Wren's Nest had a nice article up today on making bird freeders out of coffee cans:
I added a comment with some links to the bottom of the article at WN. I may add to these notes and put them in the Feb. newsletter. I've always wanted to make a For the Birds page at FCE and Feb/March is a good time for that.
I'd like to include notes on why Valentine's Day occures in February and why our holidays celebrate life during such a cold, dark season (it has to do, in part, with ancient fertility rituals, which in turn relate to lambing season and the fact that this is when birds begin mating).
Comments at WN:
Wonderful article! Thank you, Wren.
Here in California, we like to make Healthy Seed Bells for birds and hang them in the trees. It's a nice project for kids and it's easy to do - This is also a nice thing to add to your rituals in February & March.
My Mom lives in Southern Oregon and they've had snow there this winter. She keeps her seed feeders full for the yellow finches and the juncos. She also put out the occasional pine cone hung upside down with peanut butter on the underside of the seed scale. Suet is also very good for them and you can find it on sale for about $1.00 a bar at most bird & feed stores.
Here is a note for you pine cone lovers:
Most are gone by now on migration (unless it is an Anna's Hummingbird, which live where we are) but you might see some and they do need food (and no, keeping the feeder full won't stop them from migrating - that is a myth) However! hummingbird feeders should be taken down and cleaned every 3 days or the sugar mixture become moldy and kill the birds!
Hummingbirds can go into a state of torpor during cold temperatures. In this state, they might appear to be dead. The hummingbird can conserve energy this way. As soon as the bird warms up, it will revive and all of its functions will return to normal. If you find a hummingbird hanging upside down on your feeder in the morning, do not assume that it is dead.
My hummingbirds love my sages, lavender, and rosemary plants. My Waverly sages are blooming right now and they feed the birds all winter. I like gardening for Hummingbirds; it's easy and your garden is alive and healthy all year long.