Spending all day every day at home for the most part has made me a lot more observant of my neighbors. The blue heron that fishes our creek usually swings by between 10 a.m. and noon. The squirrels vacate their dens on unseasonably warm days, foraging for what they can find. The moles that plague both the side and backyard have still been busy digging tunnels, which are evident every time the snow thaws. The red fox that lives across the creek occasionally makes an appearance racing across the backyard early in the morning or just before it gets dark. With thicker coats, red foxes remain active, hunting and raising young throughout winter. Deer also remain active during the winter, frequenting our front yard to bed down in the dried brush and feed on the native grasses or scavenging in the bean field behind our property.
I’ve also noticed the birds, especially the brightly colored cardinals and blue jays, but also the woodpeckers and sparrows. My daughter, Vayda, has particularly been interested in the blue jays. Although they are not known for being the kindest, they look beautiful against a snowy-white backdrop. I have to agree with her there.
Bringing in a load of wood over the weekend, I devised a quick and easy bird feeder to make with her using the skinny logs you get from cutting up the thicker tree branches when you harvest a tree. Hopefully, we’ll be able to attract more neighbors in view of the sliding glass door we peer out to watch them.
How to make a peanut butter log bird feeder
- Small log
- Screw eye
- Peanut butter
- Cut a small log from a meatier tree branch, so it’s about 12 inches long.
- Using a 1-inch drill bit, drill a hole on the side of the log 2 inches from the top. Drill a second hole on the same side, 2 inches from the bottom.
- Turn the log so that you can’t see the holes you just made and drill the third hole in the center on the adjacent side of the log.
- Attach the screw eye to the top of the log.
- String the twine through the screw eye and tie off a loop.
- Fill the holes with peanut butter and sprinkle birdseed on the peanut butter on the outside of the openings.
- Hang the completed feeder from a tree branch within view of your bird-watching window or door.
Birds you may see at your feeder
Many species of birds remain in Ohio throughout the winter and some can only be seen during the winter. Here is a short list of birds you’re likely to see.
- Mourning dove
- Downy woodpecker
- Red-bellied woodpecker
- Blue jay
- Black-capped chickadee
- Tufted titmouse
- White-breasted nuthatch
- European starling
- Northern cardinal
- House finch
- American goldfinch
- House sparrow
- Red-breasted nuthatch
- American tree sparrow
- Dark-eyed junco
- Pine siskin
- Cedar waxwing
- Eastern bluebird
- American robin
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