Tag Archives: squirrels

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

Cindy Video

Cindy is growing like a weed.

Cindy is growing like a weed.

https://www.facebook.com/CountrygirlLifeontheFarm

I’ve just spent the last two hours working with my orphans.  This consisted of the last 20 minutes trying to coax Cindy back into her warm bed so I could get some house work done.   The other hour and a half was spent trying to get Roscoe to come out of his first tree since orphaned.  He wanted out but couldn’t figure out how to climb DOWN.

Now I can get my house work completed but wanted to leave you with a link to my Facebook link that is a video of Cindy in action when I let her out to play.  Hope you enjoy and get a good laugh on this rainy, dreary day!

https://www.facebook.com/CountrygirlLifeontheFarm

Orphan 1 – Cindy

A few weeks back a friend of our came to the farm to cut some firewood. These trees are dead from the gypsy moth infestation we had about four or five years ago. Most all are hardwoods and beautiful oak timber at one time. Most are very large and we had hope to get some oak lumber from the stand. When this one big oak was sawed we hoped to get at least two or three 10 foot logs from them but when felled, we found out they were hollow. Eddie had gone out to help in the sawing to make sure the logs were cut to the lengths we needed but when it fell he found out it was hollow. While standing around talking Eddie heard familiar squealing which he knew was squirrels. On some investigation he found two baby gray squirrels in a busted up nest and mama squirrel had made her home but was now dead. Eddie put the babes in his hat and brought them home to the country girl to see what she could do for them.

Boy and girl squirrels

Boy and girl squirrels

For two days I fed and bathed these little darlings trying to keep them alive.  About two hours after the first two arrived Mr. Tucker showed up with a third one which was a lot smaller he found crawling on the ground where he was splitting the wood and stepped on her.  What a horrible trauma for three little orphans to endure.

Apparently the first two had some injuries that took their life within 36 hours.  The runt however is very alive and well.  We have named her Cindy and she is an absolute joy.

Cindy taking her bottle.

Cindy taking her bottle.

She is eating out of a babydoll bottle and her milk is evaporated milk.  She was  drinking about 1 tablespoon of lukewarm milk every four hours when we first adopted her.  She had full body hair and her eyes were open but I could tell she didn’t have full vision yet.  We’ve enjoyed so much watching her grow and the family has as well.

I started her living quarters in an old sewing basket with a couple soft, very thin wash cloths in it.

Baby Cindy's first house.

Baby Cindy’s first house.

In about a week we couldn’t keep her in it and had to make other arrangements.  I had a huge birdcage that I used when I several parakeets and it seemed the perfect home so I could keep track of this mischievous scamp.

Cindy in her new home.  We found a hollow tree and cut it short, filled it with flannel pieces of cloth and this is where she hides when strangers come to visit or she just doesn't want to be bothered.

Cindy in her new home. We found a hollow tree and cut it short, filled it with flannel pieces of cloth and this is where she hides when strangers come to visit or she just doesn’t want to be bothered.

Her sewing basket is in the bottom section of the bird cage and she hoards nuts and dried fruit in it.

Her sewing basket is in the bottom section of the bird-cage and she hoards nuts and dried fruit in it.

She's always smelling my hands to make sure I haven't held someone else.  I always wash my hands good with Dove soap before handling and this is the scent she knows is Mom!

She’s always smelling my hands to make sure I haven’t held someone else. I always wash my hands good with Dove soap before handling and this is the scent she knows is Mom!

Loves that bottle of warm milk.

Loves that bottle of warm milk.

She likes stretching out too when she's eating.

She likes stretching out too when she’s eating.

She climbs all over me.

She climbs all over me.

Her "lookout" pose!

Her “lookout” pose!

She likes being wrapped up in a wash cloth after eating.  This is usually when I bathe her.

She likes being wrapped up in a wash cloth after eating. This is usually when I bathe her.

What's down there???

What’s down there???

She likes scampering around in the living room floor usually chasing after Sassy.

She likes scampering around in the living room floor usually chasing after Sassy.

 

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 😉 .