Welcome to my Bird Blog!

Welcome to all my fellow bird lovers and gardeners! I'm so glad you stopped by.

Migratory bird populations have taken a nose dive in the past 40 years. But you can help bring their numbers back by creating beneficial, beautiful and fun habitats in your own backyard. Discover favorite plants and environments that shelter and feed colorful songbirds, as well as how to make them feel welcome by offering their preferred natural foods.

Grandma Pearl
(Connie Smith)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How to Make a Bird Nesting Basket in 5 Easy Steps

Bird Nesting Basket
by Grandma Pearl
This is a great way to protect your baby birds!  Predators like hawks, ravens, owls, crows, and 4-footed wild animals that might otherwise find nestlings or eggs an easy meal will not be approaching so close to a human habitat!

It's also fun to watch from a distance as the birds hatch and are tended to by Mom and Pop.  After about 2 weeks from hatching, the little ones will take their first short flights.  You can continue to see them beg for food from their parents until they learn to fend for themselves.

Click Here to learn how easy this project is!

Grandma Pearl

Baby Blue Jay Begging For Food!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Easy Treats for Your Backyard Birds

There are lots of creative alternatives to expensive bird seed.  They are just as nutritious, and the birds adore these occasional treats as supplements.

Make a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich for your Birds!
Spread generic peanut butter and or jelly (any kind) on 2 end crusts of bread, and cut into cubes for a treat your birds can't resist. I first cut the sandwich in half in one direction, and then thirds in the other direction. After that you can cut each section once more. I also do this with day old sliced bread or stale donuts, rolls, etc. The birds will think they've found a gourmet restaurant!

Bring Home a "Birdy Bag"
If you eat out, as many of us do on occasion, any leftover bread,rolls, etc. can be added to a take home bag for the birds.  They love baked goods, which are a good source of energy and much-needed calories, especially in winter and spring.  Nestlings need lots of care from their parents, but the parents need an energy boost from the starch and fat in rolls or day-old doughnuts.

So the next time you eat at a restaurant and there are extra rolls, don't forget about your backyard birds!

Cardinals love melon seeds!

Save and easily dry seeds from your own fruits and veggies, like apples, pears, peppers and pumpkins:
If you eat fresh produce, it is easy to dry the seeds from peppers, apples, melons, squash, pumpkins, etc. (Remove the seeds before cooking or baking any of the produce.) Lay a piece of waxed paper or freezer paper out flat in a dry place that will be undisturbed for about a week. Place your seeds in a single layer on top of the waxed paper. I allow at least a week for the seeds to become thoroughly dry. If they are not totally dry, they will mold and spoil.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

White Breasted Nuthatches Enjoying Peanut Butter

My amazing 'upside down' white breasted nuthatches are thoroughly enjoying the suet feeders and peanut butter log.  It seems they prefer hanging upside down more than any other bird I've ever seen.  I love their beautifully dapper markings.  Did you know that they are also known as Devil Down Birds?

Grandma Pearl

Little Devil Down Bird
How to Feed Your Backyard Birds Without Going Broke
Tips to Stop Woodpeckers from Damaging Your House
Best Feeders for Backyard Winter Birds
7 Ingenious Ways Birds Stay Warm

Monday, January 14, 2013

What Are These Little Birds?

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What in the world are these small colorful birds, and why have they descended on my backyard in the middle of winter?  I was intrigued by the size of the flocks, and enchanted by their ‘sweet’ song.  They were so tame, I literally walked among them!  They turned out to be Common Redpolls, but I found them to be anything but common.

It was just after Christmas in the middle of a snowstorm that dumped over a foot of snow here.  I heard the excited chirps high in the tree tops while I was shoveling my way to the woodshed.  They were small birds, and there were myriads of them!  Perched in the dark grey branches on a cold, grey day I found it hard to pick out any colors at all.  Besides that, my glasses would become covered with snow every time I looked upward!
We usually have large flocks of goldfinches that hang around all winter.  That was my first guess, and my second guess was purple finches.  I had read in Audubon magazine that this might be a good year to see purple finches during the winter time.  Although I had seen several purple finches the week before, these did not sound like the lovely and bubbly purple finches that usually appear in spring.  Nor did they say “zeee-zee” as do the goldfinches.  Having finally reached the woodpile, I gathered up enough wood for the day and headed back to the warmth of the house.  By then my fingers and toes were frozen, and my one thought was to start a fire and warm up.
The next day the sun was shining intermittently.  As I glanced out toward the bird feeders I noticed that all 6 of them were loaded with small birds.  It was time to fill the feeders anyway, so I again grabbed my shovel and worked my way out to the hungry birds.  By now they were covering the ground beneath the feeders searching for morsels on the snow.
These friendly little guys didn’t mind my presence at all.  In fact I had a couple of them fly so close as to feel the air from their wing beats.  The nearer I came the more I realized that these were definitely not goldfinches.  Nor were they the purple finches I had seen a week earlier.  In fact, I had never seen these birds in person before in my life.   Read more

Grandma Pearl