Thursday, March 29, 2012

Birds and Flowers

Eurasian Collared Dove

We have a bit over 300 feet of flower beds around our place. I had to get them all weeded and ready for our absence while paddling. Not being sure how much mulch I’d need to refresh the beds, I got 25 bags, which I spread yesterday. It wasn’t just a matter of spreading mulch. We had one large bed that we lost control of during our absence last year, and to make matters worse, it had gotten full of morning glory vines. That took two-days of digging to try to get the roots out. There’s a zero-percent likelihood that I got them all, so we’ll have to monitor that area closely.

Most paddlers love birds, like all wildlife, so I’ll pass on a recent discovery. Jean has raised birds for years, so keeps a pretty close eye on diet. She has been through a lot of wild bird feed formulations, but has found the best to date to be Purina Mills Wild Bird Chow “Bird Luver’s Blend.” A lot of mixes use high amounts of corn because it’s cheap, but corn is of interest only to larger birds (black birds and crows, though cardinals and jays will tolerate it if there’s nothing else).   The Purina blend has very little corn and a lot of various seeds. The birds have been going crazy over it, and best of all, there has been little to no waste. I know we’re getting beyond the winter feeding season when the wild birds depend on our help, but if any of you maintain outdoor feeders in the summer just to keep birds around, you may consider checking out Purina’s feed.

We happened on a flock of Sandhill Cranes that numbered
in the thousands.  Being rare, we reported them to a site that
monitors their numbers and movement.

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