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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Feeding the Birds for a Cold Louisiana Night...

I have always been a bird watcher since I was a kid. Mom tried to steer me away from all of those big, metal and military flying things by purchasing a model bird kit. The assembly, even for a 8 or 9 year old, was pretty simple, which made it all the more fun to paint once the glue dried. One year later, I had built all of the models that company sold including a squirrel. The squirrel was cool because once you finished building and painting the animal, you applied some grey, fuzzy substance all over the top of the model and some fuzzy, white hair on the underside. Many of my friends loved it and wanted one for themselves, so I ended up making the squirrel three more times. I loved it.

 I eventually hung the flying model birds from one of our pine trees with fishing line and nailed the woodpecker and squirrel to the trunk of the tree about nine or ten feet up. There they stayed until 1965 when Hurricane Betsy blew them away.

This time of year our visiting goldfinch, cowbirds, and assorted sparrows feed on black oil sunflower seeds along with our native, titmice, chickadees, nuthatches, and cardinals. The jays and woodpeckers, most especially the red-breasted woodpecker, prefer peanuts and will throw out some of the sunflower seeds to get at the peanuts to the delight of the towhees and doves and squirrels.

 I found this nuthatch adroitly working around the red-breasted woodpecker showing little respect for the big bird and his big beak. It's gonna be real cold tonight and it is every bird for themselves!