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Pet People

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Skeeter is for the Birds!


I love feeding birds and watching them out of my kitchen window when I'm doing dishes. I have a dogwood tree and also a metal post, where I have several feeders. In winter I make a peanut butter, lard, cornmeal and seed mixture I stuff into a log bored with holes my uncle made for me, which woodpeckers love. I also hang about three other feeders with seed. The Boss complains, saying I'm just feeding the squirrels. He complains because I usually ask him to stop for big bags of seed. I must admit, they do steal a lot, but I love watching them too. The way they contort their bodies to get at the feeders is quite a hilarious show.

I used to always put out three huge hummingbird feeders right outside our large kitchen window next to our table. I'd get TONS of birds--20 and more at a time. I'd fill those suckers up all day and would mix big batches of juice in gallon milk jugs. I'd fill them up at least twice a day. This year, I'm skipping it, because it's quite the chore and with my work schedule I'm busy enough as it is and letting too many things slide around here. Plus, I hate when the feeders go empty and I'm not around to fill them and the birds are just flying around looking! I feel guilty though, as I saw one at the window the other day, back from a winter in the south, looking for his free meal.

I've also enjoyed for several years some fly catchers who built nests on top of the carport light by the back door. I could see the nest from the kitchen sink window. I fretted over the baby birds until they left. A few times I saw them leave the nest, while mama and daddy watched. When The Boss was working on the house in that area, I made him leave every so often so mama and papa could feed the babes. The thought I was nuts. Birds also built another nest on the other side of the house above the "cat house" and I was always worried they'd leave the nest and land in the front yard, where Tarzan and Catfish would nab them. But as far as I could tell, they all made it.

Skeeter sent the above picture and said:"Here is a picture we snapped of the baby Chickadee that just left the house. This little guy was not too shy of us as it let us touch it. We calmly talked with it for a while and then we left it alone on the garden hose. Later on I went to the woods with the Saint to check on some fallen limbs and the fledgling flew in our direction. I am not sure if it was following us or not but sure was neat to see him taking flight for his first day in the big world.
I read somewhere that only about 25% of newborn birds survive the first year of life. How sad."

So, who else loves to feed and watch the birds? They are almost like pets, in that we feed them and worry about them and try to make a nice place for them to eat and enjoy life.

posted by Sandy at 4/25/2007 08:37:00 AM

24 Comments:

Blogger pearcehart said...

We feed the birds too, and I get squirrel mix for the squirrels. Aimee, dog princess, is forever on guard against possible squirrel attacks on the house. We feel so sfae knowing she is there to fend off possible squadrons of squirrels. The birds I feed mainly for the cats to watch. Ok, so I like to watch them too. I have an Audobon book that I use to look up who is feeding at our three stations. Some of the woodpeckers are HUGE! We have lots of beautiful red cardinals and the muted females. And there are Grackles. They have iridescent feathers that are gorgeous. We buy huge bags of sunflower seeds as all the critters seem to like those. We have doves and sparrows, too. I haven't done hummingbirds here. I am still debating as, like Sandy said, it's a LOT of work keeping the feeders filled and cleaned on a regular basis. We'll see. It's getting harder for me to go up and down the back steps so I usually can only do it once or twice a day. try explaining that to hummingbirds!

Sandy, the article in the paper today was GREAT! I agree with you 100%! I, too, remember that Twilight Zone episode and indeed, how could it be heaven without all my babies there to share it with.

Our old family home in California would be an interesting place for future archaeologists to excavate. I must have buried dozens of pets there. They would probably think it was some sort of temple to animals.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 9:30:00 AM  
Blogger O'Malley said...

I used to feed the birds but had to stop due to one of my kitties. MoJo-Jojo is an outstanding hunter and was just waiting and preying on the birdies at the bird feeder. It was too emotional for me to keep finding the dead birds so I gave it up.I am an avid bird watcher tho. I enjoy getting my binoculars and watching what birds are hanging out in the trees around my house. I think we have talked about them here before-but cedar waxwings are my all-time favorite. While living in lower Alabama, I was ready for church one sunday morning but became transfixed by a flock of waxwings in a tree in my yard. I ended up having to skip church as I was so late by the time the waxwings left. I just couldn't take my eyes off them. I do still feed the hummers. Like you Sandy- I think it is quite the chore and swear every year I won't do it. Then I see one buzzing around where my feeder normally is and I am once again suckered into feeding them. They are a lot of fun to watch. And I can hang there feeder high enought that my killer kitty can't get to them!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 2:53:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I just started feeding the birds now that I have a nice yard. My mom and I planted 3 small gardens while she was here. The house already had an existing growth of ivy vine along the fence and a large tree in the back yard. We just cleaned it up and trimmed off the dead stuff. It looks so pretty with all the new flowers and foliage. However as much as I like seeing all the birds in the feeders and in the bird bath, I don't like all the bird poop they leave on my ivy, hosta’s and fence. I come home every evening and water my garden and try to spray off as much as I can. Since we haven't lived here very long I don't know all the different birds yet. I know we have cardinals and blue jays, blue birds and robins but I don't know the rest of them. Oh and we had gold finches the other morning. I'm going to have to get a bird book if I'm going to continue to feed them. They are little pigs too. I fill up the feeders before I leave in the morning and when I get home they are empty. I'm going to have to get the 50# bags of seed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 8:21:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

I finally got around to posting my wonderful "Good Boss" story! I almost messed around and didn't do it before that topic drops off the blog. So, go down and read it! Pam and Skeeter will especially love it! Shannon O'Malley too!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 8:35:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

I feed the birds as well. My girls and I love watching them! We have so many different kinds and I don't know what some of them are. I know the Blue Jays, Cardinals, woodpeckers,Yellow Finches, and the Deep blue birds but the rest I'm not sure of. Some look like the photos of what Skeeter sent and are tiny little guys. I used to put the Hummingbird feeders out at our other house but haven't done it here ,they are fun to watch too. I used to put the peanut butter suet out too so need to start putting that back out again. Even though I don't know what a lot of the birds are, the girls and I enjoy watching them so much. I get the Critter food so the Squirels enjoy the food as much as the birds. Fly Boy gets irritated because the birds poop on the deck but as I tell him, we have a pressure washer and it's worth it since we enjoy watching the birds and squirels so much. He made such a big deal at one time that we stopped putting the food out. I got so down about it and the girls missed it too that he said all right, put the food back out. He really can be a softie about it.
Stacey, got to read your "Good Boss Story".

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 10:50:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Stacey, Loved your "Good Boss Story"!!!!!!!! Hang onto that man. Yours too Shannon, we all have some great fellas to be thankful for.
Skeeter, thanks for that photo, now I know what our tiny little birds are. I had no clue before, but they sure are cute.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Alice, I love your comments about the princess on the watch for "squirrel attacks." It brought a big smile to my face, as I know how that is! My dogs act as if they never saw a squirrel before. The thing that bothers them is that the squirrels don't run away--they know they are safe as the dogs are in the yard, so it makes the dogs even madder that they squirrel is taunting them.

I too look up the birds in a book. At one time I wrote down all the types I spotted.

I too love Cedar waxwings. They are rarer, but you usually see them in big groups, which is even more amazing.

Thursday, April 26, 2007 8:16:00 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Adrienne, I meant to ask you more about your move. All settled in? How did all the pets take to the change?

Thursday, April 26, 2007 8:17:00 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Sandy, we are still unpacking boxes. I swear it's a never ending sea. The dogs love having a back yard, but they are still learning that it is ok to be outside without us. Living in an apartment for a year, they couldn't go out by them selves and have become Velcro dogs. Stella loves lying in the grass and has finally mastered using stairs. She fell down them the first week. Oscar wants to walk through my gardens. I had to put up a fence to keep him out. Mattie has never liked being outside, so she comes out, does her thing and goes right back in or she sits in the lawn chair. She doesn't like to get dirty. That's a princess for you. Jazzy's new favorite thing to do is play on the stairs. He races up and down and tries to hide on them and attack you. He wants outside too, but I won't let him. We looked at the cat fence system, but we would have to put something on the bottom of the fence too. The slats are space every other one apart and he can still get through. I'll have to work something out for him. But all in all they did really good with the move. They all get kind of worried when I start moving boxes around, but other wise are good.

Thursday, April 26, 2007 9:28:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Stacey, I loved the water bed story! Just how did hubby keep all of this a surprise from you? I notice anything out of the ordinary around our house! He is indeed a keeper as all of our hubby's seem to be. They would have to be in order to keep up with our crazy animal loving ways!

The water bed reminds me of a funny story on Skeeter… Don’t recall what year or city we were living at the time but this was a long time ago because we have not had a water bed in years. We got into the waterbed and it was a bit cool. So the Saint got on the floor and under the headboard and turned it up a bit. It was not heating up so he turned the thing on high. The light was on so the warmer was working or so we thought. We ended up with blankets pilled high for warmth. We about froze our butts off that night. The next morning, the Saint was going to drain the bed and remove the heater as it must have been broken and not working even though the light was on. As he went to disconnect the heater from the power supply, he realized the cord was not plugged in all the way! So the heater light to the supply was on from the wall outlet, but the heater pad was not plugged into the unit! Skeeter liked to hide and take naps under the headboard and he had unplugged the heater from the supply unit! Nothing we could do but laugh at how he made us sleep in the cold for a night! Thank goodness the Saint found the problem before all the trouble of draining the bed took place! Because of this little stunt, Skeeter lost his napping spot because I blocked the area from him so this would not happen again! Well, I only blocked the cord portion; he still had the sides of the bed to hide under. We could not take his hiding spot away from him ya know…

Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

I enjoy the birds as do the girls. They sit in the windowsill and gaze at all the activity in the backyard as if watching TV. We did have problems with the squirrels eating all the seed too quickly though. But now we have baffles in place so the squirrels only eat what they are allowed to eat. We feed the squirrels corn cobs on a bungee system that they have to jump up to reach. They swing on the cobs until they take a piece and jump back to the ground with their treasures of golden delight. They also get corn from under the deer feeding bucket and a compressed corn cob on a feeder that we have to remove each night due to our bandit the raccoon. They also eat fallen seed from under the feeders. So we all live in harmony now, well, except for when the stinkers dig in my flower pots! I have not figured out how to stop that yet!

We have 3 hummingbird feeders filled with red sugar water in different places in the yard. I also plant hummingbird friendly plants in the garden for the hummers and the butterflies. I have 5 suet cages for the wood pecker type birds but see others such as the Cardinals eating on them as well. We have one huge house type feeder and two tube feeders that we fill with only Black Oil sunflower seeds. We found that we were wasting our money with the wild bird mix seeds as they went for the sunflower seeds and dropped the other seeds on the ground as waste. We have a thistle tube feeder that the finches love and a peanut butter ball cage type feeder that the titmouse, wrens, sparrows and wood peckers love! We have a feeder which we place live mealworms in for the birds a treat. The bluebirds and titmouse will take a worm and feed it to their babies in the birdhouse! Fun to watch this activity!

We have 3 birdbaths and 5 birdhouses for them also. So our feather friends have plenty of food to enjoy in our yard.

Our spring visitors the Red Breasted Grosbeak and Indigo Bunting are here for a few days to fuel up before their continued trip back from migration. And we usually see the Cedar Waxwings in the fall when they stop over on their migration route as well. I find it hard to have a favorite bird but I do adore the small Chickadees (picture) as they are so brave and get really close to us. I have several different bird books to identify them and have documented over 50 different types of birds in our yard in 5 years of living here.

There is nothing more relaxing then sitting on the swing and listening to the music coming from my friends high in the trees! I love all my birds! And the word “bird” is in our last name, how ironic!

Thursday, April 26, 2007 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Well, Skeeter, this was before Sweetie moved in with me. So I assumed he did the building and staining at his place and then transported everything to my house when I was at work some evenings. He did have a key, and back then I worked shifts. He would have had prime opportunity to have hidden things away without my knowledge.

Thursday, April 26, 2007 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

The Saint is oblivious to anything... He will trip over something several times before he notices it! I have to sit things in front of the door so he will remember to take them to work and I swear one time, he walked right over a book and out the door he went! It is so easy to pull surprises on him…

Thursday, April 26, 2007 7:19:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Here's The Boss: He sits in his chair, and any candy wrappers, and disgustingly, used napkins or tissues, he'll toss on the end table! I put a little garbage can RIGHT BY the chair and he still puts the crap on the table. When I pointed out the garabage can, he says the dogs will take that stuff out and start chewing on it. I told him all he has to do is at the end of the night EMPTY the little can in the big can in the kitchen!

Another peeve: leaving his dirty glasses or snack plate IN THE SINK. Stick it in the dishwasher! One step instead of two!

Friday, April 27, 2007 9:58:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

I am lucky on that subject Sandy because the Saint puts his dishes in the dish washer. Heck, he even helps me wash the dishes when we don’t use the dishwasher! Ah, what a man...
I wonder if Dragons helps wifey-poo with the dishes…?.. We all know his motto is; women belong in the kitchen???

Saturday, April 28, 2007 9:49:00 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

The Boss went shopping for me today, as I have to work Saturdays. He was in Wal-Mart and he HATES that. He always says, "you're not going to con me into that again." I said, HEY, why am I the designated shopper? When I didn't work, that was fine, but now I work full time too and I work until midnight, so I'm not stopping on my way home! He goes right by Wal-Mart on his way home at 4:30, so he'll stop and pick up milk and things like that, but today it was the BIG SHOP. LOL.

Saturday, April 28, 2007 7:09:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

We found a dead bird in the garage over the weekend. Not sure what it was as it was so decayed from the flies! Hope it was not one of the Eastern Phoebe's that built a nest in the garage!

Monday, April 30, 2007 1:54:00 PM  
Blogger dragon said...

Skeeter, wifey-poo, and all females do belong in the kitchen. That is their inherent right. I, out of my gracious heart, help out with the dishes. I inspect and direct. Wifey-poo insists on doing it the hard way though. In the before wifey-poo time, when I cooked I would always wash things as I go along with the cooking. {A little note here, that the meals I prepared were simply fantastic.} But, anyway, after the meals were consumed there wasn’t a lot for little girly girl to wash. Wasn’t that grand of me? OK, I got off the subject here. Wifey-poo will wait to the end to start washing anything. Some times I have to watch, oops inspect and direct for a long time. Got to be sure she gets it right.

We went over to some friend’s house this weekend for a visit and dinner. Even though I had to fill my own plate, it was a very good dinner. The “bring my plate to me fairy” wasn’t there. But there was a little controversy on whether or not the netting should have come off the pork roast before it was cooked. Not to worry, the man of the house jumped in and did manage to get the netting off, and did not burn himself too bad. And afterwards, I would have helped with the cleaning of the dishes, but the females know their place and jumped to it and got it done with no inspection or direction. “Ya come a long way baby!” to achieve that simple task with no help. Like I said, I was willing to inspect and direct.

Monday, April 30, 2007 8:53:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Ah, the fire spitting Dragon speaks! I love the “plate fairy” talk... ha ha ha... I am lucky that the Saint helps in the kitchen clean-up, heck, he even pitches in with the cooking when “directed”. He likes to cook so it is no problem. Anyway, like I was saying, I am lucky that the Saint helps in the kitchen because his dad leaves his plate on the table after a meal and he just walks away! I agree with cleaning as you go in the kitchen. It makes the final clean up much easier to tackle…

No set cleaning day in this house. As it gets dirty, you clean it, as it comes into the house, you find a place for it and it remains until needed, etc... Heck, I don’t even have a junk drawer in our house! I am the CEO in this house and like to think that it runs pretty smooth. If the Saint were in charge, you would not be able to find anything because it would all be piled high on the kitchen counter top!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Skeeter ,
Why do men like to pile things? My Hubby does it too. It's frustrating! We have a half wall at the top of our stairs and it has become his favorite place to put all his crap. I have a box on the kitchen counter for mail, but it some how still ends up on the half wall. Why can't they put anything away? OH I know why... Because we do it for them and there mothers did it before us. We are enablers. We should stop, I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand to have a mess so it wouldn’t last long.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

The Saint and I have been together for about 20 years now and I have done a pretty good job of training him, Oh, excuse me Dragon, “directing” him! But I swear if something were to happen to me tomorrow, I know he would go back to his old piling high ways! Yep, I am a pretty good mommy to him too!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007 7:51:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

I do belong in the kitchen! not because I am a woman but because I am a great cook! There are some woman who not only do not belong in the kitchenut should be kept far far away from the kitchen!!!!!!!! Clean up is a pain but dragon's right, it's best to cleas as you go. If only I could get Fly Boy to train to clean up. I wish he'd learn to fill the didhwasher instead of piling everything in the sink though.
Oh well he does spoil me rottenin many other ways!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 9:08:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

I do belong in the kitchen! not because I am a woman but because I am a great cook! There are some woman who not only do not belong in the kitchenut should be kept far far away from the kitchen!!!!!!!! Clean up is a pain but dragon's right, it's best to cleas as you go. If only I could get Fly Boy to train to clean up. I wish he'd learn to fill the didhwasher instead of piling everything in the sink though.
Oh well he does spoil me rottenin many other ways!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 9:08:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

I feed the birds and squirels all the time and feel so guilty when I see that they have run out and I maybe didn't notice for a day or so. I'm going to do better. It goes so fast because of the squirels. We have so many varieties of birds and I don't even know what some of them are.

Thursday, May 03, 2007 8:42:00 AM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.
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