Monday, February 17, 2014

February Conservation Tip


Earlier this winter, when we had these bitterly cold temperatures and lots of snow, I went out one afternoon to feed the horses. Passing a nearby tree, all of a sudden a half dead bird, a Yellow-Shafted Flicker, fell out of the tree and right in front of me. That poor thing was just bone and feathers. We tried to bring it back to life but starvation had already taken it's toll.
Time to get active and feed our backyard friends I thought, but wasn't sure what they would need and like. So I called my very knowledgeable birder friend Judy for some advice. And went right to work...
It was such a great success, that I did this all winter long and just made a batch yesterday as our weather forecast calls for snowfall for the next couple of days.

And this is what Judy recommended:
You need only need a few things, pine cones, peanut butter, sunflower seeds and a strong string.

Secure the string, I used some ribbon, tightly at the thicker base of the pine cone and leave enough extra string to hang the cone later on.
Then thickly spread peanut butter on the pine cone. Please don't use peanut butter like Skippy or Jif, not only are they sugared and salted, which the birds for sure don't need, most of them also contain palm oil, which nobody should use! (please see "Palm Oil, a Pressing Matter" for more info)
Just get the natural, plain peanut butter with no additives.

After the pine cone is covered with peanut butter all around roll it in a bowl of sunflower seeds.

That's it. You are ready to hang the bird treats. This is so easy, it is probably also a great activity to do with kids!

All you have to do now is hanging them. I chose some trees where I had seen the birds hang out and which had branches low enough for me to reach but high enough off the ground so that the cats could not reach.

Just for the fun I made a few for my chickens, too. They loved it.....

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