Chicago Sun-Times
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Wild Friday: Hairy holiday treat

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I love muddling about bait shops, but Blain's Farm and Fleet, now that's as close as I come to understanding women . .. and shopping. And, at least in my world, that connects to a hairy woodpecker.

Farm and Fleet is men's heaven. Or something on the way to it.

So I was puttering (what else is there for a guy to do at Farm and Fleet around holiday time, or any time) a week or so ago and realized I had not put out any suet yet for the woodpeckers.

Most years, I will get the usual woodpeckers in my yard, hairy, downy and red-bellied woodpeckers and northern flickers. In really good years, I will see or hear a red-headed woodpecker or two.

For whatever reason, maybe because I put the suet out so late, the woodpeckers did not come in the first few days or I didn't see them. Then today, there was a hairy working around the suet and our maple.

It's just fun to watch how they navigate a tree.

And I didn't have a chance for a photo. But that will come. He found the suet, and it looks like winter is settling in for the long haul.

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5 Comments

Come to think of it, I need to get some winter seed as well. Forgot all about our backyard visitors. Thanks for the reminder, Dale! Off to Farm and Fleet.

Note to all: don't neglect the backyard wildlife during the cold winter months!

Back when I was still in a house rather than this apt now, I used to have several feeders. I can not tell you the enjoyment those feeders gave me. Watching all the various birds (and some squirrel issues)flit about from feeder to feeder and perch to perch was always a wonderful sight during my morning coffee, a great way to start the day! Once we get our first solid freeze it becomes very hard for our feathered friends to find food, so I suggest that anyone with an interest in our wildlife put up a feeder of two, they are relatively inexpensive (although you can spend a fortune if you'd like) and then sit back and enjoy the wonderful "urban" wildlife ! Oh, and be sure to buy your seed at farm and Fleet or a feed store as buying it at your local supermarket is very expensive compared to these other options.

Stocked up at Farm and Fleet Thursday. I'm not sure who enjoys watching the birds, squirrels, rabbits and opossums more, me or the cat.

We have had ducks on the porch and deer walking down street in the north end of Bourbonnais.

Dale: Make sure you buy the good mixed wild bird feed. The cheap stuff has a lot of millet in it. The good ones have peanuts and a lot of other good wood pecker seeds. When you buy your suet tray for the wire basket save the plastic container it comes in. When ever you cook bacon save the drippings and let them cool and pour some of the good seed in the plastic and the bacon grease and spoon around and set it in the freezer.you can also add peanut butter in with the seed. After it hardens pop it out and put it in zip lock bag and you can make another one. Ed

That's a great idea, except I value my bacon grease too much. I save it in a ceramic cup and use it to add seasoning to various dishes. Yes, I am aware it would probably be healthier to give it the birds as suet, but I love the flavor of bacon.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on December 18, 2009 2:10 PM.

WWW Chicago outdoors: Ice and more was the previous entry in this blog.

Wild Saturday: Snowballs and squirrels is the next entry in this blog.

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