It's been a long time coming for this long-mated pair of Canadian Geese.  They have been nesting in our neighborhood pond for years.  And each Spring they build  a nest in a great spot right next to the waterfall/damn where it would be difficult for predators to find.  But, neighbors nearby have been addling the eggs (with a permit) for years, because they do not want the pond overrun by geese and their droppings.

So, the sad tale has been this pair has never experienced the joy of seeing their eggs hatch and then raising their young...............until this year.

I am so happy to share the photo of the babies and one of their parents with you.  They were running away from me as I was trying to capture their photo but you can see the goslings are growing up so fast.  I am delighted by the sight of this family. The parents are so so proud and are keeping their young ones close. 

Just a delightful late Spring day to see this happy family in our pond.

Very sad news today,  a black bear came into our yard and proceeded to destroy the bird feeders.  Not content with the seed, he went for the occupied birdhouse that was hanging from a tree.  He pulled it down, made off with it and then ripped it apart eating the occupants.  So very sad.

I know this is nature, but damn, he had his fill of seed, gosh darn it.  Now what can we do?

No more seed out for awhile in the hopes he'll not return.

So very sad.  Any suggestions as to how we can deter his return and protect our remaining birdhouses and occupants?

Will research and report back soon.

It is the perfect time of year to think about planting some flowers, shrubs and trees that will provide berries and fruit to your birds all year long.  What is wonderful about fruit bearing trees and shrubs is the glorious flowers they produce in advance of the flowers turning to seeds/berries that the birds just love.

If you plant a variety of shrubs that flower and fruit at different times of the year, your birds will have a natural source of food and you won't have to spend quite as much on bird seed either.  It is especially important to have food for birds during the winter months.  This past winter in the NorthEast and for much of the US was especially brutal and not all birds and water fowl survived.  In Michigan, the lakes froze over for such a long time that the mallard ducks died from starvation.  We must all be cognizant of the fact that sometimes nature needs a little bit of help and if we can provide it we must.

Here are some berry producing shrubs that you may want to consider planting this year as suggested by Better Homes & Garden magazine:
  • Viburnum
  • Dogwood
  • Blueberry
  • American Elder
  • Beautyberry
  • Crabapple
  • Eastern Red Cedar
  • Winterberry
  • Chokeberry
  • Staghorn Sumac
  • Wahoo
  • Nannyberry
  • Bunchberry
  • Serviceberry
  • Heavenly Bamboo

    A great source for more about what to plant to naturally feed your backyard birds is from a blog called A Beautiful Wildlife Garden and you may link to it here.

    Another fantastic article in one of my favorite publications (Birds and Blooms) provides more suggestions about what to plant in your yard to feed the birds and other wildlife. To enjoy this recent article click here.

    We have several Holly Trees in our yard that provide a tremendous source of food in the dead of winter.  When the red berries ripen and the snow mounts up, the robins feast on the berries.  It seems that they wait as long as possible before they descend into the Holly trees and devour the berries.  Robins do not eat seed, but love berries and fruit and of course worms which they cannot locate when snow and ice cover the ground.  So, the Holly trees provide that food source for these beautiful birds. 

    Once your yard become bird-friendly, sit back and enjoy the show and listen for the songs from the happy birds living in your yard.  It is pure bliss.



    Jacqueline Totten is a bird lover whose backyard is a true haven for many different wild birds, squirrels, deer, rabbits, fox and an occasional bear.  She keeps the local Feed & Grain in business during the winter months with the amount of bird seed purchased.


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