Today is Thursday, August 17, 2017

Come and Get It, Birdseed That Is

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I am writing this article a little earlier than I had planned on because I will be on special assignment, hopefully in Tunica Mississippi and Memphis Tennessee. I am starting to sound like my good friend, Coleman Walker, when he has to be away from the microphone for a period of time.

I can't figure out where all of the groundhogs are coming from. Just a few week ago, I caught one in one of my live traps and turned him or her back into the wild on a good friends piece of property. That was over a five mile departure from here and surely wouldn't think that he hitchhiked back here. I guess I will have to set my trap again and hope for the better. If I catch it again, I will take it somewhere over the river.

Some people do not feed the birds here during summer months. Instead, they will help the birds get through the worst part of winter, when the food source is scarce. Myself, I feed all year round, which helps me see some of the migrants that will come through during spring and fall migration.

Others will have problems with those furry little rodents we call squirrels. Some people will have other names for them that I can't put into print. 90% of the feeders that I use are made from steel, while the other is a small plastic tube type that I fill with Safflower seed. My squirrels do not care for those seed, so I am safe using a 4 dollar feeder. I have purchased a special feeder that holds an ear of corn, which should keep the little buggers happy.

Safflower seed is the way to go because of what I mentioned in the last paragraph, and the usual birds will eat them like M&M's, my favorite. They are a little bit more expensive than sunflower seed, which seems to be my favorite feed all. Chickadees and Titmouse and even some more rare birds love them. During spring and winter migration, I will find Rose-breasted Gossbeaks lining up at the lunch counter.

My old favorite, is the Black Oil Sunflower seeds. It seems that almost everything, including House Sparrows, and even chickens love that. It is more money for your buck and easy to refill.

Another standby is the millets, red and white. I use these especially for my ground scratchers such as Rufous Sided Towhees and other small sparrow type bird. Some people use this seed and then will find themselves inundated with House Sparrows.

Right now, where I spread the millet, many plants have germinated , see photo. These plants will feed a multitude of birds and is what they are used too anyway. I have watched sparrows fly up to the tops and ride the seed stalks to the ground, where they feed at leisure.

Another local favorite is feeding the Nyger seed, or as we used to call it thistle seed. You will find that Goldfinch love this stuff. Chose wisely to save yourself money and get the right birds to your feeders. This seed is imported and also heat treated to prevent germination. This makes the seed more expensive.

I love to keep out raw peanuts which the Bluejays love. I never see them eating them, but they must take them and hide them for later consumption. Bluejays make a great watchdog against hawks and other four legged predators, mainly someone's cat. Keep the area around your feeders cut so some animal can't hide, waiting to ambush your feathered friends.

If you like the Woodpeckers, you need to put out suet cakes. I have designed mine to hang up-side down where most others can't figure out how to get to the treat. Of course my Mockingbird learned the fine art of dangling and has no problem at all getting to the suet.

I heard from my good friend Donna Foster Jones where she had a Hummingbird at her feeders this past Friday. Donna lives out close to Memphis in Collierville Tennessee. This has been the latest reported Hummer for me.

I would love to hear from you as to what's lurking about in your neighborhood and at your feeders. You can write me at, 606 Fairview Ave., Lebanon, TN, 37087, or e-mail me at,

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Our Feathered Friends
Ray Pope
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