"Of the 338 species that are listed as Nearctic-Neotropical migrants in North America (north of Mexico), 333 of them (or 98.5%) have been recorded in Texas. This means that of the 629 species of birds documented in Texas, 53% of them are Nearctic-Neotropical migratory birds. Texas is important to these migrants and these migrants are important to Texas."
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Recipe for Your Feathered Friends
Migratory birds come through Texas each year on their way to vacations in South Texas, Mexico, Central and South America.
Here's a quote from a very interesting article on migration from Texas Parks and Wildlife.
The article also states that sudden changes in weather can greatly affect the outcome of the migration for the birds.
Tonight, we will be having one of those "sudden changes in weather". For the last week, it has been mild (70+* and sunny). Early this evening, a cold front will bring torrential rains, thunderstorms and high winds. The temperatures will drop into the mid-30s. Tomorrow is rainy and cold for this part of the world (45*/32* and very windy). Monday, it will be partly cloudy and 50* (maybe). It will also be very windy as well.
I would say that could be considered a sudden change.
Humans can bundle up and stay indoors. Birds can do neither.
It's at these times of the year that I offer them a little something to help generate heat in their tiny bodies.
My dear mother-in-law showed me the recipe years ago. I've altered it by adding wild bird food.
1 cup cornmeal (no additional additives--just ground corn)
1 cup wild bird food
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup margarine
Blend it all together until you can make a ball that will hang together. I ended having to add more peanut butter to mine.
The 'old log' is my feeder of choice. I have a real problem with White Winged doves eating all of it, otherwise. I do put some for them on the ground, but I want the smaller songbirds to have a chance at it as well.
My sweet father-in-law taught me how to quickly make the log feeder. All you need is a dry piece of wood, a drill and 1 inch drill bit, and piece of wire to hang it. Put as many holes in it as you like.
Once the squirrels find it, you'll need to put some out for them as well. :) If you really, really want the squirrels to stay out of it, add a couple teaspoons of cayenne pepper. Birds have no "heat/spicy" receptors on their tongues. Squirrels do.