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National Bird Feeding Month Continues
February 17, 2020

(Pictured is the Goldfinch I mentioned last week with the yellow tuft on his back.)

I have been very busy the past couple of weeks.

I have been husband, wife, and parent.

I have been full time caregiver to both Karen and Yolanda.

Yes, both of my girls have been sick.

Karen with the crud, followed by Yolanda and her Pneumonia and cold.

Followed by Karen getting a nasty cold.

When my girls are down, they are down for the count.

'Thank you God' for keeping me healthy so I can care for my family.

Anyway, health and healing are on the slow track, yet showing progress.

Winter seems to have finally arrived in Southwest Michigan, at least for the past week or so.

Several days of some snow, and even some single digit temperatures.

The snow and cold is great for feeding and watching birds.

This weather is also a bonus for "The Great Backyard Bird Count", that finishes up today (Monday).

From the confines of a warm home, a person can count a cacophony of birds.

you might even witness a murder of crows fly over head (as I did).

As mentioned the past couple weeks, February is National Bird Feeding month.

I will continue along that theme.


Continue to be enlightened, and possibly informed on National Bird Feeding Month.

Now, if you feed birds year round like I do, you should be good to go.

However, there are new readers and people new to feeding birds every year.

It is after all, the second most popular hobby.

Second only to gardening.

(This is where Gardening-For-Wildlife comes in).

I digress.

As natural food supplies are depleted and harsh winter conditions, February is one of the toughest months of the year for birds to survive.

By bringing this to your attention, it encourages people to provide food, water, and shelter to wild birds in areas with cold temperatures and limited natural resources like plants and berries.

Participating in National Bird Feeding month will help populations survive winter and provide you some entertainment in your yard.

Where should you get started celebrating this month, and possibly create a lifelong hobby?

Read on.

Add another feeder or two to your yard:

Or get your first feeder if you don’t have any :-)

Adding new feeders to your yard can attract new types of birds.

Notice the pictures, I place all sorts of sticks under, and around the feeding stations to help protect my birds from predators.

Ambush predators like hawks and cats don't have a clear path.

As long as the birds stay within the stick area, they are pretty well protected (I've been doing this for several years now).

Often, different birds prefer different feeders.

Similarly, certain feeders are made for different types of feed.

Peanut feeders, Sunflower feeders, seed blends, Suet, and feeders for Nyjer (thistle).

Feeders for small birds, larger birds, and for your bird community in general.

Target new species and attract multiple types of feathered friends to your backyard for more entertainment this winter.

The birds will appreciate the extra food available to them on snowy days.

Some birds will also be preparing for migration further north and need the extra food for energy before their long trip.

Yes, fattening up requires extra food.

Add Heated Water to your Yard:

Birds are surrounded by frozen water in the winter.

Eating snow only lowers their body temperatures, which burns valuable energy to stay warm

They need drinking water and an area to clean up, and bathe.

This is where you come in.

If possible, add a heated birdbath or fountain to your yard.

This will not only provide an essential resource to your feathered friends, but you will likely attract more birds to your yard.

Birds gather in areas where they can find reliable food, shelter, and water.

Make sure you are consistent with fresh water and food each week because birds will become used to the resources.

Keep it up all winter and the birds will remember your yard as a safe place full of what they need.

Learn a New Species:

Everyone seems to have a favorite bird.

For me, it is the Black-capped chickadee.

They are so friendly, not to mention darned cute.

Love cardinals in the winter.

The beautiful cardinals are the first birds to feed and the last ones at dusk.

But there are so many birds to see.

Learn a new species this month and figure out how to attract them to your yard.

Could you identify a Dark-Eyed Junco?

How many types of woodpeckers can you spot?

Learn some of their habits as you attract more of our feather friends to your yard and habitats.

Explore the many varieties of birds and learn a new species this month.

Pick up a good field guide.

You can spot a bird, look it up in your guide without ever leaving the confines of your home (if you so choose).

Backyard Birding is a wonderful hobby for just about everyone.

You relax, learn, get excited, lower blood pressure.

Birds truly are one of the many gifts from God.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

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

God Bless.

"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy."

Leo Buscaglia

What a great reminder.

From God's Word.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Matthew 6:34

"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.

A Blessed week to you .

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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