While a lot of songbirds that prefer fruit will migrate in the winter, many other birds that stay year round will enjoy the treat. Offer chopped apples, orange wedges, banana slices, halved grapes and melon rinds on platform feeders, spikes or nailed to trees. Chopped or dried fruit can also be added to suet mixtures.
Many people are reporting quite a few bluebirds in their garden now. Offer them mealworms, sunflower meats or suet to keep them happy.
Window feeders are a popular gift for yourself or others. They offer a front row seat for watching birds and are a great way to introduce beginners to bird watching. For those who may be bed/homebound, it offers a delightful way to stay in touch with the outdoors and nature. It has also been reported that when a feeder is placed in a window, it reduces window strikes by breaking up the reflection
Now is a great time to be plowing manure and leaves into your garden. This will make a difference in the fertility and water-holding capacity of the soil. Have you done a soil sample lately? Take one to the Dekalb Extension Service on Memorial Drive. The results come from the University of Georgia and reveal what your soil may be missing. If you need to add lime, it’s best to do it now to get more benefit from it in the spring
If you haven’t done so yet, now is the time to pull out any annuals to tidy up the garden. Try harvesting some of the dried seed heads and dried flowers for your winter bouquets. It’s also a good time to prune trees – shape them up and get rid of dead branches.
Christmas Bird Count
The 113th Christmas Bird Count started on Dec. 14 and lasts until Jan. 5, 2013 and it’s free to participate.
Thousands of volunteers throughout the country are taking part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations. Families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists go out on an annual mission - often before dawn.
For over one hundred years, the desire to both make a difference and to experience the beauty of nature has driven dedicated people to leave the comfort of a warm house during the Holiday season.
Each of the citizen scientists who annually brave snow, wind, or rain, to take part in the Christmas Bird Count makes an enormous contribution to conservation. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations - and to help guide conservation action.To join up or for more information go here.
Christmas on Main Update
Reports estimated between 2,500 and 4,000 people came out for Christmas on Main this year. Hundreds of children went home with a special ornament they decorated from the Tucker Historical Society and memories of sitting on Santa’s lap. There was the lighting of the tree, music, vendors and even a little ‘snow’!
The Tucker Business Association, Main Street Tucker Alliance and the Tucker Historical Society sponsored the Downtown Tucker Holiday Decorating Contest. Tucker Flower Shop on Idlewood Road was awarded first prize by the panel of judges; second place went to The Custom Frame Shop on Main Street and third prize went to Village Shoe Service on Railroad Avenue. Matthews Cafeteria received an Honorable mention.
Join us on Feb. 5 for a Mardi Gras mask making event from 5:30 – 7 p.m. $30/person includes materials, wine and light munchies. If you have children who might be interested in a class on mask making, let me know ASAP and we’ll set up a class for them also. Sign up by calling the store at 404-474-7072.
Linda Karr is the owner of the Garden Enthusiast - Backyard Nature Station store on Main Street in Tucker