Wilson Post Blogs
Our Feathered Friends - Sept. 26
What a beautiful weekend we had for the Mt. Juliet Pow Wow, held at the Mundy Memorial Park, just south of I-40. A cold front came through in the late afternoon, and dropped the temperature into the 70s. It was good to see an old friend, Hootie the Barred Owl, from the Wilson County Fair, and I truly believe that he recognized me and my hooting. Tragedy was narrowly averted when the American Kestral somehow chewed through his leg strap and flew off. I was watching the dancing from the other side of the arena, when I thought that I saw something fly from around Marty Rush's booth. Luckily the bird did not make it more than a few yards, before it landed and was captured and returned. Most likely the Kestral would not survive on her own, since it hasn't learned the fine art of catching its prey.
Now that fall is here and the temperatures will start dropping, it is a great time to clean out your birdfeeders and restock with it with fresh seed. Be careful and watch for wasp nest since the feeders were probably hanging out through the summer.
I plan on hanging out a new feeder this winter that will dispense safflower seed that Chickadees and Titmouse love, as well as our Northern Cardinals. Squirrels won't bother it as they don't like it. For some of you that are having squirrel problems, get a large container from the grocery store of cayenne powder and sprinkle it on the seeds in your feeder. It will not bother your birds, but it will keep the squirrels out of the food. If you like to hang out suet cakes, you can find some with a pepper mix, it really works.
Cooler weather also means that mice will be invading our houses. Most any store can sell you mouse proof containers for seed storage. I keep a pair in my laundry room just for that purpose. Before I bought them, mice destroyed a ten pound bag of safflower seed that I had forgot in the corner. What a mess.
Several months ago, where my old van sat, the grass was dead and I would pour out Millet seed on the ground to keep my Mourning Doves happy. Several plants sprouted and now the plants have matured with plenty seeds all over. This afternoon, there were several birds hanging on the stalks and picking off the seeds. It was getting dark and couldn't find my small pair of binoculars for identification. Maybe I should sleep with them around my neck where they will always be at arms length.
I have been in touch with Greg Armstrong who teaches biology at Friendship Christian School. Greg wanted me to talk to his students on the subject of identification of birds, and their distinct vocalization. My good friends Charles and Gail Morris have offered for me to have the students over to their home on Old Hickory Lake in the Spring Creek area. I have been there before with Karen Franklin along with her two children Anna and Nick for a great morning of bird watching. Gail takes great care of her avian friends and has a wonderful location to watch them from the many windows of the back side of the house. There is a nice winding path from the house to the boat dock at the lake to look for shore birds. If I were to design the perfect home, this would be it.