Some birds have been returning to our area for the season and both Dora and I have been sad that we can’t feed them like we did last year. For those of you who haven’t been reading my blog for long, here is a short summary of what happened to our feeders last year: We woke up one morning to find our bird feeders completely destroyed. We were standing there, staring at the feeders in disbelief, shaking our heads sadly, trying to puzzle out why vandals would feel the need to so thoroughly destroy our feeders and worrying a bit about how strong the vandals must be, when Tertia came back from walking our dog and pointed to three bears headed our way. Once we thought that the bears had departed the area, we rushed out to clean up the bird feeder mess, realizing that the bears must have been attracted to it. Then the mother bear suddenly charged at Mr. Mo from behind our neighbor’s house while he was trying to dispose of the food and so forth and so on…. I then made the big mistake of calling the Department of Wildlife to report the bears and ended up getting chewed out for putting out bird feeders, given that I lived in “bear country” (which was news to us). To top the whole thing off, a law was passed a couple of months later, which makes it illegal to feed bears, knowingly or otherwise, in the State of Washington. This year, I briefly toyed with the idea of placing bird feeders in our backyard, but was a bit worried that the bears would just climb over our fence. Plus, I didn’t really want to attract birds to the area where our fruit trees, berry plants, and vegetable garden are.Still, we have been really missing the company of all the birds who visited our yard last year. So, we finally decided to set out some nesting materials for the birds. We filled a suet cage with some scrap yarn and wool roving. Dora was very interested in this project and insisted on picking out and cutting the yarn herself, which is why the yarn is a bit brighter than I would have chosen. Maybe the birds don’t care, but I kind of felt that they might prefer colors that lent themselves more towards camouflaging a nest, but who am I to argue with a four-year-old? I did get to pick out the wool roving, however, so I chose a natural, undyed Alpaca wool for that. Thus far, the birds have not opted to take any of our offerings, but our tree is still a bit bare for the birds to be hanging out in. In fact, the only birds we’ve seen thus far, have been robins and sparrows eating worms from the grass in our yard thus far.What about you and your family? Do you set out feeders or nesting materials? If you set out feeders, do you have problems with bears or other unwanted guests? If you set out nesting materials, what types of materials have you found that the birds in your area like best?
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