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The Backyard Birder, Issue #018 February believe it or not it is time to think spring.
February 10, 2009

Hello Everyone,

I am sorry that I have been away for so long. Sometimes life just gets in the way. One of the reasons I have been so busy is the success of my birding store, The One Stop Bird Shop. Building and running a new ecommerce site has been a learning experience. It has come a long way but it still has a long way to go.

It has been a pretty harsh winter here in New Hampshire. I can't remember a year when we've had so many nights where temperatures have dropped below zero. To go along with the low temps we have had near record snow fall. All of this has been hard on the birds.

My feeding station currently includes one large gazebo feeder, one tube feeder, one hopper feeder, one large wire mesh sunflower feeder with a platform feeder below, one ground level platform feeder and two suet feeders. They have been so busy that I have had to fill them about every three days. I have had many of the usual visitors nuthatches, cardinals, chickadees, titmice, hairy and downy woodpeckers, pine siskens and blue jays. The real treat has been the red-bellied woodpecker that has been visiting almost everyday since January. Its the first time we have ever had red-bellied woodpecker eat at our feeders, it has been very exciting.

With the troubled economy it has been a challenge keeping my feeders full. My family and I have been cutting back like everyone else so we have been trying to save where we can when it comes to feeding birds. I know that two of my neighbors have stopped feeding birds altogether. This may be another reason why my feeders have been so busy.

I've worked out a deal with the butcher at the market where he saves all the suet and fat trimmings for me. I have been using it to make my own suet treats for the birds. I have also hung a platform feeder below my wire mesh sunflower feeder. It catches much of the seed that falls from the feeder giving the birds a second chance at eating it. What kinds of things have you been doing to cuts costs? Please email me your suggestions at John@A-Home-For-Wild-Birds.com. I will include your suggestions in next month's newsletter.

I have started planning a small hummingbird garden. I have the location picked out now I am choosing plants. In order to save money, I am going to try and start all the plants from seed. If you want more information on starting your own hummingbird garden check out this link: Hummingbird Flowers.

I will keep you up to date with the progress of my garden in the upcoming months. You can also see updates on my blog at Wild Birds Blog.

Happy Birding,

John

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