Today is Saturday, August 19, 2017

It's Cold for the Birds, and Me Too

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Red-breasted Nuthatch

By the time you get to read this, I hope that I survived the cold arctic air and will be on my way to Reelfoot Lake to watch the Bald Eagles. My body doesn't like cold weather at all and I'm ready for spring time to get here much sooner than what the calender shows. Back when I was a child, my brother and I would stay out in the snow and play all day until our mother called us inside for supper. Age sure takes its toll and now it seems like I am about froze to death when the temperature gets below sixty degrees. Just for your information, it is warmer in Nome Alaska, than what it was right here for the past couple of days.

Yesterday, Anthony Gray and myself headed back out to the same place that we visited last week, to do a little more exploring. It was great to finally meet the owner of the property. Sharon Rosser was home this time and was eager to walk with us and show us around. We walked almost the whole property in a circle that seemed to be an old road bed. I asked Sharon if she ever found Red-breasted Nuthatches there and she told me that they sometimes came into the feeder area.

Other beautiful features on her homestead was several large sinkholes, covered in a soft carpet of green moss and ferns. This will be a great place to do a little discovering after the weather turns a bit warmer. I might guess that there may be some caves there, which is another of my favorite things to do. If any of you personally know Anthony, just ask him about our favorite cave story.

Before we left Sharon's place, I asked if we could help her fill her bird feeders. Sure, sounded like a plan to me. She is in a lucky place where I didn't see the first starling. I should be so lucky. Across the fence from her home, next to a large pond, were several members of an Eastern Bluebird family. The pond had a layer of new ice on the surface and several places looked like bubbles frozen into the ice that shone like huge diamonds in the bright sunshine. After the feeder fillup, we were amused watching the Downy Woodpecker coming down a tree in reverse. I am not sure how to describe this.

Two weeks ago, I gave Anthony a suet feeder in hopes of attracting some of the Woodpeckers to his home. I am afraid that my good intentions backfired on me. Anthony says he remembers now why he quit putting out suet. Every starling for miles came to eat the special treat, and now he is afraid that they have came to stay. Sorry Bubba.

Since there is a Northern Mockingbird that decided to take up residence here, I emptied my peanut feeder and filled it up with raisins and he/she seems tickled that they now have some delicious currants for their eating pleasure. The only thing bad about having Mockers, is that they tend to run everything else away from the feeders, even though they only eat one type of food that is available. It makes no difference because he can't protect it all at the same time anyway.

Speaking about the habits of the Mockingbirds, there are some good points to them. At the Lebanon Senior Citizen Center, the landscape includes a couple different types of holly bushes. Anywhere you have holly bushes, you have a perfect territory for a Mocker. When you have Mockingbirds, they will chase off any starling that tries to eat their berries. That alone makes them one of my favorite birds.

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
Anthony Gray, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Sharon Rosser
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