With each day of the new year passing as quick as a wink, springtime is in full bloom in many parts of the country, especially here in Texas. The bluebonnet wildflowers are breathtakingly beautiful lining the roadways as well as the indian paintbrush. Most all the trees are bursting with new life and some have popped in full bloom.
The birds are busy hunting the perfect spot for a nest to raise their young. How many of you have had the pleasure of finding birdseed in your shoe this spring? If not, get busy putting up those feeders and houses so you will not miss a moment of the birds in springtime.
And as an added bonus, the little hummingbirds will be arriving soon so don’t forget to put up the hummingbird feeders in the same place you hung them last year. They will check out the spots they fed from previously and you certainly don’t want to disappoint the little fellas. They give you so much joy throughout the summer darting around and enjoying the feeders.
This happened to me several years ago when I lived along a lake and near a nature center wildlife refuge. There were always an abundance of birds at my feeders and this particular day the cardinals were everywhere.
I decided to grab my camera and snap a few shots of their beauty. So many cardinals eating at one time, with their bright red feathers against the silver feeders, made a colorful picture.
Just as I was about to take another picture, this big fellow, a flicker woodpecker, swoops in and flies right in front of the camera.
Of course, the cardinals were startled and flew away in every direction to escape, but the magnificent photo I got by accident was the best ever.
So I would say, the moral of this story is that photobombing is not always a bad thing, especially when it comes to birdwatching.
It has been cold and rainy the last couple of days here in Texas. Somehow these little blooms keep hanging on.
We are all snuggled inside our warm homes wondering if this is the beginning of a long winter season.
I can’t help but think of my backyard birds who quickly come to grab a snack and then fly off to escape the pouring rain.
Do you wonder where birds go during inclement weather? To a hidden nest among the tree branches or into the bushy shrubs, into a pile of wood stacked high against the fence, or even underneath the flaps of the patio tent for protection and warmth. We all hope they are snuggled inside the nesting boxes and birdhouses we have left up for the unpredictable weather.
I care so much about my backyard friends, that I wish I could give each one a nice warm “birdie blanket” to snuggle up to. Of course, I know that is not a practical idea — only a crazy bird loving old lady would want to make “birdie blankets”!!
But what I can do and you too as well, is put warm water in the bird baths, or install a small birdbath heater to keep the water from freezing. Also, cover the feeders with a domed weather guard to keep the seeds and birds dry and fill the feeders with a high fat oil content seed to provide energy.
So when you are hearing the weather forecast for a dip in temperatures and you scurry to cover up your favorite flowers, don’t forget to “winterize” your bird feeders as well.
Personally, I enjoy them in my backyard. Unlike my neighbor, who waves a very large folded umbrella wildly thru the air to shoo them away when the squirrels sit on the fence.
Squirrel antics are fun to watch. Whether it’s filling their cheeks full of nuts or going to great lengths to reach the feeders, by stretching their bodies into a long slender line while hanging upside down.
They have soft silky fur with bushy tails and large eyes. There are many types of squirrels with a variety of colored fur.
I know they can be mischievous and even destructive if they get inside your attic or they decide your patio cushions will make great bedding for their nest.
Taking some precautionary measures to keep squirrels at bay will allow you to still enjoy them as your backyard entertainment. And please, don’t chase them away waving an umbrella, your neighbor may just be trying to get the perfect photo.
Happy Birdwatching, my friends, and Squirrel Watching too.
In a lot of areas, the hummingbirds are still very active. Be sure to keep your feeders clean and free of mold. I change out my hummingbird food and wash out the feeders every two days because this warm south Texas weather causes the mold to form pretty quickly.
I use hot water, a bottle brush, and a pipe cleaner to scrub away the tiny particles of mold. Take the feeding ports apart and the pipe cleaner works well inserted into the ports of the feeder. The bottle brush is a handy tool to have to clean the tube of the feeder which allows reaching areas you may miss otherwise.
I refill my feeders with sugar water I make. I do not use the store bought or red colored hummingbird feed. My recipe is 1 cup of water to 1/4 cup of white granulated sugar. Mix together in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Allow mixture to cool completely before pouring into feeders. I have several feeders I change out at one time, so I make 4 cups at once which allows for plenty of clean food for the hummingbirds.
The beautiful little hummingbirds will grace you with their presence regularly since they are counting on us to keep their fuel available for their long migration when they depart.