Mammal Feeder

I bought a bird feeder to put in the mini-backyard at the condo I live in a few years ago.  And while I do get the usual cardinals and chickadees and assorted LBB (little brown birds), I mostly get mammals.  Thus it is more of a mammal feeder.  And today I saw the first chipmunk of the year at my feeder! Chipmunks are inactive during the winter so this is a sure sign that spring is underway and I thought I would spend a post recounting the various mammals that my mammal feeder has attracted.

The first is obviously the squirrels with whom I have waged a seemingly un-winnable war:

It is pretty fun to bang on the window and watch them all freak out though

They seem to love the endless challenge of the baffles I put on and around my feeders and have grown to enjoy the spicy taste of the hot pepper spray.  They have worked together with the raccoons to get into the metal container where I keep the seed.  And of course, they have perfected the art of dog-taunting:

Very soon squirrel, very soon.

AHHHH! WHAT IS THIS FORCE FIELD?!

And there are those under the porch dwellers and drifters, that have included raccoons possums, skunks,and rabbits:

‘Allo there, can I borrow a cuppa sugar?

As well as one very contemplative woodchuck:

How much wood could I chuck? What does that even mean?

And of course, my little buddy Norbert the chipmunk who was tame even by chipmunk standards.  Chipmunks are total foodsluts and I probably could have had him jumping through hoops for peanuts, but all I really wanted was to cuddle.

I haven’t seen him since that summer so I’m a little worried due to the high volume of cats in the neighborhood, but maybe he just found a better meal over at the retirement home across the way.  Them old ladies are pretty free with their breadcrumbs.

Happy first day of chipmunk season to you all!

Flower Crowns

So I was very excited last week to discover that it is crazy easy to make chains of flowers for crowns and necklaces and bracelets.  Are you ready for this?  Here is what you need:

1. Flowers                                                                                                                                  2. Thumbs

I did this with my cousin over the weekend for Easter and we had a blast! Here are the steps:

1.  Collect flowers.  Flowers that work best have relatively long stems and must be herbaceous (non-woody/tough stems). I have heard dandelions and daisies work well.  We used my mom’s violets pansies from her planters….er…thanks mom!  Make sure you pick them so you have an inch or more of stem.

2. Use your thumb to make a slit in the stem a little ways down from the flower and then thread the next flower through it.

3. Pull tight and then put a slit in the next stem for the next flower.  Continue on adding flowers until the length you would like it reached.  Finish by making a second slit in the first flowers stem and pushing the last flower through it.

Kids can easily do this with a little practice!  Here is my cousin with her finished crown.  She decided to put two daffodil into it as well…I would advise cutting the stems shorter but she liked the “antenna”:

Happy Spring!

NestCams & WildCams – Keeping up with the Bird-Dashians

Say good bye to whatever you were planning on getting done today…

It’s nesting and baby-makin’ season and there are some amazing live web cams set up to view a whole host of species as they go about their lives.  Please let me know if you know of others!

Cornell’s NestCams have some exciting stuff going on right now including:

Great Blue Heron and Red-Tailed Hawk with their newly laid eggs. 

The Raptor Resource Project also has several cams via Ustream:

These include it’s popular Decorah Eagle Cam.  Right now you can see mom with three healthy chicks!

Project FeederWatch is another great Cornell Project with webcams on feeders in cool places.

This is also a citizen science project you can get involved with!

A site called U See Wildlife has several cams although I’m not sure who it is run by or where the cams are located:

They have cams set up in several locations and claim to often spot deer, raccoon, bear, bobcats, etc, for you more mammal inclined enthusiasts

Lastly here is a list from NPS of the webcams they have up at various National Park.  (Click the blue links)

Some of these will take a little bit to load, but I think they are worth it.  When I have to spend the day inside in front of my computer it’s nice to at least get a peek of what the world is up to.  And I’m definitely not alone.  At the time I was watching the Decorah Eagle cam there were 35,000 other viewers and the Cornell cam has a very active chat room up next to the cam for questions and comments.  Reality TV at it’s best.

 

Happy Animals Being Happy

It’s Monday and everyone needs a little cheering up on Monday, so I’ll share a ridiculous collection I have.  Sometimes in my meanderings of the internet I run across photos of animals that genuinely look like they are having an awesome time.  I have collected many of these into a folder called “Happy Animals Being Happy”.  Sometimes when I’m bummed I take a look at these critters just enjoying life and it makes me feel better.  At some point in my life I’m hoping to surround myself with actual happy animals and children (starting this summer at Audubon!) but until then, sometimes you just need a photo of a kid licking a pig:

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Please feel free to share your own Happy Animals Being Happy!