Thursday, August 11, 2011


It's been so hot and dry out and this damn drought is never ending that the poor animals are having a tough time.

I started putting a bowl of water out for my cats, but the neighborhood cats started coming around so now it's out all the time, and then I put out a saucer of water for the birds (cats in the back yard, birds in the front). Then I started thinking that they needed a bigger water dish (to account for evaporation), so I started looking for a big plastic saucer (like the type you put under flower pots). In the meantime I found a toad living in my garden (probably on account of the fact that it is the only area that reliably gets water), so I started leaving a saucer of water in the garden. Shortly after that i found the tiny baby anole living on my Thai Pepper plant so I now pour water in a yogurt lid that I have on the dirt in the pot so the little guy has access to water. I finally found a large saucer for the birds in the front and I moved the smaller saucer to the back yard in the shade garden as the anoles tend to like to live in that area.

A few weeks ago, the husband and I went to Lowe's to buy some paint and drywall compound. I got sidetracked by the wild bird section and debated on buying a feeder and food. Just this last weekend, after watching a jay family in my yard obviously looking for food, I finally "broke" (at least that's what we'll tell the husband) down and bought a feeder. Since I know all the animals are hurting (except for the wasps and ants in our yard) so I bought just a flat hanging plate and a 17-pound bag of black oil sunflower. Thus far I haven't seen any birds (or other animals) at the feeder, but something's eating all the seeds...or dumping them out at least.

Update: I wrote this a few days ago and since then I have actually bothered to put out the seed and sit at the window and watch. I had the jay family, a cardinal and about 4 doves visit the feeder while some type of nuthatch/chickadee visited the water saucer.


Roberta said...

I have a few water bowls around the yard as well. I've always kept an extra out by the chickens but then a feral cat started coming around AND the guinea hen found us. Wandering animals really know how to find water. I was afraid the cat would want a chicken snack too so I moved water to the far backyard. I think the cardinals and mockingbirds have taken it over though. I can't keep up!

Paul said...

I have a convenience store right next door to me, and their AC setup basically constantly drips water into a neat little pool close to my compost heap. The birds are well cared for, and sometimes their plop lands IN my compost heap, so I guess I'm pretty lucky.

I don't do birdseed simply because bastard squirrels always hog it up and then presume my garden is their personal cafeteria. I won't lose another pepper, squash , or tomato to those heathens again!

sandy lawrence said...

I find myself adding more and more water sources, too.

I found out that squirrels will absolutely not touch the white safflower bird seed.

I learned something else useful about bird seed that I didn't know, and I've been feeding wild birds for years. That large-ish orange colored seed called milo (not to be confused with millet seed) that comes in so many of the seed mixes is to be avoided. Milo seed makes the birds extra-thirsty and, if they cannot find water, they can die. So I won't buy any seed mix containing milo.

Bob said...

Another food for birds that you might want to try, and it's a lot cheaper, is hen scratch. It has a lot of broken corn in it and maize and millet. It's all I've fed here for quite some time.