types of birds I mentioned. The seed I got 1st is rather gourmet--8 lbs for $9. I may try other kinds & see what the birds think. I notice that the chickadees are throwing all the cracked corn onto the deck. The larger or more timid birds seem to be eating there! I'm getting a kick out of the blue jays. They are too big for the perches, but have figured out how to perch sideways on the bracket holding the feeder & are big enough to still reach the feeding holes. So far, no squirrels. I'll report back later.

best,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Little Robyn
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 04:39 PM

Hey, at work we just put our crusts out on the lawn and we get plenty of birds, mainly sparrows but also blackbirds, thrushes and a couple of mynahs. But the fantails and swallows aren't interested in our bread.
One winter I made seed balls with all sorts of seeds/nuts, set in melted fat and the birds loved it. But then the cats discovered them - I guess they could smell the fat, so I stopped doing that. Our cats are very good 'birders' unfortunately!
Robyn


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Cluin
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 04:42 PM

Our bread crusts and stale bread go to the ducks that stay here all winter. They make the daily rounds, waddling through the snow in our neighbourhood all winter long. They own the front lawns here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Mudlark
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 04:46 PM

If you can afford it, try a thistle sock. The goldfinches, house finches and purple finches go thru a $10 bag (not that heavy!) in short order so I usually don't fill the sock but half full. Since it's not under cover, I'm especially careful if rain is likely in the forecast. For the bigger birds, they seem to like a pretty even mix of small seeds/sunflower seeds...I usually sprinkle some on the ground for the quail and doves who are uncomfortably large for the hanging feeder. There is nothing more peaceful than a couple of doves under the elm tree.   But I agree with MMario...around here they'd cost more to feed than the 3 corgis if I kept the feeders topped up all the time. I keep a sharp eye out for birdseed sales.


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: red_clay
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 05:57 PM

believe it or not,the Walmart stores(we call them "walley world" here in the south)usually has bird seed on sale often in the 10, 25 and 50lb bags!
we sometimes get ours at Tractor Supply,when they have it on sale too!(because my wife is a George Strait fan)!
anyway,we love the birds and are treated to a wonderful experience while observing them each day!


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Cluin
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 06:37 PM

Suet balls are pretty good too but they go quickly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 06:50 PM

I finally did it! Bought the bird feeder today, along with a pole and seed. The feeder is 'squirrel proof' feeder. (Yeah, right. LH, if you're there, I don't care if the little gluttons get some - I just don't want them to get it ALL.) I came home and dug a hole into the front yard and planted the pole. Then I realized it was squirrel-leaping distance of the porch, so I dug another hole and planted it again. I'd like it somewhere else, but I need to be able to get to it in the winter, so it's staying put. I bought some of those black sunflower seeds and a 50-lb bag of "wild bird seed" for $4. All this from Ace Hardware.

Now it's just a matter of waiting until the birdies find it. I've also realized that I'll be at work most of the time it's light out, so I'll probably do my watching and re-filling on weekends.


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 08:02 PM

Try not to use stale bread in breeding/chick season - it swells in the stomach and greedy baby birds will explode.

A fat ball is fun and easy to make if you eat roast meat. Save the animal fat from your roast and stir into it mixed seeds, nuts and other scraps of food suitable for birds. Leave to cool until opaque but still soft. Put a long piece of string through a hole in the bottom of a paper cup, looping it through and leaving enough to stick out over the top of the cup. Gently pour the cooled fat and nut mix into the cup, making sure the string is sticking out of each end. Put a popsicle (ice-lolly), craft or similar stick (Dr's tongue depressors are great for this...) through the loop and over the top of the cup. Pull the string gently until it is tight. Leave to set in a fridge or cold store. When set, remove from the cup carefully, making sure the string doesn't slide out. Tie a knot in the string and hang over a convenient branch or hook. The stick should provide both a perch and a means of keeping the fat ball on the string.

Don't hang it where the sun is strong.. it could start to melt!

I've got a buddliea that I've let go to seed, the blue tits love it.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 08:13 PM

Well, if yer gonna feed birds, ya' gotta feed 'um... They ain't like TV's an' you can turn them off an' on based on yer whims...

Second, the more types of food you put out the greater varitey of bird you will get. I have 7 feeders. A couple for balck oil sunflower seed. A couple for mixed seed, nuts and fruit and a coupe suit feeders plus a woodpecker block feeder. And a couple thistle feeders. With this combination I get all the birds that are native to my habitat.

You might want to check with yer local bird seed store as to other birds to feed...

Also, soon as it get to freezing you'll need to get a water warmer and put out water for them. They are cheap but you'll neeed to plug it into an outside outlet...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: bet
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 12:44 PM

I love to feed the birds. They are a lot of company.   I tried several kinds in Colorado and finally went to a chichen feeder. It's a plan "V" shaped long tray with a bar running across it. The birds seem to love it and the seeds don't end up on the ground. i used a bungy cord to anchore it to the deck. So far up here in Alaska I have just put the food on the deck railing. Haven't made it to the feed store yet. The problem there is that I can't see them from the breakfast table. I've tried the comercial mixes and finally just feed sunflower seeds. I have had a few sunflower seeds sprout up in the spring from dropped seeds. Keep feeding and happy bird watching. bet


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: bbc
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 08:40 PM

Great feedback! I'm just back from NOMAD; had a wonderful time. I plan to print out your tips so I can remember them. Any more ideas?

bbc


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 09:53 PM

If you have nectar-feeding birds in your area, try a pot of honey water - honey dissolved in hot water. You'll be able to find technological 'water fountains' at your local pet supply.

Robyn - fantails and swallows are insectivores, so aren't interested in bread or seed. Ummmmm... I'm trying to think of a way to attract mosquitos and snadflies.... Hmm... a UV light may work in the daytime - it does for moreporks (NZ owl) and bats, at night. Don't get one of thos UV 'insect zappers' - we still need the insects most of the time.

cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: dianavan
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 10:07 PM

Bread is not good for birds and its not good for ducks, either.

Once you start feeding the birds, please continue. If they become habitual feeders in your back yard, they depend on you. When the cold weather comes, if their food supply is missing, they may have many miles to go before finding another source.

Liquid feeders are also questionable. Real nectar has more nutrients than just a 'sugar high' which leaves them energy depleted.

Bell the cats and don't forget to provide water.

Blue Jays are a laugh. Natives thought so too. In the N.W., he was a clown, a trickster. Kind of a misfit who always lived on the outskirts of society always expecting a hand out. More complicated than that, but they are fun to watch. Once they know you're there for them, you'll always have them.

d


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Nov 04 - 09:43 AM

Everybody feeds cardinals, bluebirds, bluejays, tufted titmice, orioles, and them "pretty" birds. I wanna feed the buzzards. Would a big ol' gutpile in the backyard work, do you think?





Seriously, I'll be putting up a feeder quite soon, probably this weekend. I feed during the winter, and taper 'em off when Spring starts to arrive (doesn't seem quite fair to cut 'em off all at once).


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: GUEST,bbc at work
Date: 08 Nov 04 - 11:18 AM

My tentative plan is to seed feed during the winter & then convert to a hummingbird feeder for the summer months. Do we have hummingbird feeders in the group? What do you recommend for that? (I think this may have been discussed already; sorry!).

bbc


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Cluin
Date: 08 Nov 04 - 07:53 PM

Fuck it, the ducks are getting the stale bread, dianavan.

If it's good enough for the turkey....   ;)


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Nov 04 - 07:57 PM

Hey, one other thing I was reminded of today is that bird are territorial and migrating birds will find their way back to your back yard year in and year out.

Today, the junkos returned and seemed to be real happy to be back for the winter.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Nov 04 - 10:53 PM

Penguins are starting to show up on their annual migration north to colder climes, even though the woolly mammoths are starting their annual migration south.


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Raptor
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 10:06 AM

If I may throw in my 2 cents, Feeding the birds "mixed Birdseed is a waste of time since it is mainly the black oil sunflower seeds athat they like and dump all the other seed out triing to get at it. It is more cost efective to feed only Black oil.

If you feed with different types of food use different feeders!

Bobert has quite a feeder system ask him about it.

I feed Black oil in 3 feeders, Peanuts in 4 feeders, Nyger seed in 4 feeders, Hummingbird syroup in 4 feeders and in the winter I put out Raw Beef fat (free from the butcher)in wire cages for the woodpeckers.

My feeder list:
Black capped Chickade
American Goldfinch
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker Whitebrested Nuthatch
European Starling
Dark eyed Junco
Chipping Sparow
Red Breasted Nuthatch
Northern Cardnal
Mourning Dove
Blue Jay
Redwinged Blackbird
Purple Finch
WILD TURKEY
Yes a Wild Turkey
White Throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Sharp shinned Hawk
Brown Headed cowbird
Savanna Sparrow
Baltimore Oriole
Ruby throated Humming bird
Summer tanager
Indigo Bunting
Comon Grackle
Evening Grosbeak
House Finch
Pine Sisken
Rose Breasted Grosbeak
Hory Redpol
Common redpol
Pine Grosbeak
White Crowned Sparrow

Simcoe County Ontario Canada Is a Wonderfull Place for the birds!

Raptor


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: GUEST,bbc at work
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 11:21 AM

Wow, Raptor, that's a great list! I had a new bird at the feeder this am & no time yet to figure out what it is. Also, my 1st squirrel came to call. I found him hanging upside down on the feeder, trying to get at the food. I rapped on the window & he contented himself w/ picking seeds from the deck while I was watching. I'm having fun watching & the birds seem to be enjoying the food, so I guess it's all good. I will try another kind of seed when this batch runs out. I appreciate all your input!

Barbara


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Mudlark
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 11:57 AM

bbc...if you go to hummingbird feeders in the spring, don't use honey, use cane sugar for the nectar, a ratio of 5-6/1 water/sugar, Never use honey when making your nectar mix. Honey attracts bees and can grow black fungus that will cause a fatal liver and tongue disease in hummingbirds. Red dye coloring not at great idea either, and you don't need it...the birds will find the feeders. Coal tar dyes aren't good for anybody.   With this mix you are liable to get orioles as well (and ants, too, unfortunately...I move my feeders often to stay ahead of them).


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 05:26 PM

Grain will clog a feeder once it gets damp, use a mix formulated for feeders or a straight feed such as sunflower seeds.

It is best to fit a husk catcher under feeders, I had to dig out a pile the best part of a foot deep one spring before I fitted them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: bbc
Date: 11 Nov 04 - 05:21 PM

I have taken some of your advice. I now have a suet holder on one of my trees, a thistle feeder on the deck, as well as the 2nd feeder for which I've now bought black oil sunflower seeds. I went by a nearby Audubon center & bought the Peterson Field Guide to Feeder Birds of Eastern North America. It's a large glossy paperback for just $10. I also bought a booklet called "Enjoying Squirrels More (or Less)." I have mixed feelings about feeding the squirrels. Please respond to that in my new thread on feeding squirrels. Thanks!

bbc


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Ron Davies
Date: 11 Nov 04 - 05:32 PM

I agree--sunflower seed is the way to go--by far.

Raptor--- tell us the story about the wild turkey at your feeder. There's gotta be a story,


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Jeri
Date: 11 Nov 04 - 05:57 PM

I was beginning to think the birds had all moved to a new neighborhood. I'd only seen one at the feeder since I put it up last Sat. It's a 3-part feeder. I have generic 'birdseed' in the top and bottom, and black oil sunflower seeds in the middle. Don't ya know, I came home today, and the middle section is half empty. (Other sections appear untouched.) I really hope the cardinals have found it, but I probably won't be able to watch it until the weekend.


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Wyrd Sister
Date: 12 Nov 04 - 01:46 PM

I haven't had any penguins on my bird feeders - am I doing something wrong? ;-) midlands uk


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Cluin
Date: 13 Nov 04 - 02:25 AM

Squirrels are bad enough, but we've also had raccoons at our bird feeder. They just reach up and tip the whole thing out on the ground.


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: bbc
Date: 13 Nov 04 - 09:32 AM

Oooh...today's the 1st day I've been home for long, since I set up the feeders. More birds to report! Now, I've had juncos, nuthatches, a downy woodpecker, & something is all over the thistle feeder. They are sparrow-sized, a sort of dull yellow with a dull yellowish breast that fades into off-white. A dark bar across the wing, but not speckly. I don't think they are goldfinches. Any ideas? The 1st day, no one came to the thistle feeder, but they've sure discovered it now! I'm having fun & I bet the birds appreciate my timing since we've got 2 inches of snow on the ground this morning!

bbc


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Raptor
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 08:04 AM

bbc They are American Goldfinch in the Winter plumage!

The Wild turkeys just come in once in a while and peck around the ground at my feeder area. Not a very good story but I've good pictures!

Raptor


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 04:52 PM

Jeez, I just came home from the grain and feed store and now I learn I shoulda gotten sunflower seeds! Next time...

I stopped getting the gourmet stuff and went for a little cheaper and the little cheepers seem just as happy. But I'll try the sunflower seeds.

Lots of good advice, all!

bbc, I was going to suggest the very book you bought! I keep mine by the table at all times.

Allison


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: bbc
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 08:45 PM

Raptor, are they really goldfinches? That was my 1st guess, since they are mobbing the thistle feeder 4-6 at a time--4 perches was a good choice!The coloring didn't look quite right, though. I didn't think their wings were black.

Yes, Allison, that book is great & very handy size type for us aging baby boomers! : )

Barbara


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Raptor
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 09:20 AM

I have no Doubt!

Raptor


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: bbc
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 07:16 PM

Cool! I had a purple finch this am & the 2nd visit of the downy woodpecker.

bbc


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: GUEST,Grandpa Abe Simpson
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 05:04 PM

...You see, back in those days, rich men would ride around in Zeppelins, dropping coins on people.
And one day I seen J. D. Rockefeller flying by.
So I run of the house with a big washtub.
I'd just used it that morning to wash my turkey, which in those days was known as a Walking Bird.
We'd always have Walking Bird on Thanksgiving with all the trimmings: cranberries, injun eyes, yams stuffed with gunpowder.
Then we'd all watch football, which in those days was called "BASEball"...


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: bbc
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 05:24 PM

?


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Subject: RE: BS: Feeding the birds
From: Joybell
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 05:31 PM

Here in Southern Australia (? New Zealand too) you have to be careful about feeding nectar-eating birds - honey-eaters, with honey or sugar water all year round. They need vitamin B which they get from insects. (They also need the insects as nestlings but parent birds probably collect enough of them, in Spring, even if they feed at the birdfeeder.) When insects are scarce during Winter the birds are supposed to migrate North. You may help a bit by adding multivitamins to the mix but it might not be the whole solution. It's complex.
Maybe this should also be considered in the colder parts of America?
A study in Melbourne on dying Red-Wattle birds presented the evidence of vitamin deficiency. In this case the cause of the problem was the planting of popular honey-rich shrubs from Western Australia that flowered all year-round, as well as the use of artificial feeders.
Billy the Bus, those insect zappers - I agree we'd rather have our bats and birds and our butterflies and moths.
                                                Cheery-bye Joy


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