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Feeding Birds Bread?
February 03, 2020
Thank you all for your warm and thoughtful comments on last week's letter.
I simply wanted you all to understand a small part of the world we around here live in.
I love special needs people, and some of you shared with and understand where I come from.
The first week of a new month.
Yes, February is upon us.
Yesterday was rare day of sunshine and blue sky, for the most part.
When I say rare, the picture is filtered sun from Friday and this is the first peek at the sun in about 10 days.
This was the first peek of the sun, and it popped in and out like this for a portion of the day.
When the Great Lakes don't ice over much, folks that live west of a Big Lake can expect cloudy days.
Cool air over warmer water, makes for lots of clouds.
A new month also means it is time to clean and freshen up feeders and water sources.
Do take some time to clean and sanitize for the health of your wildlife.
( A lone turkey visiting the yard this past week.)
Brandy the poodle turn one this past weekend.
Pictured below is Brandy as a scruffy puppy when we brought her home, and a scruffy one year old (yes, it is the same plaid jacket.
Three different appointments with Yolanda this week.
A few chores on the Honey do list.
I've started planting a few seeds.
Some seeds need 14-16 weeks head start before they can be planted outdoors in the spring.
Karen wanted petunias in the window boxes, and I wanted to try Angel wing begonias.
So, this is my first go at starting them from seed.
On February 23, 1994, John Porter (R-IL) proclaimed February as National Bird-Feeding Month when he read a resolution into the Congressional Record.
February is National Bird-Feeding Month in the United States.
This celebratory month was created to educate the public on the wild bird feeding and watching hobby.
Because of National Bird-Feeding Month, February has become the month most recognized with wild bird feeding promotions and activities.
Being one of the toughest months of the year for birds to survive, it was determined to help feed birds during this time.
The month encourages people to provide food, water, and shelter to wild birds in areas with cold temperatures and limited natural resources like plants and berries.
It also encourages you to feed your birds a quality feed and seed.
If you only have one feeder, or one choice.
I recommend Black Oil Sunflower Seed.
It attracts the greatest variety of birds.
Full of oil and protein.
In the shell, starlings can't eat it.
This week's topic.
Is feeding bread and other baked goods okay for birds?
From the get go, it is like a two edged sword.
The occasional stale bread or doughnut wont necessarily harm the birds but.
Baked goods however, tend to attract birds we don't really want.
Non native birds like House sparrows, European starlings and Rock pigeons.
Dealing with these nuisance birds are more than I want.
Yes, I know.........
Many of us grew up tossing out old, and stale baked goods to the birds and squirrels.
That doesn't make it right though.
Bread, doughnuts and other goodies are great fillers, but don't have the nutritional value needed to survive.
Breads also expand as it absorbs moisture.
This takes up even more stomach space, making a bird feel full (or squirrel), feel even more full.
Popcorn is a great filler for us, but where is the protein needed?
Birds still need fats and proteins to survive, not flour, sugar, yeast, salt and whatever is in the baked good.
Sure starches are converted to quick energy, but birds need more than a quick burst of energy to survive.
Especially in the cold winters.
Fill a bird on bread and there is no room for sunflowers, peanuts, suet or what insects they may find.
Treat the birds in the morning or in warmer weather, but not in the evening when they need every bit of protein and energy they can muster.
Baked goods may also contain too much salt for many species of birds.
Baked goods may have mold or spoil in other ways.
If you wont eat it, don't feed it to your wildlife.
We enjoy watching the birds and you may think you are lending a helping hand, but are you really?
Sometimes a tasty doughnut or butter and jelly on the bread will attract rats and mice.
I don't like rats.
You may instead want to save stale (not moldy) bread and bread crumbs for you meat loaf, or make croutons, and other needs.
There has even been research on House sparrows that hang out at McDonald's and live on handouts.
Though these birds seem well fed and plump on buns and fries, they become lethargic as they become malnourished. Leading to a shortened life span.
Feeding bread to the birds..................................
My opinion and the thoughts of other experts say it is not a good practice to start and one you should stop if you are feeding it on a regular basis.
If you have wondered why I never write about treats or typed out recipes for bird muffins, cookies or other goodies, now you know why.
Don't forget the Great Backyard Bird Count This coming Fri through Monday.February 14th-17th.
Time to be an amateur scientist (help the ones that get paid to do this stuff.)
Whether you watch and count from the comforts of home, or get outside, walk a park or woodland.
Count for 15 minutes a few times or a day, or an afternoon outing.
Well, it is time to fly for now.
Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.
By setting your own standards you develop these expectations of yourself, and you start to say, "I do things because that's me." They can be as basic as "I don't lie, cheat, or steal", but it can also be "How good is the work that I do?"
General Stanley McChrystal
Now the Word of God.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
"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,
Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.
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