Thursday, February 17, 2011

Week 39: Feb. 8-14, 2011

Snowy Wonderland

No  real blog this week folks.  Just wanted to share with you the pics from last week's beautiful storm.  It transformed the landscape, and, fortunately, it was mild enough to walk for long distances to enjoy.

The blog and photos are erratic - still recouping from the Christmas cracker biz and moving and turning 60...  
Firmly in quest though of renewed health this year.  Watching the calories; trying to keep the bp down and hope to get back into a more regular walking spirit soon.  The dampness and cold and wind have slowed that down a bit but I can feel regular hikes will be back 'on' soon.  

Remember everyone to keep the birds fed.  From now until we have vegetation is the most crucial survival time of the year.  Unhulled (easier/faster to eat in cold weather) sunflower seeds are favoured by chickadees and nuthatches who are often fellow travellers.  Cardinals love (in addition to sunflower seeds) the white safflower seeds. I read somewhere that at mating time male cardinals will hull sunflower seeds for their mates! And the gold finches love the niger seed (as do chickadees to a lesser extent). Apples cut up fine or other fruits such as prunes or raisins are appreciated by some birds - particularly cardinals. We all like a change in our diet! If you are having trouble with squirrels, before putting the seed out, shake it in a covered container along with a couple of spoonfuls of cayenne pepper - just enough to lightly coat the seed.  This will deter squirrels as they find the powder hot and bothersome.  Birds on the other hand aren't so bothered by it as they don't have the same taste buds squirrels (and we!) do. If there is too much loose pepper powder in the feeder though, it may blow into the birds' eyes and this will cause irritation... so easy it does it - just coat the food enough to know that there is pepper on it.

Persistent squirrel

If you wish to feed the squirrels, try establishing a ground feeding spot some distance from the feeders.  Then keep it regularly supplied.  I tried this two places I lived and it was quite successful. It won't be long before the Grosbeaks are travelling up and they too love sunflower seed - either on the ground or in long stationery feeders where they feel safer feeding tightly together on the perches.

That's all for now.  I will try to catch up on the missing blog weeks and photos.  Or maybe not. Life goes forward...  :)

Thanks for walking with me on my footpath this week.

Prettiest day of the year... so far.

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