December 21, 2020 at 12:16 pm #8697
I was treated to a visit from this guy who appropriately topped my font yard blue spruce “Christmas Tree”. I never saw a bluebird in my yard in winter and only a few times in 2019. Hopefully a sign of good things to come. Photos aren’t great but the best I could do.Winter bluebird yard visitDecember 22, 2020 at 2:01 pm #8698
Hi – this bluebird almost looks like a robin in the picture, (so large) but I’m sure you know what it is. My family of blues are here all winter, along with juncos, white crowned sparrows, HOSP, cardinals, etc. The small ones eat peanut butter suet at two cage feeders and the larger birds have a BOSS seed feeder to eat from. Sure puts a smile on my face (which we all need during this trying year) and I feel like I can survive the winter if I have them around. Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas to everyone!December 22, 2020 at 11:12 pm #8699
The lighting was not the best so at first I wasnt positive…but it was the size of a bluebird…definitely not robin sized. When i enhance the contrast and saturation, the blue back really starts to come alive. I have a new Peterson box 8 feet from of that spruce. Maybe he is checking it out.December 28, 2020 at 7:42 pm #8700
Merry Christmas to all. It has been cold but not much snow. Most days are clear and the bluebirds are out. I have been putting mealworms out for them from my feeder stock in the morning and late afternoon (3:30 – 4:00 pm). Since I am raising the worms I have increased the feeding to 75-80 worms. There are usually 9 of them waiting in the trees for the food. They clear the feeder bowl in about 5 minutes so the worms do not freeze. I do have some gold finches, tree sparrows, juncos, cardinals, and woodpeckers that frequent the yard but I have not put up a suet feeder yet.
Carol do you make your own pb suet? If so could you share a recipe. I would like to feed the other birds but do not want to interfere with the blue’s feeding.
p.s. The mealworm farm is going great. I have had hatches of between 3500 – 5000 worms about every 3 – 4 weeks I put a container of around 1500 in the refrigerator after my first hatch in October – and forgot they were there. Found them the middle of December very inert. Had to throw away the whole container. I now have a note on the refrigerator that there is a container that needs a carrot slice once a week.
- This reply was modified 7 months ago by David in Stafford,VA.
Stafford, VADecember 29, 2020 at 10:09 am #8702
David, you may be able to switch over to the dried ones now that you have them coming. My brother puts a pile of them out on a platform feeder and gets about a dozen bluebirds all day long gobbling them up. He gets a giant bag of them on Amazon.
December 29, 2020 at 10:13 am #8704
- This reply was modified 7 months ago by phillyblues.
David, yes I make my own peanut butter suet – just made another batch yesterday. I’m going through it pretty fast due to ALL the birds that are eating, along with 4 or 5 bluebirds. I have two cage feeders (which my former-welder hubby made) so I have birds at both feeders. When the larger birds try to get in, they get really frustrated. Had some large black birds (believe they are grackles) along with the cardinal, try to get in this morning and they got really upset! Here is the suet recipe:
1 cup lard (NOT CRISCO), 1 cup crunchy peanut butter – melt together in micro/wave. Then add 1/3 cup sugar (just enough for energy) until blended well. Then you add 2 cups oatmeal, 2 cups regular cornmeal (NOT cornbread meal), and 1 cup wheat four (can use white but wheat is more healthy for them). Stir this all together – little hard to get mixed but it will blend. You then need to crumble the mixture up a little (after letting it cool). I then spread it out well in a large baking sheet & put in fridge for a couple hours to get cold. Then take it out and crumble mixture up into pea size pieces. Takes a little experience to get the right consistency – if the pieces are too large they will be wasting a lot because they cannot consume it without breaking it up some. Takes a little practice but it is worthwhile. This recipe comes from our forum Administrator, Cher, and is on the http://www.Sialis.org website.
Glad to hear your worm farm is doing well – DON’T FORGET TO FEED THOSE PRECIOUS BABIES. In the summer when I’m feeding worms I put a note in my pocket calendar to feed them every 10=-12 days. I did forget one time and I didn’t think they would ever quit eating those carrot slices!
Happy New Year to everyone – hope this next year is better than 2020! P.S. I just looked at Cher’s recipe on Sialis.org and noticed that recipe is double of mine. I believe I learned that the larger recipe is too hard to mix and get crumbled, thus, I cut it in half. I make a batch about every 10 days.December 29, 2020 at 7:38 pm #8709
Thanks Carol, I am going to try it. My wife will probably laugh at me trying to cook this. Yes, I am feeding a lot of carrots to the mealworms and beetles. At least 3 times a week for the larger feeders and midsized worms and twice a week for the smaller ones. 3 times a week for the beetles.
Here are a couple of photos that I took this afternoon while I was feeding the blues. I am standing about 6 feet from the cage feeder but on the wrong side to get good color on the birds. The ones on the shepherd’s hook behind the feeder are about 10 feet away.
Happy New Year.
Stafford, VAJanuary 1, 2021 at 8:48 am #8710
Thanks for the pics, David – hope your experience with the suet is “memorable”. It does take a few trys to get the hang of mixing – also they will balk at the suet if you are feeding still feeding the worms, which of course, they prefer!January 1, 2021 at 9:03 pm #8711
Thanks Carol. I will let you know how it goes.
Stafford, VAJanuary 3, 2021 at 5:02 pm #8714SassyParticipant
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Wow David, you have some operation going there with your mealworms. My Blues have remained close by so far this Fall and Winter, just fed them about an hour or so ago. They are such a bright spot while we are mostly confined during this pandemic.
I just told my husband that I was going to have to order more mealworms, but maybe I should just do the suet as Carol is doing and save some money. I seem to remember Tammy suggesting something else to mix in the suit but I don’t remember what.
Anyhow, I want to wish all of you a Happy, Healthy New Year. Stay safe!!
Connie (PA)January 3, 2021 at 11:12 pm #8715
Happy new year, Connie.January 4, 2021 at 6:30 pm #8716SassyParticipant
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