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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bird and deer soliloquy


Carol and I went to breakfast this morning, to solve world problems. I feed the birds, she feeds everything (“…but I only put out four cans of corn and that’s all those deer get until tomorrow!”). It has been a tough winter; another forecast two inches fall as I type. Early in the morning Tom has startled deer that have joined the grounds crew under the feeders, and Jan counted a flock of seventeen turkeys passing through.

I've posted this little fellow’s picture before. From the size it is one of the fawns I saw very late in the season, September, October. Actually there are two of them. I see them often on the golf course; it seems to be their haven home. They are not together and not with the herds of deer that use the golf course.



Carol said she has two sad cases at her feeders; one a runt with one useless leg, and a grown deer with a badly injured back leg. They come singly and must be there before the group; otherwise they are blocked out of the feeders. Literally shunted aside. I wonder if that is why the two little ones I see are always alone, as well as separate.

I stopped in the drive this afternoon to admire the bird feeders and especially the ingenuity of the cowbirds. We deterred the big wanton birds from the feeders on either end by filling them with safflower seed. The middle feeder has “the good stuff”, and is adjusted so only the lighter birds can use it.

Jan’s studio window overlooks Station 61, and she told me one day we have defeated the starlings and grackles, but the cowbirds defeated the system, and keep others away by simply being on the ring, closing the feeder holes. They open a hole by one upward flap to lift their weight, get a nosh before their weight descends. I sat in the drive and watched two of them hog that feeder, simply to keep other birds away. I rest my case for not feeding them, too. As if it has done much good.

Ninety minutes later I was home again and went out to “shoot” them. Of course they were done for the day, and I had a female redbellied woodpecker on that feeder instead. This actually is a fun exercise; she demonstrates the system. She’s big; maybe nine inches, almost weighs too much and is too large for comfort. The holes are partially closed and might close entirely if she were upright.



She, however, is miffed because I have not refilled the safflower block at the other end of the line. Well, the hairys, the downeys and probably Mr. Redbelly have worked their way through the safflower block, which will not be replaced until Laura and I get back to the store later this week. To quote Carol, that’s all you get until tomorrow.




This block was finished in ten days. The cardinals like it, too, and I had a little red friend watching me from way up on the oak tree. "Will she refill it? Will she?"




28 comments:

  1. In Florida once, I was working on a new-build house, and I saw a Cardinal bird fly past. Never seen one before. "What do you call those birds?" I asked a local. "We call them 'red birds'" he said. I researched them myself later.

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  2. You have some hungary birds in your back yard but your winter was extra cold this year.
    Merle...............

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  3. I am definitely getting a feeder next year.

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  4. Your pictures are so crisp and clear. They are just wonderful and worthy of framing.

    The winter has been hard on us, but even harder on the animals.

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  5. I just love your photos, Joanne, thank you so much for sharing.

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  6. Good shots. My sister just saw a hummingbird so now I'm making nectar. I get so much joy from all our birds. However we are dipping back into a low temp tonight. I had to cover the flowers as spring is here.

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  7. Love your photos - and your feeders which are MUCH more high tech than ours.
    I wonder whether the two fawns would get along with each other and form a team. It is sad that they are on their own.

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  8. Those feathered visitors are a nice reward for all your efforts. I'm always jealous of bloggers who can show off their cardinal friends. Nothing that flashy here. No deer wandering by but we get an occasional moose. Doubt they'd be interested in bird seed. I like those clever feeder designs.

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  9. It is fun to see the birds that come to eat at your feeders; we don't have some of them here. I would feel sorry for the deer, wondering how they are getting fed and worried about those with a disability, hoping someone is providing food for them. Such a long winter for so many of you!

    betty

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  10. You and your family are heroes to these wild birds -- keeping them going strong through this unusual stormy winter. Your camera is taking wonderful photos. Or I should say I say you are taking wonderful photos with your wonderful camera. Nice post --- barbara

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  11. I love your birds and feeders. I saw an entirely different kind of "feeder" today while out walking. Along a section of a walking trail through a park, someone had tossed whole loaves of stale bread and the magpies were having a feast.
    I hope the two single young deer manage to make it through the remains of winter, it seems odd they are not with a group.

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  12. Wildlife is having such a tough winter ,I'm wondering what this will do to overall numbers.
    Jane x

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  13. Your pictures are wonderful! They remind me of what I miss most about America besides family and friends and that is the great variety of very beautiful birds...

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  14. I am a huge feeding fan. :) I was feeding the birds last year when my feeder was suddenly broken. Apparently the Guinea fowl that lived in the area and are the size of small dogs, were helping themselves. Those were the ugliest most interesting birds I have ever seen. I was sad to leave them when we moved.

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  15. What a wonderful wildlife display you llive with.

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  16. love to see you are taking care of the local birds, apparently feeding deer corn isn't good for them, can't remember where I read that it does something to their digestive system and makes it not function properly in the spirng. our neighbors in California were feeding the deer corn and the deer became territorial and almost killed our dog and attacked Gary on his tractor, they only backed off when he raised the bucket on the tractor. luckily the fish and game came and made our neighbors stop feeding the deer. two other dogs in our subdivision were killed by deer.

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  17. We have deer walk through the park at sunset to get to the pond which is in the front of the park. One of my campers spotted a rather large bobcat sauntering the back road last week, so I think my deer are staying up front. The geese have returned to the pond and are busy getting nests ready. I saw that my Killdeer had returned just last week. Same two, I am pretty sure. They answered my dweep dweep and let me approach. We had a little chat ..... well, I spoke and they watched me whiling turning their heads from side to side and watching me closely.

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  18. Hari OM
    oh these are fabulous shots!! The red cardinals look so exotic... for that matter so does the woodpecker. YAM xx

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  19. oh I started to think of a reply about messing with the rules that Mother Nature plays by but I don't think I will and just enjoy your great pictures.

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  20. What an excellent camera you have! Sorry to hear about those handicapped deer.

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  21. Those are gorgeous photos and during winters like these the animals can use all the help they can get!

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  22. " I feed the birds, she feeds everything"
    I like that line

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  23. Careful. They might come knocking on your door soon.

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  24. Dear Jane,
    The red bird is so beautiful! As to defending against big birds: on my balcony I found a lot of crushed flowers - till I saw: doves sitting with their fat bottom on them... trying to chase sparrows, finches and tits away. Now I chase them, they also greedily pluck cat mint, maybe to stuff it into their nests. As it gets warmer every day, I will soon stop feeding at all. My best wishes that your weather changes soon!

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  25. Ah! I can't wait for the cardinals to come back. Minneapolis is pretty much covered with crows and sparrows, for the time being. I've not seen a robin yet.

    The turkeys, of course, never leave (neither the human or bird variety!)

    Pearl

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  26. That cardinal looks really put-off. Better get something out there.

    The lone deer are so vulnerable. Beautiful writing!

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  27. Love this. There is such joy in just taking in Nature.

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