Birds of Prey

By on Feb 10, 2012 in Birds |

During the Flowerland radio show a number of our listeners sent in more backyard wildlife pictures. Here are some pictures from listeners of my radio show this past Saturday. The first picture was sent to us to confirm the Heron nests a tenth of a mile from the Pierson exit on US 131. In addition pictures were sent in by listeners of Cooper’s Hawks, Barn Owls and even a Coyote. In addition I’ve posted a picture of a beautiful owl that visited us at our live event that attracted huge crowds at both the Alpine and Kentwood Flowerland stores. More Birds of Prey sightings with this mild winter. With no or little snow cover to afford protection for mice and voles and other bird of prey snacks, it’s not a “fig-leaf” of your imagination that sightings have increased. Check out this picture from Leigh who snapped this picture in her backyard! Join me along with...

Fowl Play

By on Jan 20, 2012 in Birds |

When the landscape is white and the sky gray and dreary we long for color as we glance out the window. Time for a little “fowl play”. Just the “tweetment” for the winter blues, backyard birding is among the most active hobbies in the United States and Canada. Backyard birds provide color and movement in our otherwise dreary landscapes in January. Our feathered backyard friends have ways of staying warm on cold days. They shiver to increase their metabolic rate, fluff their feathers to provide some insulation and look for cover both from the cold wind and predators. Small birds have the toughest time in winter. For the entertainment they provide we in returnĀ  should consider providing some food for energy and warmth. It’s the least we can do while they’re out there “winging” it. The best of the best bird feed to use is black oil sunflower...

Feathers ruffled by bird seed prices?

By on Sep 22, 2011 in Birds |

It’s no bird tale that the current economy has been a struggle. Even our feathered friends are feeling the effects as free dining at some feeders has been scaled back. At the buffet line the menu item that fills the bill as a favorite entree is black oil sunflower seed for many birds. Black Oil Sunflower seed prices have increased over the past year due to a number of factors. Bird feeding is still a popular activity and great form of entertainment. Dollar for dollar, or should I say bill for bill, compare the entertainment the birds provide out your window compared to your monthly cable TV cost. The reason for the increase is that last year’s crop was not great. Planting delays due to the cold, wet late spring we had this year, early frost this fall and limited carryover stocks from last year have made for conditions that are for the birds….well actually not for the...

Bird Tales

By on May 27, 2011 in Birds |

Recently I planted up a bicycle basket with flowers for a “Petal Power” display at Flowerland and hung the bike in the rafters. Today I noticed a Robin that had a real interest in the bike and the basket of flowers. She made frequent trips to the bike and the flower basket seemed to “fill the bill” for her. Knowing she didn’t have a debit card to make a purchase I went up into the rafters to take a closer look. I soon realized that this bike display was a real “Schwinner” for a nest of baby robins. She made frequent trips feeding worms to the babies in the basket who were oblivious to the humans below them who were making their flowering basket purchases. I really like a good “bird tale” with a happy ending.

Woody Woodpecker

By on May 19, 2010 in Birds |

Check out this great picture of woodpecker damage. As I’ve run the trails this spring I’ve heard a lot of woodpecker activity. Woodpeckers have specialized beaks designed to help communicate territory to rivals and for locating and accessing insects. In most cases woodpeckers prefer dead wood but will make holes in live trees searching for wood boring insects, ants and other insects. The sapsucker will do significant damage seeking insects attracted to the sap. Often you will see damage in horizontal lines and only inches from the previous hole as this picture illustrates!