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Feeding Birds and Bird Feeders
December 10, 2012

December 10 already.

Slow down so I can enjoy the Holiday Season (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year).

Enjoy family, friends, the time of year, and most of all, the very 'One' that gave us life.

Last Friday (December 7 ) was 'Pearl Harbor Day'.

December 7, 1941, the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

A day that would forever change the world.

It is never to late to thank all of our Heros, past and present.

And the resolve of the people in these great countries we live in and call home.

This past Saturday finally gave us our first measurable snow fall.

We awoke to about an inch of the white stuff.

By midday the snow had melted.

Still, it gave me the chance to snap a picture of this cardinal in a Butterfly bush.

The white backdrop really makes the Red bird standout.

No wonder Northern cardinals are one of the most photographed birds, especially in the snow.

Seed catalogs are filtering in.

Since late November, I have new material to thumb through.

Some companies or catalogs I have never heard of before.

These kinds of mailing lists, I don't mind when my name is sold.

I thumb through them now, but wont get serious until January.

For me, January and February is the time to get serious as I plan and look forward to spring.

Click Here for Free Seed Catalogs

Click Here For Garden Catalogs and Catalogs of All Types.

Many of you know my story.

Here is a truncated version.

I started feeding birds when I was 11 or 12 years old.

My first feeder was a platform, made from a piece of plywood and floor molding nailed on as barriers to keep the cracked corn I ground using my mom's hand cranked meat grinder.

I did wear out the grinder, but the hours of enjoyment we all got from watching the birds was beyond measure.

Then there are the feeders that teen-aged boys would make in shop class.

Boy, has feeding birds and bird feeders grown since the 1960's.

Bird Feeding has become a multi-million dollar industry.

Research and science goes into the creation of quality feeders.

There are many types and styles of bird feeders.

Tube, hopper, platform, bypass, socks, wire mesh and more.

You may be on the market for a new feeder or a feeder may be on the gift list of a loved one.

There are a few things to consider when looking for a new feeder.

First off, is you budget.

Not everyone can afford to purchase the elite feeders.

All to often, expensive feeders may be more fluff than practical.

Second Point: Once you get beyond the Money aspect, I think that function is the most important value your feeders can offer.

Not simply the fact that birds will use it, but what birds you may attract or wish to feed.

Just as important.......................

Is the feeder easy to fill?

Cute and fluff are great for human eye appeal, but do very little when you are trying to fill a feeder when it's raining, or when the thermometer reads zero and and snow and wind is howling.

You want a feeder that is easy to fill and maintain.

Third on the list, is a feeder easy to clean?

The more nooks and crannies there are on any object, the
more areas that collect dirt, fungus and cooties.

This is another way that a feeder is practical.

What good is a feeder if you can't fill and clean it properly?

You've heard the saying before.

"Quality Is Job One"

The same goes for bird feeders.

Do some research.

Look for feeders that have certain features.

Wooden feeders help together by screws and not staples.

Tubes feeders where you can remove feeding ports and bottoms for thorough cleaning.

Metal parts, not plastic.

Look for "Made in America" if possible.

Brand names like 'Droll Yankees', 'Duncraft', 'Aspects', and certain wood feeders like 'Woodlink' and 'Looker' and a host of other products that are American made and have a certain quality to them.

(Even some of these companies are manufacturing all plastic feeders to meet certain demographics.)

I have several webpages on Feeding Birds and Bird Feeders, that will assist you even more on what to look for and the feeders functions.

Last on Your List of bird feeders and feeding stations is location, location.

Place your feeders within 12 feet (3 to 4 m) from protection.

Birds need to feel safe and knowing there are shrubs and trees close by will bring in more birds.

Feeders should be even closer if you plan on locating them near your house to prevent serious window crashes (within 10 feet or 3 meters).

This isn't going to prevent all hawk attacks, but it will give your birds a chance.

Location is also important for the human participant, (you).

Last thing I want to do on a snow blowing or cold rainy day is trek out to the back country to fill a feeder.

Especially if the snow is knee deep.

Not to mention the idea of clearing a long path.

You want feeders and water sources close by for easy filling and cleaning.

Not to mention the joy of bird watching.

Again, you can find more ideas on feeders and feeding birds on

Feeding Birds, and Bird Feeders. Next week, I'll tackle some issues on bird seed and feed.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

“The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That's the day we truly grow up.”

John C. Maxwell

Does that strike a cord?

The day we turn 18, is the day we can no longer pass blame onto others.

It's a choice.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

Romans 12:3

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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