Showing posts with the label winter feeding

Black Walnuts Stored And Shared In Winter - January 2023

Starting in the Fall of 2021, I started to collect almost a full five-gallon bucket full of Black Walnuts that were falling from our Black Walnut trees in the backyard.  The goal - with that collection - was to try to make some home-brewed Black Walnut stain.  I ended up making a batch and gave it away for Christmas in 2021 .  I wanted to try the process again this past Fall, so I was out there - in the backyard - picking up the Black Walnuts all Fall.  And started to fill the same five-gallon bucket.   That was a once-or-so-per week activity of pickup up a couple handful of green balls and dropping them in a bucket.  I topped the bucket with another bucket with holes - so it would breath.  And left it out in the landscape.   Then, winter came.  And I never did anything with the walnuts.  No stain-making.   I was out back splitting some Norway Maple firewood and noticed the bucket.  I lifted the lid to see that it is loaded with walnuts.  Rotting walnuts.  Or, at least...rotting husks.

New Fly-Thru Bird Feeder - January 2023

In my recently-posted recap/scorecard of what I wanted to do in the yard this past year, I marked the item about getting back into wildlife feeding as a 'miss'.   The reality is that I really ONLY feed the birds and critters during the cold months.  That's something like November to March...usually.   A few years back, the kids and I applied to be a Certified Wildlife Habitat and part of that process is to ensure that your yard is providing - among other things - food.   During COVID, I was home everyday.  And so were kids.  That meant that we had the opportunity to feed the birds and squirrels every morning.  I fed the birds and the kids put cracked corn and various seeds on the perimeter of the fence for the critters to fuel up. I was able to feed the birds everyday because we had this really lovely clear, plastic fly-thru feeder that I bought back in 2018 .  That was a real breakthrough moment for me with birds.  Up until then, I had only used feeders that were closed

Bird Visitor Log: House Sparrow

Back a few weeks ago, I posted a photo of a Red-Bellied Woodpecker that had visited us on our suet feeder as the first documented bird since I was gifted the Field Guide to Birds of Illinois by Nat and the kids for Christmas.  When I posted that, I also created a new tag here on the blog [ Bird Visitor Log ].  That's now a *thing* here on the blog.  And this, becomes the second entry. I snapped that photo above through the kitchen windows (and screens) of what I'm pretty sure is a House Sparrow perched on our feeder.  According to the Field Guide (which you can see below), this is the #1 bird to get to your feeders.  So, that fact coupled with the feathers/patterns/colors make think that we're checking the "House Sparrow" box. From the entry in the book:  "When you put up a new bird feeder, there's a very good chance that the first bird to attend with be a House Sparrow." Turns out, it was introduced to North America from Europe in the

Fly-Thru Feeder Added to #NewOldBackyard

 Over the weekend, I came across this clear plastic round fly-thru platform feeder at where else?  Menards of course..  It comes with a wide, deep platform for seed and a broad, clear plastic dome cover that shelters the seeds and what-have-you from the weather.  I paired it with a Stokes Select Bird Feeder Pole and a Northstates two-way squirrel baffle .  The feeder was a discontinued item and had no packaging on it, so it was a screamin' deal.   It was the last one and marked way down, so I, of course, glommed on to it. I've been thinking of adding a fly-thru feeder to our mix back there.  What's a fly-thru (or fly-through) bird feeder?  Well...they're exactly what you think:  a platform of some type with a roof over it.  That allows birds to fly through and land on the platform.  Instead of perching on the side/edge of a feeder, this one encourages a different behavior and (hopefully) different type of bird. The advantages of a fly-thru feeder, according to