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Woodpeckers and suet

Re: Woodpeckers & suet......I have had Red-headed Woodpeckers return to my
yard every spring for many, many years.  One spring we  had two pair in an
aerial fight over this territory in my front yard.  I just assumed  it was
the young and possibly the parents from the year before.  We have been
offering them the commercial suet that is packaged as well as my husband's
favorite "buttermilk biscuits."  Since they have returned healthy each
spring for so many years, I think that speaks well for the commercial suet.
As far as the raw beef fat that used to be available at the butchers, the
Health Dept.  had more to do with the cessation of that than anyone.  I'm
sure I have heard at one time why the stores had to stop offering it, but
cannot remember the Health Dept.'s exact ruling.

My daughter called tonight with a funny great-crested flycatcher story.  She
hung a gourd under a purple martin house to encourage martins to move in.
It never happened, but a pair of flycatchers has used the gourd for years.
Yesterday afternoon while in her pool, she happened to see movement in the
grass and realized it was a tiny baby bird that she assumed had fallen out
of the gourd.  She called her "significant other", and he climbed up and
restored the baby to the gourd.  Assuming all was well, she went back to her
swimming, and suddenly there was another baby bird on the ground.  She
called Steve back out to get the ladder again and rescue the second bird.
This time, the ladder stayed up, but the parent birds seemed reluctant to go
to the gourd, so the ladder was again stored in the shed.  A few minutes
later, there in the grass was a third baby bird, so again the ladder came
out and the third bird was put back in the gourd.  Then, horror of horrors
happened.  Suddenly there were three adult birds and she began to think,
have we put someone else's babies in the gourd?  By then, there was no way
to tell, so she decided to leave well enough alone, and  the adults
continued to feed the babies, but she had no way of telling how many babies
were in that gourd to start with and how many there are up there now after
all the rescues.!!!  I thought it was pretty funny.  She is one of these
people that sets 'Hav-a Hart" traps for mice, so she wouldn't hurt a flea

Joanne Harley
New Bern,NC