Do you feed the flock in this Bird City of Janesville?
In summertime, my wife enjoys keeping a hummingbird feeder filled and we love watching the little fliers buzz our heads as we dine on our back porch. We also have a regular bird feeder but haven't taken the time to fill it with seed this winter. With a solid snow cover now on the ground, we've got to get it out.
My parents, up in Minocqua, keep several feeders filled. I've seen a large pileated woodpecker snack on one just inches from Mom's kitchen window.
Janesville has earned a Bird City designation from a statewide organization. Anna Marie Lux explains in her column in today's Gazette that the designation means Janesville must strive to improve bird habitat, practice sound management of urban forests and reduce bird deaths from domestic cats and by having our feathered friends flying into windows.
People who let their cats out to roam neighborhoods, breed and stake out birds always annoy me, particularly when it's against city ordinance to let your cat wander out of your yard. The point about birds striking windows strikes a chord with me.
Cheryl and I have a glass window next to our door to the back deck, and through the last decade, one or two birds have mistakenly flown into it. Cheryl now has a sun catcher in the window, and maybe that helps the birds. I remember, too, the time my dad made a virtual pet out of a ruffed grouse up in Minocqua—until the poor unsuspecting fellow flew into one of their picture windows.
Today's Gazette story reminds me of a news release I received last month from the American Bird Conservancy. It details how the Virginia Zoo is using a product called ABC BirdTape, which features “stunning” and artistic creativity, to help keep birds from flying into large viewing windows.
Maybe my dad needed this tape a few years ago before his grouse buddy met its demise. Maybe anyone with large picture windows, particularly those overlooking bird feeders, should consider this product.