Tag Archives: birds

Feed the Birds From the Garden

One of 27 of my hens that heads straight for the bird feeders as soon as the hen house door is opened.

One of 27 of my hens that heads straight for the bird feeders as soon as the hen-house door is opened.

Part of the bird feeding station.

Part of the bird feeding station.

I love feeding the wild birds in our back yard during the winter.  There’s just so many species that flock to the feeders all during the day including my chickens!

 

I have 10 feeders in the back yard and the wild birds depend on me during the winter months when they can’t find seeds and other food.  I use black oil sunflowers that we raise in our garden, wild bird feed from our local farm supply store, and saved grease from my kitchen which I save in foil pans and stick in the freezer all year round.  We also dry any leftover sweet corn from the garden.  I pick it, shuck it and air dry it in our grainery and then place in mesh bags which are stored in lidded trash cans until feeding time.  I put the corn on a squirrel feeder and the birds and squirrels love it.  We had such an abundance of corn leftover after freezing for ourselves and sharing with our family, friends and neighbors.  I hate waste and the birds love it and so do my rabbits.

Sweet corn dried from the garden and now feeds the birds and squirrels. They love it!

Sweet corn dried from the garden and now feeds the birds and squirrels. They love it!

 

 

 

Another feeder in the back yard.

Another feeder in the back yard.

The wildbirds scratch it out on the ground which the ground feeders love and so do the chickens!

The wild birds scratch it out on the ground which the ground feeders love and so do the chickens!  The bucket holds walnuts that I gathered in the fall, dried and de-hulled for the squirrels.  The bluejay like them too.  The metal feeder, box feeder w/gallon jar and the gourd feeder are all handmade.  At the back-end of the station is another handmade feeder with four sections which the wrens prefer over the others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The collection of birds grows with each year:backyard-birds-2016-7 backyard-birds-2016-6 backyard-birds-2016-9 backyard-birds-2016-1 backyard-birds-2016-14 backyard-birds-2016-17 backyard-birds-2016-19 flocking-to-feeders-01092017-3 flocking-to-feeders-01092017-8 flocking-to-feeders-01092017-9 flocking-to-feeders-01092017-10 flocking-to-feeders-01092017-11

Furry Friends Enjoy the Back Yard

We have some fox squirrels that keep the feeders empty all year round.  I’ve made a point of gathering walnuts, hickory nuts and chestnuts for our squirrels every year.  We’ve had a few lean years in the way of food for all of the wildlife.  We have orchards for the deer to feed in but these guys will move out of the area if there isn’t any feed and we love watching them from our kitchen window.  I found out last year that all of the excess sweet corn at the end of the growing season is also great for the cattle but the squirrels, wild birds and deer will eat the sweet corn after it dries up.  We pick it off, shuck it, and then lay out on a screen to dry and then store the whole ear in barrels with a lid for the really bad winter when the ground is covered with snow and ice for long periods of time.  We saw a small buck in the garden last night digging up frozen turnips too.  If you love watching the wildlife as much as we do, help them out a little.  Baby, it’s cold out there.

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Eddie built this squirrel feeder about 10 years ago and the wildlife still love it. You’ll laugh yourself to death when you see a full-grown squirrel in that gallon jar!!!

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This guy watches me when I’m moving around in the kitchen or the bathroom.

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I need taller boots

We’re in our second winter snowstorm and I have got to get taller boots. Mine are 9.5 inches tall and when I went to feed Miracle this morning it was over my boots.

These are my Tractor Supply boots that I love and wear year round on the farm.  They're 9 1/2 inches tall and they're lightly insulated.  I've had them for three years and one of them is starting to leak.

These are my Tractor Supply boots that I love and wear year round on the farm. They’re 9 1/2 inches tall and they’re lightly insulated. I’ve had them for three years and one of them is starting to leak.

Hubby says it’s over the boots because of the way I walk in the fresh snow and scoot it in front of me. I still need taller boots if this is going to continue through spring!  The next ones I get in the spring will be up to my knees, I think.

It started snowing here again last night before dark and hubby says we have 8 inches now but it was still pouring down snow when I started this post.  It’s supposed to turn to sleet and freezing rain and then rain all day tomorrow.  We woke up to 18* and it’s now 22* .  The snow is like powder and we’re so glad the wind had not gotten up yet.2nd Snowstorm 2016_Feb 15 (1) 2nd Snowstorm 2016_Feb 15 (2) 2nd Snowstorm 2016_Feb 15 (4) 2nd Snowstorm 2016_Feb 15 (5) 2nd Snowstorm 2016_Feb 15 (6) 2nd Snowstorm 2016_Feb 15 (7) 2nd Snowstorm 2016_Feb 15 (8) 2nd Snowstorm 2016_Feb 15 (9)

Hubby got the snowblower out while  I fed the calf and had me a 48 inch path to the chickens and the smokehouse.  I’ve swept the porch and steps off three times so far but Sassy has decided to stay in the house this morning.  She went out for a quick potty break and fled back to the house!

Sassy likes her bed during storms.

Sassy likes her bed during storms.

Hubby is out feeding the stock now and the powder snow makes it hard to roll out the bales but everyone is waiting for some food to warm up their insides!

Feeding calves during snowstorm 02152016 (3) Feeding calves during snowstorm 02152016 (2) Feeding calves during snowstorm 02152016 (1)

The snow has stopped now and we’re waiting for the sleet and rain.  All of the cattle are doing well and my chickens are warm and been fed well and have plenty of  warm water.  The wild birds now have plenty of seed on the ground after I swept the snow away from the feeders.IMG_0009 IMG_0011 IMG_0015 IMG_0025 IMG_0021 IMG_0018

I’ve prepared a roast in the crockpot with onions and celery and will make a gravy over it later and serve it over noodles for supper and some fresh bread.  The laundry is almost done and the wood has been brought in for this evening warmth.

Firewood stand full of oak, locust and wild cheery.  Toasty night to come.

Firewood stand full of oak, locust and wild cheery. Toasty night to come.

Venison tenderloin in the crockpot smothered with onions and celery.  I'll make a mushroom & onion gravy over it once the loin is tender.

Venison tenderloin in the crockpot smothered with onions and celery. I’ll make a mushroom & onion gravy over it once the loin is tender.

Once the sleet/rain/ice arrives we may lose power but we’ve learned after 44 years of marriage to be prepared for it.  All of the buckets in the laundry room are full of water for the bathroom, 12 gallon jugs are full of water for cooking and whatever else it’s needed for and the candles and flashlights are where they’re easily accessible.

Hope you are all warm and safe!  Spring is just around the corner!

SPRING!!!  CAN'T GET HERE SOON ENOUGH!

SPRING!!! CAN’T GET HERE SOON ENOUGH!

 

Feeding the Wild Birds

Winter is finally here and my wildbirds are looking for food.  I had noticed that I didn’t have very many around but had not put out the birdfeeders because of my chickens which will devour the seeds.

Wildbird seed

Wildbird seed

Two feeders cleaned and ready to fill

Two feeders cleaned and ready to fill

With the snow we received and blew away yesterday, I decided to fill all the feeders.

All during the year I save any grease from bacon, sausage and more.  After cooking I drain the grease into mini aluminum loaf pans and store it in the freezer until cold weather arrives.  I have all sorts of woodpeckers that love the firm lard and they get lots of protein from it.

Small tins of frozen grease-these are bacon and sausage drippings saved from our kitchen.

Small tins of frozen grease-these are bacon and sausage drippings saved from our kitchen.

The aluminum disposable tins are a quick and easy way to save grease over time. I pour what little grease comes from our meat and add to the tin until full. Great for the birds.

The aluminum disposable tins are a quick and easy way to save grease over time. I pour what little grease comes from our meat and add to the tin until full. Great for the birds.

I’ll place these on my hanging flower table that Eddie made me and all the birds can get on the table together if they want.

Hanging plant table used year round.

Hanging plant table used year round.  The bird feeders fit well there too but the chickens fly up on the fence and then onto the table when they see the wild birds feeding there.

Along with the birdseed I put out ears of field corn, sunflowers, peanuts and dried bread crumbs.

Two for one shot!

Two for one shot!

2015 grown sunflowers. I hung about 30 of them and they're just about gone but they were fed mostly to the chickens in the henhouse.

2015 grown sunflowers. I hung about 30 of them and they’re just about gone but they were fed mostly to the chickens in the henhouse.

Squirrel feeder and the jar is filled with peanuts in a shell. The woodpecker breeds love these as do the cardinals.

Squirrel feeder and the jar is filled with peanuts in a shell. The woodpecker breeds love these as do the cardinals.

Field corn strapped to the fince post.

Field corn strapped to the fence post.

So far this winter I have woodpeckers of several varieties, doves, nuthatches, wrens, snowbirds, bluejays, Juncos, cardinals and Carolina wrens feeding at my stations.

New visitor at the farm

A few weeks ago when the weather got colder and most of the weed seed was gone I filled up the feeders at the bird station.  I had dried some sunflowers of different variety and sizes and hung them in the wood house to dry so I would have some new things to put out for the different birds.  I had also picked a lot of different varieties of grasses and hung them to dry also.

Hubby's uncle made this whopper of a feeder years ago and it holds 20 pounds of feed.

Hubby’s uncle made this whopper of a feeder years ago and it holds 20 pounds of feed.

Hubby made this squirrel feeder for me years ago and I'm begging for more.

Hubby made this squirrel feeder for me years ago and I’m begging for more.

 

The birds love the feeders and I have doves, bluejays, juncos, wrens, sparrows, cardinals and three different woodpeckers feeding from them this year.  We also have this little rascal feeding as well.  I grew up calling them fairy diddles and my husband’s family calls them mountain boomers.  They are a miniature squirrel and you won’t believe how fast he moves.

We call him "Boomer".  He's eating a piece of corn.

We call him “Boomer”. He’s eating a piece of corn.

 

He’s hilarious to watch and I’ve decided he’s living in our wood house and may have been the critter that ate all the seed pods and sunflowers.  They mysteriously disappeared right before we started seeing boomer.  He chases the birds but I think in fun.  I’ve started adding mixed nuts,  peanuts and fruit on the table where the big feeder is stationed.  Boomer takes all of the nuts and puts them in the gallon jar on the swing post. If you look closely you can see the bottom half is whole shelled corn and the upper part of the jar is FULL of nuts.

Boomer is so tiny!

Boomer is so tiny!

 

That's a six inch stretch from tree to corn.

That’s a six inch stretch from tree to corn.

The squirrel feeder is a tractor with spikes coming up on both sides of the seat.

The squirrel feeder is a tractor with spikes coming up on both sides of the seat.

 

 

Boomer sitting on top of the squirrel feeder.

Boomer sitting on top of the squirrel feeder.

 

Treasures from the apple orchard

Hubby was cleaning up apple trees brought down by the duratio last summer and he brought me these treasures!!  I’m so excited!!

Apple tree stumps

Hollow apple tree stumps

Three hollow tree logs for crafting.

Three hollow tree logs for crafting.

Fuzzy thinks this one would be good for squirrels!

Fuzzy thinks this one would be good for squirrels!

I think the first two will be new birdhouses as I like to use natural things to make the birds feel more at home.  All I’ll have to do is screw on some barnwood to the bottom and top and drill a small hole for the bluebirds to enter.  Drill holes in the bottom board for drainage.  I like to use screws so I can take the top off in the winter and clean them out for arrivals in the spring.  I like to put a little overhang on the top to keep the weather out and a place for the bird parents to perch between food breaks.   I also put a short perch in the front right below the entry for them to perch while feeding the fledglings.

The third one though will make a perfect nest for the next orphan squirrel we save.  We tend to find them in the woods fallen from their nests.  If their bodies are still warm we let Mom come back to get them and carry them back to the nests.  If their bodies are cold, I snatch them up in my pocket and get them home quick as possible and feed them some warm milk with a little honey to warm them up and boost the energy.

Baby squirrels are so easy to care for and they usally bond with only one person after being orphaned and thats usually whoever feeds and bathes them.

Baby squirrels are so easy to care for and they usally bond with only one person after being orphaned and thats usually whoever feeds and bathes them.

 

Hubby is always looking out for things in the woods that he knows I’ll put to good use.  We’ve been looking for a hollow tree about five to six feet long to make into a flower box for the yard or the gazebo.  I’ve also been looking for just the right knarly stump to put in one of my flower beds for the natural look.  You will see it when I find it 😉 .