Choosing a Birdfeeder

Bird feeders and houses @Lowe's-CS_2008aug02_LAH_5113-1There are about a zillion bird feeders on the market. They come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. They’re made from anything from plastic to wood to gleaming copper. Some hang from supports or tree branches, others perch on posts, attach to deck railings, or are anchored at ground level. Some feeders are designed to attract squirrels and others claim to exclude them. There are feeders to match every kind of seed, from tiny nyjer to peanuts in the shell, plus specialized feeders for corn cobs, suet, meal worms, jelly, fruit halves, and sugar water. With so many to choose from, how can one possibly decide which is the perfect feeder to buy? Continue reading

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December Bird Quiz: Uncropped Photo

If you were stymied on Monday, now can you name this bird? The photo was taken in Texas in January. The answer will appear at the end of next Monday’s post.

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Keep Molasses in the Kitchen

Gingerbread man_Erie_LAH_6072There has been a sudden flurry of articles and ads all promoting molasses as a valuable garden fertilizer/weed killer/pesticide. I find the latter use particularly humorous. Molasses is sweet. Won’t that attract critters? I bet our resident bunnies would adore molasses-coated shrubs.

I have two bits of advice about using molasses in the garden. My first recommendation is to invest in Grandma’s Molasses stock. If my Pinterest feed is any indication, molasses should sell well in the near future.

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December Bird Quiz

Can you name this bird? The photo was taken in Texas in January. I will post the uncropped photo on Saturday, giving you one more chance to identify this bird. The answer will appear at the end of next Monday’s post.

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Ugly

Rhinocerous @Denver Zoo 2009-02-14 LAH 307

The rhinoceros, naked mole-rat, and Marabou stork aren’t going to win any beauty contests. They consistently appear on lists of the world’s ugliest animals. But  I beg to differ. In my eyes, all creatures are beautiful.

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Gimme Shelter

House Finch_LaVeta-CO_LAH_2316The summer birds have all departed for southern climes or lower altitudes. Many of our human friends have done likewise. Those of us who remain are simmering soup, digging out winter clothes and making sure our homes are snug and warm. The birds who hang around all winter have the same needs—high energy food, winter clothes and snug, warm homes.

We can’t help much with the wardrobe—birds already have down jackets! When they get cold, they simply puff up their feathers, trapping warm air against their bodies. This works remarkably well—until the wind kicks in. And we have a lot of wind.

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Birding India: Okhla Bird Sanctuary

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India is a fascinating country, diverse, multicultural, and intense. It assaults your senses. From the flavorful, spicy food to the bright colors, honking cars and trucks (it’s considered polite to let others know you’re there), and constant motion of both pedestrians and traffic, it’s easy to overload. I love India, but it wears me out!

We landed in Delhi after an uneventful flight from Bangkok, collected our baggage, and piled into a taxi for the ride to the hotel. Because we were there primarily for my husband to attend some meetings, any birding I managed to fit in would have to be local. Would I find any birds in a city of 25 million? Continue reading

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