Spring in Full Swing

by Jennifer Howard

This Corona-19 pandemic is far from over, but Mother Nature is still continuing on, full speed ahead. Maybe even fuller speed ahead.

Orphaned babies, sick and injured are pouring out of the woodwork. Please, if you see a mother, give her space; it’s only a matter of time before she and her family will move on. You can also try to make it uncomfortable for her and she may just move her family on her own to a safer place. They do have more than one den site usually.

Remember, since so many of us are staying home due to the pandemic,  it’s much quieter. Wildlife is not used to this quiet and less people, so they are taking advantage of it; they do not know any differently.

Soon our busy society will be picking up again. Hopefully people will remember it’s not over yet so social distancing and hand washing/sanitizing still MUST be practiced. Staying home is still your best bet to stay healthy and keep others healthy. It’s not just about us, it’s about everyone and everything.

As for trying to make a wildlife mother move on from a nice dark quiet place to raise their young, put a light up and leave it on 24/7. Put a strobe light in the area or get coyote or fox scent, or even try fur from a good brushing of your dog or cat, both predators, or you can probably buy something like that from Cabelas or Pro Bass Shop. Put on the noisy talk radio; they don’t like it near the nest. But then leave them to it. If you keep hanging around and bothering them they may just leave a baby or two behind.

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You know it’s really spring when the Hummingbirds and Baltimore Orioles arrive!

One of our volunteers recently posted on FB that she hadn’t seen Baltimore Orioles at their country property in years. Apparently there are increased numbers this year, which is wonderful news. These colourful exotic birds are a real treasure and the male’s birdsong is simply breathtaking.

When she and her husband spotted a male drinking from the hummingbird feeder just a few days ago, they built an Oriole feeder just in case he might hang around.

Once the feeder was completed and hung up outside it didn’t take long for Mr. and Mrs. Oriole to take part of the orange slices and nectar. Orioles apparently also love grape jelly! They have a real sweet tooth.

The post promoted some very important tips for our readers concerning the type of nectar that you should give hummingbirds and orioles.

  • Use glass feeders as opposed to plastic, since the plastic can degrade in the sunlight and release harmful chemicals in the nectar.
  • Make your own nectar! It is so easy! For hummingbirds, one part sugar to four parts water and for orioles, one part sugar to six parts water. Make sure you boil the water and dissolve the sugar in it.  Let cool. It can be stored for up to two weeks in the fridge.
  • Replace the nectar every two or three days; this is especially important when the weather is hot.
  • Never use red die in hummingbird food; it is caustic and will cause a fungus to grow on their tongues.
  • Make sure the grape jelly offered is specifically for birds in order to avoid any preservatives.