Birdies & Birdhouses

By Jean Woods

Birdies and birdhouses, ponds and birdbaths, birdfeeders and BEARS! Here we go again. It seems just yesterday the bears were waking up and hunting for birdfeeders filled with their favorite BearFood. Suddenly here it is time for them to start stocking up for the long winter slumber. I have actually figured out the formula though, I simply make sure there is no food left in the feeders after dark. This has worked fabulously!!

I must admit that other than a little general maintenance consisting of cleaning the birdbath fountain and the pond, and making sure that the birdfeeders and birdhouses are in good repair, I have neglected my garden. My neighbor laughed at me yesterday when I told him I was spring cleaning. Yeah in time for winter? he said. We both cringed. Winter can come very early here and we are enjoying the lengthy warm spell even if we have had no rain at all.

The chickadee babies are having the best time at the new bird feeder (courtesy of the bears). You can tell they are the babies because they all have bad hair days. For some reason the babies can't seem to control their feathers so they go all this way and that. They have a ton of fun zipping past me so close I think they will run me over, but they don't. They will sit quietly on the birdfeeder and watch me as long as I don?t move too quickly. Mom and dad are always close and are usually sitting on the birdbath or the plum tree while the kids eat. They seem to have moved from the little birdhouse they started out in to a larger one in the back yard.

I haven?t had as many migratory birds as usual at the bird feeders, but that might be because of a change in the bird seed mixture. I still can't find the one I used to get so now I am making my own by adding dried berries and cherries to the seed mix. The grosbeaks came back but didn'?t move in close so I don?t get to watch their goofiness at the birdfeeders or the birdbath this season. I miss those noisy guys a lot. I do see the female that hatched here last year occasionally though so she might be staying close by.

Although this series is usually about birdies I want to add a few thoughts about the bears this season. If you live in bear country remember a fed bear is a dead bear and garbage kills bears. Make sure you don't feed them at either your trash or your birdfeeders, this acclimates them to humans and makes them more apt to break into houses seeking groceries. Empty your birdfeeders at night or bring them inside. Moth balls make a great critter deterrent put them in old socks and tie to the lid of your trash cans. You will never have another dog, raccoon, coyote or bear spread the garbage around the yard.

About the Author: After working for over 20 years in an office, I finally decided to do what I want to do. I've traveled to many countries and finally settled down in N. California. I work from home selling what our feathered friends need; shelter and a place to eat.


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