According to Avibase – the world bird database New Brunswick is home to over 400 different types of birds. Several of these birds can be enticed to a feeder during the winter and early spring and some have made an appearance at the feeder or in the trees that surround our yard.
Tiny black-capped chickadees are regular visitors, so I made a small bird house for nesting. I hope to see some baby chickadees in a few weeks. Rascal teases the chickadees, but his bell warns them that he is near, and they manage a speedy escape into the woods.
The black-capped chickadee is the official bird of New Brunswick.
Rascal with his cat bell.
Other popular visitors are blue jays, robins, woodpeckers, red-breasted nuthatches, rose-breasted grosbeaks, white-winged crossbills, and winter wrens.
White-winged crossbill (female).
White-winged crossbill (female) looking for worms.
White-winged crossbill (male) looking for food on the ground.
White-winged crossbill (male) enjoying the spring sun.
A pair of white-winged crossbills.
Red-breasted nuthatch looking for food.
Red-breasted nuthatch (male).
Blue jay enjoying some seeds from the feeder.
Winter wren that arrives in the spring.
Rose-breasted grosbeak (female) sitting on a broken branch.
Rose-breasted grosbeak (female).
Some unwanted guests – grey and red squirrels – also drop by the feeder for snacks. These visitors are not fussy and will eat whatever is in the feeder. Luckily, Rascal (my cat) puts the fear into them and they scurry off into the woods. However, I suspect that they raid the feeder at night because it is frequently empty in the morning.
As the summer approaches there should be some more bird sightings in the backyard and in the forest during long, summer walks.
Last week Florian left the basement door open for a few minutes, just long enough for a mouse to sneak in the open door. I saw it and chased it with a broom, but of course it disappeared under the pantry door which is located under the stairs and refused to come out. Then in the night I heard a racket in the kitchen and I got up to see what all the commotion was and when I turned on the light a mouse sprinted across the room and squeezed its tiny body under the gap between the door and fled the scene to the basement.
The next day I placed three mouse traps in strategic locations to catch this uninvited guest. Two days later and still no mouse in my traps, but some signs that it (hopefully only one visitor) is enjoying its new home. By now, I started to panic and decided the best solution was a cat.
I went to see a neighbor who has a few strays hanging out near his place and instead of bringing home a mature cat that could actually catch a mouse I brought home an adorable baby kitten.
He is too small for cat food, so I got him some cat milk for kittens.
Four weeks old and weighing in at 461 grams.
The little monkey has no manners and follows me constantly. He is not allowed on the sofa or chairs, but he keeps trying to climb on them and I have to watch him like a hawk to make sure he stays off the furniture. He doesn’t want to go outside and play like a normal kitten. No, he just wants to stay inside and torment me.
I made him some toys to keep him busy and out of trouble. He plays with them sometimes, but I am convinced that he prefers to annoy me. If he continues to demand constant attention I might lock him in the basement for a week with the mouse!
DIY toy made of wood, an old hanger, some twine, and a jiffy pot.
DIY house made out of a cardboard box.