I Spy Friday: Animals at the Food Tree!


Black Capped chickadee at food tree

On Wednesday we created a food tree to give the animals a little something extra to snack on during this long cold winter.  The Dogwood tree we hung everything on is in my backyard, and visible through many windows in the house.  I wish I would have been fast enough with the video camera, because the squirrels were hysterical!  Some of the branches that the birdhouses or grape clusters were hung on were a bit flimsy for the squirrels, so they would try to reach out with their arms, some even hung upside down by their tails in an attempt to get at the birdseed or grapes.  We had a total of four birdhouses in the tree, but somehow, the squirrels managed to get three of them out of the tree altogether.  At one point, a squirrel had gotten the bird house with the yummy birdseed roof onto the ground, then his friend starting hoping over.  Well, the first little squirrel did not want to share his prize, so he clamped onto the bird house with his mouth and started running!  It was really funny to watch!  The squirrel was acting like a little kid that didn’t want to share his toy!  When the snow melted we eventually picked up the birdhouses that the squirrels had taken to the ground.  The roofs had a few little gnaw marks in them, but other than that were still in good shape, and licked completely clean of all birdseed treats!

Before the squirrels managed to knock our beautiful birdhouses out of the tree, we did get to see a few birds pecking away at our edible bird house roofs.  The birds were Black-Capped Chickadees and they really enjoyed the tasty snack on the bird house roof.  How did I know they were Black-Capped Chickadees?  Have I secretly been hiding the fact that I am actually an Ornithologist?  No!  We have a trusty little bird book with fantastic pictures that also plays the sound each bird makes.  It’s called The Backyard Birdsong Guide.  The kids love to sit and look at the pictures and play the songs and calls for each bird.  And we always pull the book out when we spot a new bird in our yard to look up.  Some of the bird calls sound so funny the kids just laugh and laugh.  It was a birthday present to Lilly when she was 2 from my mom, and it has really seen some use in the past 5 years!  Here is what it looks like.

The only food we hung outside that we did not actually see an animal eat, was the popcorn garland.  However, it has disappeared, so I’m thinking something ate it.  I was really hoping to see some deer eat the grapes, but they are mostly out at night, so maybe they enjoyed the treat under the cover of darkness.

One thing is for sure, birdseed is always a big hit.  My neighbor always has bird feeders filled all winter, and even the deer love to come in her yard and lick up and birdseed scraps from the ground.  But why do animals love bird seed so much?  Good question.  We hope to have the answer for you on Science Sunday this week.  I say hope, because I haven’t researched the answer yet!

Let us know if you have spotted any crazy animal antics in your yard!  And pin this book to your wish list so you remember to check it out.  I promise your kids will love it and you will too!

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Sarah Korhnak

A nature lover busy making her own backyard brilliant!

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