Peanuts! Jays, Nuthatches, chickadees, woodpeckers and more love peanuts. Shelled or whole, they’re a special treat packed with nutritional value for feathered friends – which makes them a great choice for winter feeding. Birds won’t mind them at all in summer though!
This fun wreath peanut feeder features a mod design resembling an old slinky. In powder coat metal, it won’t rust and squirrels can’t chew through it either. There’s a trick to filling this feeder because it takes two hands, so here’s a quick tip: Sit down, and brace the feeder between your legs. This allows for the two-handed action required for pouring them from the bag, otherwise peanuts end up all over the floor. Been there, and done that!
The cool thing about the wreath, or coil design is the options it affords for your birds. In summer, fruit is a perfect choice to attract migratory birds. Apple, pear, or orange slices, and even grapes are wonderful choices for cat birds, orioles, tanagers, woodpeckers and others.
Early spring is absolutely the best time for offering nesting materials too… and so simple with this peanut bird feeder! Bright cotton yarns, decorative mosses, feathers, and even pet hair are a few favorites that will encourage nest building around the yard. Just fill the wreath, pull some materials through to get started, and hang it from a branch where birds will see it. Don’t pack materials too tightly though. Should rain saturate them, you’ll want enough air to pass through enabling the materials to dry fairly quickly.
Even when using as a peanut feeder, you can still “mix it up” by adding suet balls or suet chunks in with peanuts. Birds will love it, and they’ll be back for more!
By the way, this photo was taken in our backyard, so when it shows up other places… please remember you saw it here first. This is how we ship them, assembled, filled and ready to go, with extra peanuts too!
On this Memorial day, we’d like to give thanks to those who served, and especially those who gave their lives for our freedom. It’s not something we think about, taken for granted, our freedom is beyond precious, beyond what we could ever imagine America would be without it.
And even to the four-legged heroes of war, we say thank you for giving your lives in the name of freedom. Here’s a few good pics and posts floating around the web this weekend, in honor of Memorial Day.
And a quote from a friend, Jeff Waldman: “When you cringe at the political or religious ideologies of others, and when you get up on the soapbox to espouse yours, remember those who gave their lives to give you the freedom to do so.
And one more, which may seem corny at first, but worth the read:
Her hair was up in a pony tail,
Her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy’s Day at school,
And she couldn’t wait to go.
But her mommy tried to tell her,
That she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand,
If she went to school alone.
But she was not afraid;
She knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates
Of why he wasn’t there today.
But still her mother worried,
For her to face this day alone.
And that was why once again,
She tried to keep her daughter home.
But the little girl went to school
Eager to tell them all.
About a dad she never sees
A dad who never calls.
There were daddies along the wall in back,
For everyone to meet.
Children squirming impatiently,
Anxious in their seats
One by one the teacher called
A student from the class.
To introduce their daddy,
As seconds slowly passed.
At last the teacher called her name,
Every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching,
A man who wasn’t there.
‘Where’s her daddy at?’
She heard a boy call out.
‘She probably doesn’t have one,’
Another student dared to shout.
And from somewhere near the back,
She heard a daddy say,
‘Looks like another deadbeat dad,
Too busy to waste his day.’
The words did not offend her,
As she smiled up at her Mom.
And looked back at her teacher,
Who told her to go on.
And with hands behind her back,
Slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child,
Came words incredibly unique.
‘My Daddy couldn’t be here,
Because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be,
Since this is such a special day.
And though you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know.
All about my daddy,
And how much he loves me so.
He loved to tell me stories
He taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses,
And taught me to fly a kite.
We used to share fudge sundaes,
And ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him.
I’m not standing here alone.
‘Cause my daddy’s always with me,
Even though we are apart
I know because he told me,
He’ll forever be in my heart’
With that, her little hand reached up,
And lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
Beneath her favorite dress.
And from somewhere here in the crowd of dads,
Her mother stood in tears.
Proudly watching her daughter,
Who was wise beyond her years.
For she stood up for the love
Of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her,
Doing what was right.
And when she dropped her hand back down,
Staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft,
But its message clear and loud.
‘I love my daddy very much,
he’s my shining star.
And if he could, he’d be here,
But heaven’s just too far.
You see he is a soldier
And died just this past year
When a roadside bomb hit his convoy
And taught the world to fear. But sometimes when I close my eyes,
it’s like he never went away.’
And then she closed her eyes,
And saw him there that day.
And to her mothers amazement,
She witnessed with surprise.
A room full of daddies and children,
All starting to close their eyes.
Who knows what they saw before them,
Who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second,
They saw him at her side.
‘I know you’re with me Daddy,’
To the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers,
Of those once filled with doubt.
Not one in that room could explain it,
For each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her,
Was a fragrant long-stemmed rose.
And a child was blessed, if only for a moment,
By the love of her shining star.
And given the gift of believing,
That heaven is never too far.
Forget the pesticides, they’re literally choking the planet, and with the mild winter we’ve had, you can count on an extremely buggy summer! Because the ground never underwent an extended hard freeze, every creepy-crawly, buzzing and flying pest will witness a bumper crop season! A real nuisance for those who love the outdoors, but it doesn’t have to be….
Birds eat bugs, and bats eat more bugs – by the thousands per night! Although fuzzy, brown bats may appear a little on the eerie side, they are one of the most misunderstood flying creatures of the planet. Actually considered mammals, bats are essential to our ecosystem. Critical, bio-diverse services performed not only include insect control, but pollination and seed dispersal as well. In just about any given habitat; cities, deserts, woodlands, grasslands, rain forests, and your backyard, bat houses provide roosting spots for these beneficial flying mammals. Mounted high on a pole (15 to 20 feet) or on the side of a structure, bat houses will entice permanent residence if habitat is suitable.
The Center for Biological Diversity has published some astonishing numbers as far as bats’ value to farmers. The major concern is the quick-spreading White Nose Syndrome disease which has decimated entire bat populations in the last few years. Emerging in the Northeast, the fatal disease has spread south and west, wiping out complete colonies of cave-dwelling bats.
“Nationwide the loss of bats could mean exploding populations of insects no longer kept in check by these furry, fly-by-night mammals. Scientists have estimated that by keeping insect pests at bay and reducing the need for pesticides, bats are worth $22 billion annually to American farmers. In Colorado, these savings could reach $430 million per year; in South Dakota, $1.1 billion.
While bats are dying at rates topping 90 percent in some areas, and some species could face extinction, the risk to western bats and farmers is too great to justify easing restrictions for discretionary cave uses like recreation.”
The Center is asking for everyone’s help in protecting western bats, and preventing the spread of the deadly fungus. Simply keeping caves closed (nature’s bat houses) to tourism is a simple step in protecting bats and thwarting the war waged against their extinction.
Please take one minute and sign a letter to the U.S. Forest Service, asking for responsible management by maintaining current laws to keep bat caves closed to tourism.
Spilled seed is a major attractant of rats and other unwanted guests, in rural and especially in urban areas. The first reaction is usually: “Oh no, I have to stop feeding the birds now.” Not true!
There are some fairly simple methods to stopping the madness. One is to use seed catchers or seed trays which prevent spilled seed in the first place. The large platform area of some seed trays will attract new birds who have never used the feeder.
Another way to avoid these unwanted guests while still feeding your birds is to feed a high quality seed. Less expensive seed mixes contain fillers like millet, and finely cracked corn. Birds will continually toss these seeds out in search of the good stuff. So why not just feed the good stuff to start with? Black Oil Sunflower is a great basic seed preferred by many species. An even better choice is the Sunflower Hearts or Meats. There’s absolutely no waste, no shells, no mess. It does cost more, but again… there’s no waste, so it’s almost a wash. Nothing wasted on the ground for scouring rats, opossums, or raccoons, because all of the seed is consumed by your avian amigos!
Suet is another good choice because there’s no waste, no mess. Specialty mixes (doughs) are even meant for summer feeding. Some of the more common, or fat-based suet formulas may sour and turn rancid in summer’s extreme temperatures. But the heat will not affect suet doughs…. and both resident and migratory birds devour this stuff!
Below is a real note from one of our repeat customers, just yesterday. She phoned with some questions and had planned to purchase two seed trays. After speaking with her, the plans changed: (proof positive the above content holds some weight)
“thanks for chatting with me yesterday about seed catchers for my bird feeders. I am going to hold off on buying and change the birdseed instead to shelled sunflower nuts. I did go look outside and indeed there is a lot of millet on the ground, along with sunflower shells. I’m hoping this will work, if not I will order the seed catchers!
By the way, the seed catcher shown above is adjustable. It fits just about any feeder and comes in two diameters; 16 and 30-inch. The larger “SeedHoop” may even be pole mounted by creating a slit in the center of the tray. They’re versatile, durable, and best of all… they work!
Tragedy Focuses Efforts on Legislation
Kenneth Newman, a 33-year veterinarian and author of Meet Me at the Rainbow Bridge (www.meetmeattherainbowbridge.com), has proposed a law that answers his question. Gracie’s Law recognizes the emotional bond between pet and owner by entitling the owner of a pet killed through an act of malice or negligence to $25,000 in damages.
“It’s time we change the laws to more accurately reflect what pets mean to the average American,” says Newman.
Gracie’s Law would not supersede current laws, he says, which entitle owners to the property value of their pet. And it would not replace criminal prosecution for acts of malice. And owners who decline a recommended veterinarian procedure to save a pet would not be held accountable under the law, he says.
Newman’s dog Gracie was killed in April 2008 when a negligent driver backed up 25 yards without looking, crushing Newman and Gracie between two vehicles. The vet escaped with a broken leg; Gracie saved his life, he says.
“An attorney looked me in the eye and said that my dog was a piece of property, that I wasn’t entitled to anything for the dog, and that this was a simple broken-leg case,” he says.
In every state, he says, laws view pets as property. Owners are entitled to no more than replacement value; no law takes into consideration the loss of companionship, grief, or pain and suffering.
Newman says that doesn’t jibe with Americans’ attitude toward their pets. According to an American Animal Hospital Association survey, 90 percent of owners consider their animals part of the family. Other findings:
• 52 percent of Americans would rather be stranded on a deserted island with their pet than with another person.
• 83 percent call themselves “Mommy” or “Daddy” in reference to their pet.
• 59 percent celebrate their pet’s birthday.
Cases involving pet owners’ bonds are increasingly showing up in the courts, Newman points out:
• Matrimonial law: Attorneys have experienced a 23 percent increase in pet cases, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. This includes custody battles over pets, veterinarian bills and visitation rights. Harvard now has a course dedicated to pet law.
• The North Carolina Court of Appeals: While the plaintiff’s wrongful death lawsuit was denied, animal activists applaud a judge’s willingness to at least hear a case involving a Jack Russell terrier that died while undergoing tube feeding at a state facility.
• Texas justice: On Nov. 3, 2011, Fort Worth’s 2nd Court of Appeals ruled that value can be attached to the love of a dog. That overruled a 120-year-old Texas Supreme Court case, which held that plaintiffs can only recoup the market value of their pets.
• Largest award: In April, a Denver judge awarded Robin Lohre $65,000 for the death of her dog, Ruthie. Lohre had accused Posh Maids cleaning service of negligence for allowing the dog to get outside, where it was hit by a car. Newman notes this sets a new precedent for pet value, but that such uncapped awards may threaten affordable veterinary care.
To read Gracie’s Law and copy it to share, visit meetmeattherainbowbridge.com, click “image gallery” and scroll down.
About Kenneth Newman DVM
Kenneth Newman graduated from Purdue University with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1979, and has since been a practicing vet. He experienced a badly broken leg and the death of his Labrador retriever Gracie due to the negligence of a driver in April 2008. Since then, he has proposed and advocated Gracie’s Law, which recognizes that pets are more than common property. Newman lives with his wife and their son, as well as several pets.