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A Light in the Dark

Posted by raely | Added on : March 09, 2013 2:42pm | Last edited: March 09, 2013 2:55pm | Viewed 2939 times | 0 Comments


 A Light in the Dark
My family lives in inner city Flint, MI, surrounded by one of the most depressed cities in America. Feeding birds is one of the things that sparked a light in the dark for us. We don’t have a large backyard but that doesn’t stop us!  We supply 12 different feeders and a heated birdbath in the winter and provide even more feeders in the summer, together with 2 water stations and several bird baths.
We began feeding birds in May of last year, starting with a simple thistle feeder which gave us previews of American Goldfinches. We fell in love instantly with their beautiful colors and melodic whistles, however, the sparrows would drain the food so fast. We quickly got frustrated before discovering the upside down finch feeder. It is so fun to watch the little birds flip upside down though we’ll admit being entertained when the sparrows try it out.
We soon put up many more feeding stations to see if we could appeal to others. That was when we started getting glimpses of new birds, colorful beautiful birds; Cardinals, Blue jays, House Finches, Spotted Doves, Chickadees even saw a Carolina Wren a few times; before long the woodpeckers and nuthatches appeared. We were soooooo excited! We even learned how to feed the birds out of our hands, although nuthatches are the only ones we’ve gotten because we are not patient enough to sit in the cold for the others!

We found the best way to attract such a variety is with different assortments of seeds and feeders. We offer feeders for store bought suet, homemade suet, sunflowers, peanuts, no mess mix, thistle, seed cake, safflower in addition to a general seed mix. We put out upside down feeders, suet logs plus peanut feeders meant for the woodpeckers or nuthatches but they also enjoy the seed cake cage, and platform hanging tray from time to time.
There are thistle feeders designed for the Finches. House finches along with Chickadees, love the sunflowers and no mess mix. We supply a table for fruit as well as seed mixes, chips, bread, crackers, cheerios and other scraps they like, for anyone who wants them. The ground feeder is for the Cardinals or Juncos. We make our own suet along with trying to find seeds in bulk, to save money. We also include a squirrel feeding area set up because if you are going to be feeding bird, you will always have squirrels. We bought dried ears of corn at our local farmers market at the end of hunting season, it was incredibly inexpensive and has lasted us the whole winter. Plus the Blue Jays and Spotted Doves love it just as much as the squirrels.
We love feeding birds. Our hobby lasts year round although the winter is the most rewarding for us. To see the bright colors, hear melodies and see natural life in the middle of the cold, dreary, dead season is just so lightening for our depressed urban wintertime. Happy Birding!




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