Monday, November 7, 2011
Feeding the Birds
My husband and I agreed that it was time to stop feeding the birds. I've seen numerous posts on the internet about the increasing cost of bird food. Without expensive seed like Niger, I was mostly feeding sparrows and chickadees, magpies and a few quail and in spring, a duck family.
So last spring, I decided to quit at a time when they could find their own but they never went away. They sat out in the hedge calling and cheeping. What could I do? I had some cereal no one wanted to eat, one of those healthy ones that tastes like bird food. They loved it. Then I had some stale wholegrain bread and healthy muffins with peanut butter, a little bit of oatmeal, stale raisin bran, 9 grain cereal. The magpies came by so I added fat scraps from the ham and leftovers. Nothing like seeing a magpie try to balance on a line with half a muffin in his beak or a couple strings of spaghetti.
I've been feeding it for two months now and I think I have every sparrow in the neighborhood including a few song sparrows. The flock of California quail has tripled and I don't think they'd leave the yard except for the neighborhood cat. The magpie family is up to 8 or 9 now and they call if I forget to put it out or sleep in.
The good news is I've cut down my cost of feeding the birds to about half and am recycling leftovers too