Saturday, April 25, 2015

This is for the birds

female goldfinch

boy and girl

What I don't like feeding: a chipping sparrow though this one is sort of cute
This morning the feeder was surrounded by 5 screeching blue jays. They are good at scaring away the birds I don't care for even though they are just pretty, blue crows themselves. No crows yet though the purple grackles (yuck), cowbirds and 2 types of sparrows have found the feeder. For the first week, I just had the 'good' birds: finches, titmice, cardinals and wood hatches but now the 'junk' birds are coming. I have to fill the feeder twice a day to keep up with the demand. The finch feeder is used only by the tiny birds such as the finches and chickadees.

One of the podcasts I listened to was about the effort to save Michigan's bird: the Kirtland Warbler found along the Au Sable River in Northern Michigan and no where else though there are many types of warblers else where. The biggest factor in its decline was considered the cowbird. The cowbird tosses out the eggs of the warbler and lays its own. Mama warbler feeds the ever hungry cowbird. Mean while, no baby warblers survive. Cowbird traps were set (I bet I could catch a whole flock of them here if I tried) and the caught cowbirds were killed by 'thoracic compression'. Soon no cowbirds were left (all came down here to eat at MY feeder) but still no new warblers. WTF? It turns out that the birds only like to nest in one type of tree, the jack pine.  There were acres of jack pine so what was the problem. They will only nest in NEW jack pines, not old ones. Also one can't just plant jack pines: the pine cones need to be activated by being burnt in a forest fire, which are rarer these days due to all the fire prevention measures though if there ever is a fire, it is most likely to be out of control. So prescribed burns were initiated (we have them in Ann Arbor to restore, I kid you not, our prairie). One did get out of control destroying 20,000 acres, 44 houses and one person enraging the locals. What should be done to preserve a species? Cowbirds keep returning and need to be destroyed; new jack pines need to have fires to start.

Today we were to get rid of all our paint cans and used motor oil at the toxic dump off that I received a flyer for in the mail. However it turned out that it was only for Plymouth township residents and they assumed I lived in city of Plymouth (which I don't) Washtenaw county has a waste drop off next week but I bet it will be busier and more time consuming plus that day I have a funeral to go to. Meanwhile at the Money Pit, our shed has been dismantled plus a few other miscellaneous things done. More painting, some yard clean-up and then the final clean-up and we are done. It will be a relief when this is sold.

It warmed up enough yesterday to go biking and extra bonus, very little wind. Before the rain is to hit here this afternoon, I did get a run and short bike ride in. Later dinner with a good friend.
Stopped by to see the grandbabies the other day

another one room school house on my route

glass cutting board I had made a few weeks ago. Looks good in my kitchen

Made its mate later. I am using green accents in my family room

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