How You Can Help Prevent Needless Bird Deaths

needless-bird-deaths

If you’ve been reading Your Gardening Friend posts for any decent length of time, you know I love birds. Yes, I like chickens – for both their taste and cuteness – but I’m talkin’ about the little chirping birds around the house.

I’m in awe of God, that He created such a vast array of birds in size, bird calls, mannerisms, and color. Just like the brilliant colored fish found in coral reefs, sometimes I think God created what we need for sustenance and then so much more simply for our enjoyment and entertainment. Most importantly, all creation bears witness to God.

We’ve lived in this house for 6.5 years. In all those years I’ve never cleaned ALL the windows. As a matter of fact, of the 13 windows in our house, only two have been cleaned on both the inside and outside more than once. Those two windows are picture windows near our kitchen table. It’s from those windows I can see the front porch, all bird feeders, eventually that will include the bird feeder I recently made, a vintage tea kettle windchime that’s been used as a bird nest, and our bubbling boulder.

I like those two windows to be squeaky clean for the best view and enjoyment possible. The problem with the windows being THAT clean is the birds don’t realize the glass panes are there.

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How to Make a Suet Plug Bird Feeder

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I often pray for ideas for posts, and that’s how this post came about.

While strolling through Rural King (a home and garden store), I noticed the simplicity of the suet plug bird feeders and thought,

“Hmmm … this just looks like a 4-by-4 with some holes drilled through it and some angled cuts. … I bet I could make this, assuming John has the right tools and can walk me through a few things.”

It took me a second, but I realized God had just given me my next post idea. :)

John made a few practice cuts, walked me through how to use the power tools for this project, and then I was set free.

I told John I had to make EVERY cut myself (to provide a DIY post). There was even a moment when he walked over to graciously show me something when I abruptly said, “Don’t do it!” After telling me to take a chill-pill, :) he assured me he was not going to do anything to the board I was working on.

If you’d like to make a feeder like this, here’s how you do it.

First, don’t be intimidated by power tools. Of course, safely operating power tools is paramount. (Be sure a knowledgeable and experienced person walks you through how to safely use the tools.) My point is, I’ve rarely used a power tool, yet I was able to make this nifty little bird feeder. If I can you can!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Safety Goggles
  2. Safety Gloves
  3. 4″ x 4″ Board (approx. 24″ long)
  4. Tape Measure
  5. Pencil
  6. Miter Saw
  7. Folding Workbench with Clamps
  8. Power Drill
  9. Spade Drill Bit 1-1/4 inch
  10. Optional: Sander
  11. Table Saw (Alternatives are described below.)
  12. Regular Drill Bit
  13. Eye Screw
  14. Optional: Water Sealer, Stain, or Paint

Step 1: Practice Cutting, Drilling, Etc. on a Scrap Board!!!

Practice with a scrap board. I learned from mistakes I made on my scrap board, which kept me from making them on my project board.

Step 2: Cut the Board

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Our Numerous Encounters With a Rather Peculiar Male Cardinal

I must preface this post by saying, I’m not sure if I was attracting a number of male cardinals, but never more than one at any given time, or the same crazy cardinal every time. If the former is true and you’d like to attract male cardinals, then you might try my suggestion mentioned in this post. If the latter is true, then hopefully crazy male cardinals are a common sighting. :)

From our front porch, or as we looked out our kitchen window, we saw a male cardinal perched on our car door ledge, facing the car door window. Both of our vehicles have tinted windows which makes it easy to see your reflection. The bird walked back and forth on the door ledge while staring at his reflection in the window. He intermittently fluttered up a couple inches and then back down onto the ledge.

Then, he became fixated on the door mirror. He would flutter back and forth between the door ledge and the top of the mirror, but mostly he was content to position himself directly in front of the mirror. He would then watch his reflection and “attack” it. This went on for months.

cardinal-on-car2cardinal-on-car1

We finally figured out what he was probably doing. He was a male cardinal, which meant our driveway was his turf. It was his lookout station for all the lady cardinals searching for a handsome mate. Then, some idiot (his reflection) thought he could share the turf with him (the real cardinal). His constant pecking attacks at the mirror were his way of trying to fend off his competition. He just didn’t expect his opponent to stick around so long. No matter how many times he attacked the intruder, the resilient bird just wouldn’t leave!

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Attracting Birds (Homemade and Scavenged Bird Food)

homemade-and-scavenged-bird food

One of my favorite things to do is sit on our front porch and watch (and listen to) all the birds.

Unless you live in the dessert, having full birdfeeders will almost guarantee you a sight to see.

Here are some super easy bird food recipes for hummingbirds and “regular” song birds.

Hummingbird Food

Ingredients:

- Hot Water
- White Granulated Sugar

I got this recipe years ago from one of my neighbors, Linda. She came across the recipe somewhere, and she shared it with me. Hummingbirds LOVE it, and it’s so easy to make.

I’m in my third year of using this recipe, and this year has been the BEST. In the past two years, I usually only had, at the most, three(?) hummingbirds. I’ve got a lot more now! :) So, pray, keep trying, and be patient.

Instructions:

  1. Fill a pan (any pan) about half* full with water.
  2. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Reduce temperature to a simmer.
  4. Pour an equal amount of table sugar into the pan, and stir until it melts.
  5. Bring the mixture to a short boil again.
  6. Turn off heat, and allow mixture to cool.
  7. Once it cools, pour it into a pitcher and refrigerate.

*Allow enough room in the pan for everything to boil without overflowing. Adjust amount as needed, but have equal amounts of water and sugar.

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When Bugs Are Bug’n Ya … Remedies

ladybug

© Reddogs | Dreamstime.com

Exodus 8:20b-21 20b) “… Then say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 21) Or else, if you will not let My people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand…” ‘ “

I love the detailed, historical account in the book of Exodus of how

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Spring and My Rebirth

hosta

Spring is Here!

Spring is such an exciting time for a gardener. Flowers are popping up everywhere; garden plans are on the forefront of the mind; the daylight time is lengthening; and birds are singing, and preparing their nests for the arrival of their offspring.

I suppose if I were to try and sum up spring in a single word it would be rebirth – a rebirthing of perennials, vegetation, gardens, and wildlife (or a life cycle continuation). Spring’s Symbolism

Spring is also symbolic of what many people experience spiritually.

© Ingrid Heczko

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