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Backyard Birds


DARK30

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I guess its safe to take the hummingbird feeders down now! Feeding the birds out back is something I really enjoy...Especially in the winter. Now that we have the snow, you can see them so much easier and they seem to relish the offerings a little bit more too!

Its important for the little guys to keep warm and oil from seed helps them do it. Sunflower seeds are the favorite all around but I put out a variety of birdy treats. Cracked corn on the ground, Suet higher up, and lots of other stuff in between!

Cover is important too. Evergreens, brush piles, and tall grass will give them places to hang out. I've noticed some birds will actually spend a lot of time in the ground cover during bad weather.

Just thought I'd throw this out and see if anybody else agrees that feeding the little guys in the winter is worth your time. So go out and shoot a cat!...Uh, I mean feed the birds!

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cast,cast,cast,cast......

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Good points!! Me too Dark. I'm a longtime birder myself. My humms left months ago as did my oriole. If your going to feed birds in the winter months, its important to keep feeding them. They have trusted you and have chosen not to migrate. If you suddenly stop feeding them in the winter, chances are they may die. Water is also vital to winter birds. I have a heated bird bath that keeps bird hydrated.
And its also important to eradicate the common house sparrow. They are not native to the US and they pose a threat to our native birds. The male has a black face and grey body and the female is drab brown. Look them up to make sure your not confusing them with the chickadee.

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Mille Lacs Guide Service
651-271-5459
www.millelacsguideservice.com

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I realy enjoy feeding and watching the birds. The variety is fantastic where I live. I put out thistle for the gold and house finches, sunflower for the chickadies, cardinals, and jays, suet for the woodpeckers and nuthatches (I did have a pilated woodpecker at one of the suet feeders a couple of days ago), And corn for Mallards, and a few other types. I do have a rather serious squirrel prob. I will be declaring war as soon as I can afford the proper defensive systems, (a one pump pellet gun). What kind of rare or exsotic birds do you guys have using your feeders?

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Man, I can't remember who it was that posted about squirrels. They used a trap/skeet thrower baited with a ear of corn wired to it. Tree rats at 50 mph! And they came back for more! Was it Crappie Tom or?? I think he had a fish in his name.....or someting.

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http://groups.msn.com/canitbeluck

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Hey MM! At least I'm not trying to sell the birdseed...Although I could get you a great deal on diapers and ars wipes if your interested smile.gif

I don't mind the squirrels out back...Just gotta go dust a couple now and then to keep them underpopulated. My son shot a couple with the pellet gun a couple of weeks ago. He wanted to clean them up to eat. Well, we cleaned um up and have yet to persuade Mom to let um in her kitchen.

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I was putting sunflower seeds on the
railing of my deer stand, just to help
pass the hours as they go by. I was
even getting good at picking out individual
chickadees. When I went out of the deer
stand they seem to follow me about. I had
one incident with some gray jays that
ocasionally came by too. I was sitting
down having a hot cup of coffee, peeking
over my railing and the jay swooped up
and landing spread eagle, on the railing 6" from my face. Coffee went everywhere. He came back the next day, landing on one of the support trees of my stand, peeking around at me, but afraid to get any seed.
TonyS

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Well i too am a long time bird feeder and enjoy it much.
here is a tip for those that hunt and process there own deer. hang the rib cage in a tree for the birds.There will be woodpeckers,nuthatchs and chickadees etc. there all winter and when they are done there is not a speck of meat or tallow left!

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Try Too Fish
Forced Too Work!!:)

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Hey Dark I'm always looking for a good deal on diapers and ars wipes. I got two boys in diapers now!

I think if I hang a rib cage in my yard the neighbors will call the BCA. I might do it just to find out!

mm

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MM
Ya i thought about that after i posted.That probably wont look good in town shocked.gif ,But out here in the sticks it is ok! wink.gif

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Try Too Fish
Forced Too Work!! smile.gif

[This message has been edited by Try Too Fish (edited 11-24-2003).]

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Winter bird watching(all year really) is real enjoyable.

I throw out the cracked corn too. Love it on windy days when the colorful ringknecks pay a visit, getting out of the wind etc.!


Jim W

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I'm back feeding the birds after a year off. Mice got into the feed and took over my garage. There were turds all over and the place reeked of pee. I must have sent 30 mice to their reward with a mix of antifreeze and peanutbutter. I kept the feed in a Rubbermaid garbage container but the kids spilled plenty. I'm putting the traps out ahead of the game this year although I haven't seen any mice around ... just the woodchuck that lived of the neighbor's garden.

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Hey Dark I've been feeding the birds for about a year now. I started out with a little feeder I bought at one of those "traveling tool shows" that come around twice a year. Well now I have three in the back yard and one on the deck! I buy the feed in bulk to keep the cost down. It's great having the jays, cardinals, junkos, chickedees, and morningdoves around.
Only shot one cat though grin.gif

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Good Luck & Good Fishing. Lucky

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One of the coolest things I saw out back was when a falcon of some sort came through. I'm not sure what kind it was but it was bigger than Sparrow hawk and smaller than a Peregrine. It was amazing how fast the little guys disappeared...and I mean gone without a trace! I stepped outside with the camera but couldn't get a shot. It flew away and after a few minutes, all the regulars were back feasting again.

On the "extra critters". My house is older than the dirt. I got a shed where I keep some bantams and a rabbit...They all roam freely and so does the occasional raccoon,skunk,oppossum,weasal,rat,mice (the mice really love me!), woodchuck,snake,deer...I don't really worry too much about the extra guests unless theres too many of them and they stay out of the house.

Cats are ok, I have a cat. Stray cats are another story, they should be controlled. If its dogs chasing deer or cats killing songbirds....They don't belong.

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IFallsRon, you need the "Million $ Mouse Trap" from Soucheray's website to keep the garage rid of these tiny beasts:

Get a 5 gallon bucket.
Drill 1 hole on each side of bucket near top.
Get an old prescription bottle. Although any bottle that twirls will do.
Drill hole through bottle lengthwise.
Run a straightened coat hanger through 1 side of bucket, through bottle, and through other side of the bucket.
Pour a couple inches of water into bucket.
Smear peanut butter on twirling bottle.
Build ramp up to top of pail.
The mouse will go up the ramp, smell the peanut butter, make leap for it, and will spin off bottle to bottom of bucket.

Half the fun of feeding the birds is trying to outsmart the squirrels.

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IFallsRon, you need the "Million $ Mouse Trap" from Soucheray's website to keep the garage rid of these tiny beasts:

Get a 5 gallon bucket.
Drill 1 hole on each side of bucket near top.
Get an old prescription bottle. Although any bottle that twirls will do.
Drill hole through bottle lengthwise.
Run a straightened coat hanger through 1 side of bucket, through bottle, and through other side of the bucket.
Pour a couple inches of water into bucket.
Smear peanut butter on twirling bottle.
Build ramp up to top of pail.
The mouse will go up the ramp, smell the peanut butter, make leap for it, and will spin off bottle to bottom of bucket.

Half the fun of feeding the birds is trying to outsmart the squirrels.

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Anyone ever see flying squirrels at at their feeders at night?
We've been having flying squirrels visit our tree feeders at night for a couple of years now.

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DARK 30,
Yup, I've been feeding all the critters since moving in our house 10 years ago. I live in the country outside duluth and have already had pine and evening grosbeaks to the feeder. Lots of chickadees (my 17 month old calls them "dee-dee's") white/red nuthatches, goldfinches, and downy and hairy woodpeckers. I put out suet, and one large feeder on the deck. I also have a deerfeeder out in the redpine woods in front of the house, and i usually feed from 4-7 grouse each winter. At times it is hilarious to watch the deer, snowshoe rabbits and grouse chase each other in and out of the feeder.
I have had coons in the feeder, and a few visits from a bear (kinda unnerving having a @300# bear on your deck, 2' from the screen door your standing in) Had to do some reconstruction of hte feeder after those visits smile.gif
I would guess that the bird you are seeing going after your little guys is not a falcon (rare in MN) but one of a few common short- winged hawks (accipiters), most likely either a sharp-shinned or coopers hawk. Every year i have these in the backyard, and one year one got caught in the mesh fencing of the dogpen. Had to put on the full leather and sled helmet to get him out without harm (to either me or him).
Really look forward to all the winter visits we get. I get alot of rosebreasted grosbeaks in summer, but am just a bit to far north to get cardinals which disappoints us. Supposedly their range is moving close, so hopefully in the near future.
My main problem has been the rabbits that congregate near the feeder all year long. We have both cottontails and snowshoe and they take their toll on all other plants in the general vicinity. I do thin out the red squirrels when numbers seem to increase.
If you start to feed over winter, make sure you continue, as these birds depend on you.
Xplorer

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I do have occasionally other critters visit. Had a drake mallard land in the driveway,and a raccoon come right up to the deck door and peek in. Scared the he** out of my wife as she was staring out at the feeders at the time! Of course we have the squirrels can't keep them away. I guess they got to eat too.
Lucky

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The birds made the outdoors page in the trib this morning.

I used the last of my frozen suet the other day. I went up to the grocery store to get another couple of chunks. to my surprise, they said.."We don't have that anymore...Now we got these premade logs of cooked fat with seeds stuck to it" Oh boy! Cooked fat in a plastic net...How nice!
I went to the butcher and they got the same ones....Geesh!

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cast,cast,cast,cast......

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  • 2 weeks later...

Jim....put another hunk of suet out there and cover it with x-lax thats been broken up. He'll be too busy to eat for a couple days.

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Sure life happens- why wait....The Crapster....good fishing guys!
[email protected]

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've still got about 20 mallards keeping a hole open in the pond across the street. Any bets on wether or not they'll stay all winter as long as I keep putting corn out? That Jan. / Feb. cold spell could be too much for them to keep the hole open. There are no springs there to help.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My wife, noticed an all white bird at the feeder yesterday ,but did not get a clear look at it. She noticed at both the sunflower feeder and the thistle feeder.

An albino finch??
An all white bunting??

She said it was (in size) between a gold finch and a sparrow.?

Jim W

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Rennenberg...I don't know if that will work on sqirrels...I usually give them a high-velocity leaded headache. Jim...You may have an albino of some sort or a snow bunting, but I not sure whether they frequent feeders. They are found along road shoulders and gravel roadways and most of the time have some dark on them. Renn...we still need to hit the water some day, but me thinks it has to warm up a little first. I haven't forgot ya bud!

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Plastics...making better fishermen without bait! Good Fishing Guys! CrappieTom
[email protected]

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I am not much of a bird feeder but I can say that the story i saw about gray jays makes me laugh. I was up in the b-dub a few weeks ago on a fishing trip and we ran into a bunch of them. I have a couple of pictures of them, one with the bird standing on top of my head eating a bread crumb and another eating some bread out of my hand. they were super nice and good company in the wilderness.
><>deadeye

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I feed the birds AND the squirrels. As a matter of fact, I have a squirrel feeder in my front yard; the little critters come ever morning to fill up on the sunflower seeds I put in there. Why does everyone hate the squirrels? I haven't ever understood that.

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Squirrells are our dog's favorite playmate. The dog chases the squirrells off the deck bird feeders, then the squirrels taunt him on the cedar fence. Both have fun and get plenty of exercise. wink.gif When he has one squirrel treed, another squirrel scurries back to the feeder, kind of a tag team match. LOL

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