Wildlife Wednesday: Feeding the Birds

Cardinals in the brush

Mid-January, and the supply of natural food is dwindling for the birds. Last week’s extended sub-freezing weather made the foraging even tougher, so it was time to get out the feeders.

Junco (snowbird)

I don’t start feeding until the berries are gone and the ground is frozen, for several reasons. First and foremost, is that the longer the feeders are up and the seed scattered around, the more chance there is of attracting Other Things Than Birds…

tufted titmouse on suet feeder

Rats and mice, squirrels, raccoons…Some are fun to watch (some aren’t), but I don’t want any of them associating my house and vegetable garden with dinner.

Female hairy woodpecker

Oh, and the coyotes are happy eating birdseed, too. AND catching the little critters it attracts.

We don’t have bears on the island, but that can be a concern in inland spots.

corncob, for distraction

While the smaller birds are feasting happily around the back porch, we toss our Distraction Food up by the wall. Dry corn, peanuts, seeds…it keeps the squirrels and the bigger birds from cleaning out the feeders.

Girl and Bucket, winter edition

Gives Angel something else to carry in a bucket, too.

She won’t be out-of-practice when Berry Season comes back around.


24 thoughts on “Wildlife Wednesday: Feeding the Birds

  1. I feel guilty saying this but I don’t feed the birds because of the attraction to other critters. We are over run with chipmunks and squirrels and have had to even take out our strawberry beds because they were all going to the critters. I love your helper – wonderful picture.

    • No reason to feel guilty, Judy – I’ll bet there are plenty of feeders (as well as wild food) nearby. Chipmunks and ground squirrels arn’t a big problem here, but we’ve seen Norway rats the size of small dogs…I’d rather they didn’t come any closer than the old stone wall…

  2. You have red cardinals in your garden – that’s a bird I’ve wanted to see since I was little! I think I read about them in a book, and it must have made an big impression.

  3. Some really great bird shots, Marie. Our resident cardinal showed up last week, too. I see Angel has her own bucket list, although hers consists of things to do with a bucket — and this is as it should be.

    • She told me that she wasn’t a girl, she was a bunny, and I had to call her “Bunny”..
      Not likely. 😉
      I’m hoping that the cardinal and his lady bird (she’s below him in the thicket) will come in closer sometime soon.

  4. What beautiful photography. I love watching wildlife in the winter. There is something about the stillness in the air and the fact that their are no leaves on the trees that really makes for a serene landscape. Then, whenever I see the tiny bit of motion from a critter or a flash of red from a cardinal it always brings a smile to my face. Thanks for sharing.

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