Parenting

Feeding our backyard friends

Now that the bears and raccoons are hibernating, Jennifer and her family are enjoying feeding their less fierce backyard friends.

Little Red having a snack in our backyard.

When we had bears visit us shortly after we moved into our cottage country home, the first thing the Ministry of Natural Resources suggested was removing our bird feeders. And although us city slickers dealing with bears — and, later on, raccoons — made for hilarious blogging, it did make going into the backyard a little nerve-wracking. So down came the bird feeders.

Now that the wildlife that might eat us is hibernating, we brought back the bird feeders and a few not-as-fancy feeding containers (like pots and cake pans). And although most bird-watching websites and books provide tips on how to keep squirrels out of your feeders, it’s the squirrels that provide us with the most entertainment. 

We’ve gotten to know a pair a black squirrels and a pair of red squirrels quite well, even naming them Blacky, Fatty Blacky, Big Red and Little Red (the kids helped name them). They show up almost at the same time every day and feed nearly all day long, stopping long enough to chase each other across the deck. Despite being smaller, the red squirrels are feistier than the black squirrels and think nothing of chasing Blacky and Fatty Blacky away when they drop in for a snack.

So far we have only had chickadees and white-breasted nuthatches visit us and we hope that the blue jays that spent last winter with us return soon.

Do you feed birds or other critters in your backyard?