Birds And A Swedish Christmas Tradition-The Julkarve

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Dec 172011

There is a tradition in Sweden that is carried out each year at Christmas. The families will place a sheaf of wheat or oak stalks outside their home for the birds to eat. If it attracts lots of birds then the next years harvest will be a good one.

The tradition probably began as a way to keep the birds out of the barn-away from the stored wheat. Since that time the sheave of wheat, the Julkarve, has become an attractive decoration. The people still place some bird seed by their front door at Christmas to feed the birds and bring some good luck for the upcoming year.

Why not begin the tradition by placing some bird seed outside your front door during the Christmas season? Bring a little luck to the birds and a little luck to you!!

Nov 222011

Red-Tailed Hawk

This red-tailed red hawk was right outside my bedroom window this morning. We are used to seeing them soaring high over the field but this one caught us by surprise 12 feet from the house.

The red-tailed hawk is anywhere from 19-26 inches long and has a wingspan of 4 1/2 feet. This hawk is usually found near farmlands, open woodlands, plains and deserts.

The red-tailed hawk soars in circles over open farmland  looking for voles, field mice and other mammals.

To find out more about bird watching books click here.

Red-Tailed Hawk


Red-Tailed Hawk Getting Ready To Take-off


Oct 272011

It’s getting cold outside and winter is slowly approaching! Your little feathered friends will be feeling it, too! The winter brings the birds a limited supply of water. Birds need water for drinking, bathing and preening. An excellent way to help birds in the winter is to provide the birds with a heated bird bath. This will supply the birds with the liquid water that they need in the cold weather.

Heated bird baths are operated by thermostats, similar to your home heating unit, and as the temperature falls to specific levels the unit will turn on and heat the water. The advantage of the thermostat is that the heating element is only used when needed. To eliminate electric all together, a solar bird bath can be used.

Heated Deck Rail Bird Bath

Heated bird baths come in many different styles, colors, sizes and designs. It is easy to choose one that will be well-suited to your special bird feeding area.

The distinct styles of heated bird baths include deck mounted, ground level, hanging, standing or pedestal models. This provides birders with many different options and placement opportunities.

A dark colored heated bird bath works better in the winter. The two advantages of the dark color is that it absorbs more solar radiation so it uses less electricity and it can be seen more easily by the birds in the snow.

The size of the heated bird bath will determine the variety of birds that it will attract. A smaller bird bath will limit the number of birds, while a larger bird bath will attract a wider variety of birds. A bird bath will attract different birds that you would not normally see at your bird feeder.

Heated bird baths can be purchased in a number of unique designs. Some of the many designs are: bird bath spas, tilt and clean, bird bath fountains, 2-tier solar bird baths, sculpted bird baths, drippers, misters, wigglers and bubblers to name a few.

Remember to keep the bird bath clean and keep the rim clear of snow. This winter provide the birds with a heated bird bath and they will provide you with hours of entertainment.

For more information on heated bird baths click here.

Mar 212011

As the video shows I am so grateful for family time and being about to teach the kids about bird watching. Click here for a great book about bird watching for kids.


Feb 172011

Bird watchers everywhere are gearing up for the Great Backyard Bird Count 2011.
This weekend, February 18-21, 2011, bird enthusiasts will be out counting birds in their different areas. They will be looking for some 600 species for the yearly Great Backyard Bird Count. Bird watchers from the United States and Canada will be participating in the bird count. The purpose of the count is to get an immediate idea of the birdlife throughout the two nations.

It’s very easy for everyone and anyone to join in with the backyard bird count. The rules are simple! Visit The Great Backyard Bird Count for instructions and to download a helpful checklist of birds that are likely to be seen in your area. Spend 15 minutes, any of the four days (February 18-21), counting the largest number of each species in your backyard at one time. Then go to and enter your findings. The 2011 Great Backyard Bird Count is organized by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon and Bird Studies Canada. Last year they recorded over 10 million observations and are hoping to have many more this year.

The agencies involved use the data collected to identify changes in birds’ locations and birds’
numbers from year to year. This valuable information collected from the many folks that take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count is huge in signaling early problems in the bird population.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a fun activity and at the same time produces much needed data for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada. So, grab your bird watching binoculars, checklist and pencil and have a great day participating in the 2011 Great Backyard Bird Count this year.

Leave a comment and let us know what birds and how many birds you saw in your area.