Friday, March 30, 2012

Time to Regroup the Bird Feeders...

My family knows and appreciates my enthusiasm in feeding the birds. Every year I am blessed at Christmas time and on my birthday with gifts of new feeders, suet cages, and bags of seed. Over the years I have accumulated quite an assortment. But I learned the hard way that you can't keep your feeders up year 'round in the UP if you want to have them for a long period of time.

The bear are coming out of hibernation and they're hungry.


Also, to my joy this winter, I discovered a wide assortment of new birds up here in the UP, in addition to the finches, blue jays, chickadees, doves, woodpeckers, juncos, and sparrows.


For weeks I thought this little lady was a sparrow. 
But the red spot above her eyes had me baffled.
(This picture isn't mine. I wanted to give you a clear image.)


And she would always be joined by this handsome rolly polly guy.
(This picture isn't mine either.)

But the ones below are mine.


Remember when I posted this picture and asked all of you if you knew what they were?
Silence. So I'm thinking you were baffled, too.


A close up at my feeder outside my window.


After the last snowstorm.
Last week I came across a picture of these birds on Facebook,
and I went ahhhhah! That's my bird!
They are called Common Red Polls.

Below is another newcomer for me.



I showed you these beautiful birds this past winter...Pine Grosbeaks.


And recently I caught a glimpse of yellow and gold fluttering outside my door by the feeder at the corner of my house. I couldn't get a good picture without scaring them all away.
Once again, not my picture, but I wanted to show you a black-headed grosbeak.

It makes me sad to have to take the feeders down, but I will leave one or two old ones up in the tree in the backyard far from a window. The bear are usually too scared to get that close to the house when people are living here. There was a time when we were living downstate that we came up for a visit and my feeder was demolished and there were muddy bear paw prints on my screen, window, and on the siding of the house. I was glad he hadn't broken the window! Like I said, I learned the hard way.


One we caught on camera strolling to the feeders hanging in the tree...


You can pretty much figure out the rest.

I have another animal story to share with you.
Two nights ago Steve, Tess, and I were in the garage. Steve was standing by the window. My dog, Bear, began barking outside in her distressed tone, the way she does when our trapper friend comes over. He usually has dead critters in the back of his pickup truck - beavers, muskrats, otters, etc. - and Bear doesn't like that. We don't think she trusts him, so every time he comes over she barks and growls nonstop, keeping a large distance between herself and the trapper. So, we assumed our friend was coming down the road so Steve popped his head out the door to listen for his truck. At that instant, Ike proceeded to run as fast as he could the opposite way down our driveway disappearing around the corner of the woods onto the truck trail while Bear continued her barking fit at a safe place next to the garage. We thought perhaps they had seen some critter - hopefully not a porcupine. But Ike came back all intact when we yelled for him.
The next morning Steve discovered these tracks.


Moose tracks! 
The tracks made an about-face right at the corner of the woods and our driveway.


We figure there must have been two of them. A smaller one walked down the middle of the truck trail while the larger stayed along the edge. If the dogs hadn't been out, they would have walked right in front of the house. I better keep the dogs in and my camera ready!





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