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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Many birds here aren't attracted to seed at all.

American Robin
Certain bird species that hang out in north Texas like Robins, Bluebirds, Mockingbirds, Swallows, Wrens and Flycatchers, won't show up at seed feeders at all. They eat only insects ("insectivores"). Birdseed means nothing to them. but you can try tempting them with fruit.

Some like dried fruit (like raisins or prunes) softened by soaking in warm water for about an hour. Others might find sliced fruiit attractive (in north Texas, particularly for its water content) such as apple or orange slices, or chunks of banana, melon or pear.

Northern Mockingbird
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Of course, every bird on the planet likes clean, fresh water. Especially on hot days.


A really smart and easy way to save water (and make what water you use go a lot further) is with an automatic hose timer.  If you water your landscape with hose-end sprinklers you can set a timer to turn the sprinkler on at a time when the pressure is best, the water isn't going to be lost to evaporation, and it'll do plants the most good.

I have hose timers set to turn on sprinklers at about 4 a.m., and run for around an hour. Watering doesn't interfere with showering or dishwashing, and your expensive water isn't lost to the sun and heat.

Battery-operated hose timers are available from any good hardware store. I prefer simple ones that forego elaborate tasks which I may never encounter - it just turns the hose on and off when I want.

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