It’s Not This Time of Year Without….

It’s Not This Time of Year Without… making sure that the wildlife, particularly the birds and deer, that inhabit my property have enough food and shelter. My property has been designated as a National Wildlife Federation habitat. That just means that I have the resources on my land to sustain the needs of the wildlife. Water, food, shelter, and so forth. Since I live in the woods, it’s not hard to provide those resources although I do supplement the natural resources to make sure that there is enough for the wildlife that have been pushed into my land by land development all around us.

Since it is still autumn, the squirrels and chipmunks are busily gathering up the nuts that have fallen. The birds still have a few berries to eat. The deer eat both. But just the resources on my land is surely not enough for the plethora of wildlife that frequent my property — from deer, birds, and the small rodents to raccoons and the more exotic foxes and beavers.

Since I do live in a hardwood forest, I have many species of birds visiting my property, particularly woodpeckers. They require a special kind of food to get them through the winter.

The woodpeckers prefer suet that I hang in suet feeders from the trees. When the big pileated woodpecker is around (see picture at the top of the post), the suet vanishes rapidly because it is almost as big as a chicken. When all the species of the woodpeckers are feeding, I buy a lot of suet. They will also eat seeds and nuts from specialized types of hanging feeders. Not only do I have to have food out for the birds but water as well and I have to make sure it is not frozen in winter.

I have dozens of other species of birds. The ones that are here all the time are cardinals, finches of all types, nuthatches (who eat what the woodpeckers eat), thrushes, flickers, sapsuckers, mourning doves, wrens, juncos, and many others. This list is certainly not exhaustive. Many other birds pass through when they migrate. These birds love black-oil sunflower seed and safflower. The finches like thistle and the big blue jays love peanuts. Be careful if you buy mixed bird seed. It is usually full of filler.

I also provide shelter for the birds in the form of bird houses and plat

As for the deer, I provide them with salt and mineral blocks scattered around the property. I also make major purchases of field corn for them and there are often twelve deer at a time standing around the feeding troughs, does and bucks alike. I give them apples as we have them. Sometimes, I think the deer are going to walk right into the house if I’m late in feeding them. Hunting season thins the herd a bit but I have a very high deer population where I live. Raccoons share the corn with the deer.

For me, it surely isn’t this time of year without making sure these animals are well-fed, watered, and sheltered. We have taken their habitat and the least we can do is try to give a bit of it back to them. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #wildlife




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