…who would have thought bird feed would go up so much?!? I enjoy feeding the birds, well, to put it more accurately…I enjoy watching the birds. Before we ever left Illinois, I had started putting food out for the birds, so it was just a natural continuation when we moved here to Kentucky. Last Friday, Garry went into town to buy chicken feed. I sent $20 (expecting change) with him to buy a 50# bag of sunflower seed. When he returned home, he told me the decision I’d been wrestling with about feeding the birds had probably been made for me. The price had gone up $7. At the rate the birds have been eating it would take a 50# bag every 5 days. They feed a lot heavier when it’s so cold and with snow on the ground. I just haven’t felt I could continue at the same rate, but was concerned about cutting them down when they were depending upon it. THEN, I read a Q&A in a bird magazine that was addressing the issue of being gone and not filling the feeder…would the birds starve. The answer was no. They only eat approximately 20% of their diet at a feeder. And they will move on when an area no longer has the food to support them. I was glad to read this as it meant I wasn’t consigning them to starvation by cutting back on what I put out. Although I might have been consigning us to starvation by continuing to feed them. Well, not really, but….
So we decided that we would keep the suet cakes out and fill one feeder each morning. Yesterday the feeder was empty by 3pm. Today there was still nearly half by the end of the day. So maybe it’ll work. If we have snow cover I’ll probably put more out, as it is, the snow is nearly gone thanks to a couple days in the high 30’s, low 40’s.
We have a lot of birds around here. At times there had to have been 12 – 15 (they won’t hold still and let me count) on each feeder (have 2), more on the deck rail, and probably 30 or more (I’m leaning toward the more) sitting in the tree waiting their turn. Even had a few extra visitors: had some brown-headed cowbirds (late migrators) spend a few days; and common grackles, most often called black birds. Discovered we also have White Crowned sparrows and Fox sparrows…both are ground feeders, so they were making sure nothing went to waste along with the Juncos.
This is showing the railing, as well as feeder.
Here are some sitting in the tree waiting for their turn. More are to the right and higher up as well.
At the other end of the deck is another feeder with a similar story. Needless to say we have lots of birds around here. I’ll still be feeding them, just not as much so they’ll hunt for more on their own.
Well, I truly hadn’t intended to be quite so wordy about the birds. Since it’s bedtime and I’m quite tired, think I’ll call it quits for this time. I do have more to write about, so will try in between doing laundry and other things around here tomorrow.