Blue Birds slide show for you to enjoy.

From Susan Kierstead

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The bluebirds have been staying in the neighborhood for the last 3 winters. We are gone, but several neighbors feed them. As soon as we got back last spring, I set up my feeder and managed to borrow a breeding pair from the neighbor. They immediately set up housekeeping in the box just outside my kitchen window, a box that had been ignored the previous summer. These pictures are all from inside the house.

Jeanne Nivard was kind enough to come over and teach me how to take care of my bluebirds. That included opening the box at regular intervals so I could check on the progress of the eggs and subsequent babies. I ended up having 3 clutches of 5 eggs each and all the babies were alive and well 4 days before they fledged. Within a week or two I saw the babies at the feeder. I only saw 4 at once, so I can’t say all 15 made it. Once I started keeping notes, I had a clue when they would fledge. Unfortunately, I never saw it happen. Once they were gone, mama and papa kept them in the trees for a while.

They are back this year, and so far I’ve seen 3 at once, but no one has started a nest in the feeder. I’ve seen them exploring it and am still hoping.

Bluebirds are not supposed to go to suet holders, but when I put the suet out, I crumble it and once that’s gone, they figure out how to hold the feeder. It was fun last summer watching the babies figure it out. And yes, bluebirds are aggressive. I saw papa chase a blue jay from the suet.

I can’t tell you how much enjoyment we got from watching this family.

Invitation from The Nashua Garden Club

The Nashua Garden Club  extends a warm welcome to all at the Amherst Garden Club to attend a program by the famous Mary Tebo of UNH Cooperative Extension on ” This Yard Is For The Birds!” with a focus on landscaping for wildlife on Wednesday, February 5, 2014. Doors open at 6:30 and program starts at 7PM, held at the First Baptist Church, 121 Manchester St, Nashua. Refreshments of cake and cookies will follow the program!

MTebo

Mary Tebo Davis joined the Hillsborough County Cooperative Extension Team in 1996. As Community Forestry Educator. Mary’s primary responsibility is to run the NH Community Tree Steward Volunteer Program, which she has coordinated since 1993. The Tree Steward Program is an innovative approach to volunteer stewardship in urban forestry. The program is a partnership between UNH Cooperative Extension, the NH Division of Forests and Lands, and the US Forest Service. Mary is responsible for providing the Tree Steward volunteers with a comprehensive education and training program in urban forestry. Once steward training is complete, Mary works with the volunteers as they begin projects in their local communities. Projects include tree inventories, tree planting and maintenance, urban ecosystem management and regreening of vacant lots, and model city landscapes.

That time of year! BLUEBIRD SUET CAKE

eastern bluebird

From Jeanne Nevard

Makes about 6 cakes, but you may double it.

 On a low burner, mix in:

1/2 bar of lard (1 cup)

1 cup of peanut butter

melt together until soupy.

Add:

1 cup of whole wheat flour

1/2 cup of sugar

2 cups of cornmeal

2 cups of quick oats

Take off the heat & add (optional) :

1/2- to 1 cup of chopped frozen berries, raisins, or currants. And/or 1 cup of sunflower chips

Some bran, wheat germ or healthy grains.

Save your used suet cake plastic trays & refill

or use any other plastic containers.

Freeze in sandwich bags in the plastic tray. Save trays for next time. I also re-use the sandwich bags for the next batch, leaving them in the freezer.

Take out 1 cake, crumble it, add some more corn meal and wheat germ for a drier crumble texture. Put into a Ziploc bag & refrigerate. Serve crumble in a flat dish. I put it out on my deck. And can use the cakes in a regular, wire suet feeder.

BLUEBIRD SUET CAKE

eastern bluebird

From Jeanne Nevard

Makes about 6 cakes, but you may double it.

 On a low burner, mix in:

1/2 bar of lard (1 cup)

1 cup of peanut butter

melt together until soupy.

Add:

1 cup of whole wheat flour

1/2 cup of sugar

2 cups of cornmeal

2 cups of quick oats

Take off the heat & add (optional) :

1/2- to 1 cup of chopped frozen berries, raisins, or currants. And/or 1 cup of sunflower chips

Some bran, wheat germ or healthy grains.

Save your used suet cake plastic trays & refill

or use any other plastic containers.

Freeze in sandwich bags in the plastic tray. Save trays for next time. I also re-use the sandwich bags for the next batch, leaving them in the freezer.

Take out 1 cake, crumble it, add some more corn meal and wheat germ for a drier crumble texture. Put into a Ziploc bag & refrigerate. Serve crumble in a flat dish. I put it out on my deck. And can use the cakes in a regular, wire suet feeder.