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February 6, 2015

Friday Follow-Up

This week:

-- Years ago, before moving to Oklahoma, our children and I used to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count. We had a multitude of birds at our feeders in Michigan, and we used this activity to learn about the different varieties that visited us. It was one of our favorite homeschool activities. We don't have as many birds here at Oak Hill, especially in the winter. Well, let me clarify that: we don't have as many song birds that like to eat at bird feeders.

This Christmas my husband put up the big squirrel-proof bird feeder we brought with us but hadn't ever installed. We have lots of cardinals in the yard every day in the winter, but it's taken them some time to figure out the feeder. Just yesterday I saw several cardinals in the plum tree nearest the feeder, waiting their turn; they've finally gotten it! Sometimes we have a few dark-eyed juncos in the yard. Yesterday I saw a mockingbird on the pasture fence. It doesn't matter if you spot birds on a fence, in the grass, or at a feeder, so I'm going to participate in the GBBC for the first time in years. Maybe you'll want to too? Just go here to learn all about it. This year's GBBC will be February 13-16.

-- This week's posts were: A Goal is a Dream with a Deadline and Making Soap with Goat Milk: Equipment and Getting Ready. There will be more posts in the soap series including making cold process soap and making hot process soap. I hope you'll join us for the entire series.

-- What I found: How to Grow from Seed, advice on growing vegetables from heirloom seeds from Mary's Back to Basic Health.


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  1. I'd never heard of the GBBC before! I definitely keep an eye on the birds that show up around here - and my grandmother is amazed that I have so many birds when I don't put anything out for them, but I think the trick is being wildlife friendly and not removing everything that attracts them in the first place. They love my holly bush and my IDK bush that produces some sort of berry outside the bedroom window.

    In the 2 1/2 years we've been here, I've seen countless cardinals and mockingbirds (they breed on my corner of the neighborhood, I think, because they always bring their young ones to my yard), doves, pigeons, starlings & sparrows (a given in Oklahoma), grackels, black-capped chickadees, a few different woodpeckers (I'm almost positive one was an ivory-billed woodpecker), several different finches, blue jays, and a baltimore oriole! We even have a resident owl in the neighborhood that likes to perch in our pine tree and lull us to sleep.

    I've seen meadowlarks around here, too, just not near our house. We've got a blue heron that flies over the house regularly, too, and once when I was relaxing in the hammock, I looked up just in time to see a great white egret fly by waaaaaay up high.

    It's amazing what you can see if you take the time to be observant. I can't even imagine how many more birds I would see if I put seed out for them.

  2. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead10:05 AM

    Rebekah, you must have a beautiful yard with all those birds! Just imagine how many you'd have if you had a bird feeder. Wow!


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