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Gardening For Wildlife #54
February 11, 2008
Hi,

A blessed week to you.

Winter's grip continues to be a firm one this year.

Snow storms, very cold temperatures, gale force winds and not a single glimpse of the sun for the past two weeks.

Our prayers go out to everyone that was touched my the deadly tornadoes and other severe weather.

Though it may not feel like it, Spring inches another week closer :-)

How soon we forget when it comes to our fur kids.

Akita is an active 2 year old little girl, but the poodle pup is something else.

I know all puppies are super charged, but I seem to forget this with every pup we get.

The two dogs play together often, but Ziggy is so aggressive and tormenting that Keet seems over whelmed at times.

Ziggy is now a bit taller than Keet, but he is all legs and can step over her. He hops around like a deer or a lamb and that is to funny.

On occasion she has to nip a bit harder, but that seems to get The Ziglet going even more.

Did you know, the more carnivorous a mammal is, the more playful they are?

Thank goodness for cages.

His chewing has improved thanks to a few chew toys (thank you all).

Keet and I still go on our walks when the weather allows us to do so.

The honey do list has been staring at me....................

I've managed to avoid it for the most part, but any smart man knows it is inevitable, so I'll be taking a look at it some this week.

If I don't, it will still be there when Spring comes.

The weather made for a very active week at my feeders.

I'm not complaining though, as we get so much enjoyment from watching and observing our feathered friends.

This past Wednesday I witnessed a female Cardinal get bush whacked by a domestic cat in a neighbors yard,

I understand it's not the cat's fault, but the cat's owner.

I understand the cat was doing what cats do best, but I was so angry.

Some of you have outdoor cats so I know it can be a delicate topic. Years ago Karen brought home a barn kitten that we didn't keep inside, so I know how difficult it can be.

Yet, we must try.

It isn't good enough to have them fixed (our cats always are).

A least twice a year Rusty was at the vet for worms.

A few times a year he would get sick.

He would come home scratched from fights.

The one time he was sprayed by a skunk....................

Needless to say, we wouldn't let him come near us for several days.

Yes, I know what its like to have outdoor cats.

Understand cats as feeder pests and how you can deal with it all

Friday had me all day at a learning seminar.

Classes are necessary to retain my nurseryman certification.

Hey, the lunch was free and pretty good to boot.

A dear friend, Nancy Ann in Oregon informed me that Conjunctivitis is indeed in Oregon.

If you recall, last week I mentioned that it hadn't crossed the Great Plains yet.

My information was out dated and thank you NA for the current Cornell information.

Carole in North Carolina brought up a topic she wanted everyone to know about.

Reading information on forums can be good and it can also be dangerous.

As in a little knowledge can be dangerous.

This time, a little knowledge is good.

Here is her the question.



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 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.

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, taking up even more stomach space.

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 energy they can muster.

Baked goods may also contain to 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 the birds.

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 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.

Well, I think I finally finished the pages one native shrubs.

What I did was select a handful of shrubs from each region and wrote a bit on that plant so a reader might get a general idea on what is out there.

To many landscapes are filled with exotics and to many people are clueless as to what is native and what isn't.

I know I learned so much as I researched different shrubs for different regions.

One of the things that makes our land so unique is the diversity of flora and fauna.

I am interested in your input please.

Is there a shrub I need to add?

Am I off base on some things?

Should I eventually give a basic list of other native shrubs that are out there?

I'm looking to make a better web site for you and others as they find us.

The research slowed me down, but I learned a lot.

Here is the shrubs page, go to shrubs of your region

Hopefully I can get on nest boxes or something else.

<>, time to fly for now.

Don't forget the Great Backyard Bird Count this coming weekend.

Keep snow removed from and around your feeders.

It is always a good idea to keep an area packed down or snow removed for your ground feeding friends.

A smile is a simple thing to do yet it is vital in our lives.

We need to smile.

It makes us feel good and when we share it with others it becomes contagious.

Be sure to share your smile this week.

Better yet, share it with a stranger.

A Blessed week to you and yours

A Happy Valentines day as well.

Until next time,

Don't forget the Great Backyard Bird Count this coming weekend.

Keep snow removed from and around your feeders.

It is always a good idea to keep an area packed down or snow removed for your ground feeding friends.

A smile is a simple thing to do yet it is vital in our lives.

We need to smile.

It makes us feel good and when we share it with others it becomes contagious.

Be sure to share your smile this week.

Better yet, share it with a stranger.

A Blessed week to you and yours

A Happy Valentines day as well.

Until next time,

"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: Please feel free to pass this on to friends and family. Better yet, have them sign up so they can get their own newlstters. Thank you.

Gardening For Wildlife.









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