Bird food and friendship.

No sunshine this morning. Lying photographs will get bigger and usually better if You click on them.

According to the thermometer it´s a bit warmer today, but it doesn´t feel like it at all. But there´s a very weak wind so I guess it´s the wind that makes it feel so much colder. American weathermen predicts that the cold weather over the northern hemisphere will stay until late April, except for Scandinavia. Here it will stay May out. They have predicted wrong this winter though. They said December would be warm and January cold, but it turned out the opposite instead. I do hope they are wrong this time too 🙂 🙂

What´s this then?

What was that sound?

There´s definitely something down there!

It seems Hector and Nova now are great friends! It happened yesterday afternoon. I was looking at tv when Hector and Nova came in to the room. Hector that feels that everything over 15C (59F) is to warm was panting as usual and when I looked down at them little Nova was chewing on his lower jaw 🙂 🙂 🙂 I have to say that even if I would like someone very much I would have been annoyed if someone started to chew on my lower jaw 🙂 🙂 🙂 Orvar however still doesn´t like her but I guess it´s just a matter of time until he falls for her charm too 🙂 🙂

The moon´s going to sleep.

A swedish tiger.

Bertil preferred to stay indoors sleeping when we went to get the paper this morning, but Teodor followed us instead. Nova behaved at her best all the way and ignored him all the way until we came home. But then she just had to run to him and say hello. But she was a bit to brusque and Teodor showed just how angry a cat can become, twice 🙂 Since he actually accepts her as a family member he aimed for her nose and not only claws were involved. But just minutes after we had come in he went to her and was as kind as he ever can be. I can tell You that Nova won´t run to great him in a brusque way ever again 🙂

I filled an old plastic yoghurt package with sunflower seeds.I had made a hole in the bottom and put a thread through it so the ball can be hanged in the tree.

I melted the coconut grease on the stove and it melts fast. I poured it in to the package over the seeds and put it all in the freezer for a while.

Finished! I realised that the spaces where the birds could reach the seeds and the fat were way too small so I changed them before I hung them in the tree.

Since I had nothing special to do I decided to make my own tallow balls (I think You american would call them suet balls) for the birds outside to eat. But instead of tallow I used coconut grease instead. Some birds just don´t eat tallow but all birds eats coconut grease so I had bought half a kilo (around one pound) of it. Coconut grease melts on a low temperature so the risk of it starting to burn is low if You´ll try this. But always be careful with grease and heat anyway.

It didn´t take long until the first bird was there. Blue tits are always the first ones to try something new 🙂

Yellowhammer with male and female Bullfinches.

I wish I had had nets to put the finished mixture in because it would be so much easier for the birds to reach the goodies 🙂 I really have to get that for the next time I´ll make these. But I tore up the sides of the old yoghurt packages so they can reach it a bit easier.

Clothes dose actually dry outside even when temperatures are much lower than 0C (32F). It just takes much longer time 🙂

This will be my last day at home. I have had no fever since yesterday and my stomach has calmed down considerable. I´m also getting a bit bored to stay home all day, I really can´t do much when being home sick 🙂 🙂 Now it´s time for a cup of coffee instead of tea. I drink coffee at work all day so I sort of miss it when staying home like this 🙂                         Have a great day now!


20 thoughts on “Bird food and friendship.

  1. Vad kul att dom börjar bli riktiga kompisar! Snart har nog Nova tagit över helt och dom andra får rätta sig efter henne, det brukar ju gå så för dom flesta av honkön!!

  2. It is great to see Teodor, he is a reclusive member of your family. Your “moon going to sleep” photo is awesome. Very nice idea for your suet feeder! The wildbirds at your cottage are spoiled! And as always I love to see your bullfinches!! Glad you are feeling better! Now stay that way!!!

    • Hi Robin!
      It is fun when he decides to follow us on our walks. But he almost always complains all the way round 🙂 🙂 🙂
      I do like that moon photo a lot too!

      I guess they are spoiled our wild birds 🙂 and I was surprised to see the bullfinches again. Once they´ve left they seldom comes back again until next winter.
      I´ll try to stay healthy 🙂

      Have a great day now!

  3. Interesting post today Christer. So the Teddy had his claws out for Nova. Yup. Works every time. Doogie will know better next time. It’s nice to hear you have a romance heating on up there. Maybe you can walk Nova down the isle. I had no idea you could make suet from coconut oil. WOW. I wonder if birds in our area would like it or is this a northern thing? We are anxiously awaiting for our yellow speckled hawks to return to Florida usually between March and May. That’s when I stop treating my yard for moles. In fact I let the mole colony build up for the hawks to feed off. They are amazing when you see them claw the sand and pull out a mole in their beak. When they fly off to the nest their wing span is similar to an Eagles’. Beautiful to watch. Their eyes are like darts. They know where everything is around them at all times. Makes it very difficult to capture them on digital. I need my old Cannon with the 200mm lens. Enjoy your last day at home from work Christer.

    • Hi Z&M!
      He just showed ´who´s in charge and that she must show him the respect he think he deserves 🙂 🙂

      Not much of a marriage life to be honest, Hector is neutered 🙂 and she will most probably be sterilized too.
      Many birds doesn´t like to eat suet but they do usually like coconut fat (not oil, grease was a bad choice of word from me). So I think most birds would like that.

      Hawks are so beautiful! We do get a lot of different ones here too during summer, but I can usually never say what kinds they are though 🙂 But I haven´t seen especially many
      signs of either moles or voles around here this winter. We usually have loads of dirt piles all over the fields now. Not many signs of mice either so I guess this will be a bad year for the hawks that comes here.

      Have a great day now!

  4. Så här var du, jag har undrat så på vart du tog vägen.har saknat en dos av riktig natur och så Bertil förstås!

    • Hej Wenche!
      Kul att se dig här 🙂 Det var ju tur att jag kikade in på min gamla blogg och såg att du lämnat en kommentar för länge sedan 🙂
      Så var det hans bror Teodor som jag fotade idag 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Ha det gott!

  5. hi christer….funny story about nova still fitting in. boy did we ever get socked with snow last night! quite a surprise this morning when we woke up. and i hear more is on the way! i sure am enjoying it. i love the suet tubs you made! joyce

    • Hi Joyce!
      It really looked funny when I saw her chewing on him and he just didn´t care 🙂

      I´m glad You´re happy about the snow 🙂 We´ll get more this weekend they say and I won´t be that happy 🙂 🙂

      Have a great day now!

  6. Hi Christer,
    When I saw the cat I thought what happened to Bertil? He’s faded. But then realized it was Teodor. He appears so rarely that I thought it couldn’t be him.
    We both did moon shots this morning. Mine was taken through the curtain sheers so it gets a misty weird effect but I like being warm in the early hours of the morning so I wasn’t going outside to get that picture. 🙂
    I never thought of using coconut oil instead of suet for seed balls. It’s not easy to find around here and is kind of expensive for feeding the birds though.
    Glad you’re feeling well enough to go to work although I’d rather be sick at work and take a sick day when I felt good. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Have a good day.

    • Hi Caryn!
      🙂 He usually tries to avoid coming with us on our walks and he usually sleeps indoors in places where it´s hard to get a photograph of him 🙂

      My dogs gives me no choice I´m afraid 🙂 I like misty moons, they get so mysterious.
      I think we can find coconut fat all around here. I wonder if we make lots of chocolates in our homes over here 🙂 🙂 But I can´t remember the price so I can´t say if it is expensive or not 🙂

      I do feel better today and I´m not so tired either. But Your idea sounds much better 🙂 🙂

      Have a great day now!

  7. CHrister, I have never thought of making suet, but your homemade mixture really seemed very popular. I did buy some packaged suet last year, but the birds did not seem to enjoy it, perhaps because there was not enough sunflower seeds in it like the one you made. I’m not really even sure where we could find coconut oil to make our own. Glad you are feeling better even if it does mean a return to work.

    • HI Beatrice!
      There´s only one problem with using coconut fat and that is because when it gets really cold it´s hard like concrete. But it works fine when it´s around a couple of degrees lower than 32F.

      I think I really have to much seeds in my suet balls 🙂 🙂 Especially since I want them to eat the fat that will help them during the winter 🙂 🙂

      It´s a bit fun actually, but I thought that one could find coconut fat everywhere 🙂 But I guess that any solid fat made from vegetables will do if there is such a thing besides coconut.

      Have a great day now!

  8. Beautiful Swedish Tiger! 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Great photos!
    I’m so glad that the dogs are starting to get along!
    When my sister used to live in Vermont and when I would visit her, I always noticed all this laundry hanging outside of the country homes in freezing weather and I always wondered how could it get dry!? 🙂
    That’s so nice that you make that special suet for the birds. I heard somewhere that if you feed birds, that you have to always feed them because they become dependent on you as a food source and since I have a house full of critters that constantly drain my funds, I’ve decided not to start feeding the wildlife! Besides, they all look pretty chubby to me! 🙂
    Take care, Cindi

    • Hi Cindi!
      Now she´ll only have to win big Orvars heart over too 🙂 I actually thought he would be the first one to love her since he seems to love the whole world otherwise 🙂

      It´s like we slowly, slowly are freeze drying our clothes when we hang them out in the cold 🙂 White linen that has started to turn a bit yellow with age does get white again if You do like that 🙂

      It´s actually an old myth that we have to continue to feed the birds once we started. I think some researchers studied birds over here some time ago and they found out that birds have loads of places where they go to search for food. So if they can´t find food in my garden they´ll just fly to find it somewhere else 🙂
      I think we´re actually overfeeding our birds here 🙂 They tend to get a bit fat and that makes it easier for predators to catch them. But then again, predators must get food too 🙂 I think it´s better that they are a bit fat and jolly and perhaps get caught by a predator than that they risk freezing to death instead.

      Have a great day now!

  9. Yeah. I’m going to try the sunflower seeds, too. I think we have one more cold spell and then it’ll be over for us. Ready to put in some spring broccoli, lettuce, spinach, peas, chard, and onions. That is, as soon as the trial is over!

    Love the discovering each other phase of Nova and the gang… each is a unique experience…

    So glad to hear you’re feeling better.

    • Hi Sharlene!
      Sunflower seeds are the most popular seed over here. Most birds just loves it and won´t touch the other seeds. But some birds (like the house sparrow, gold finches and yellowhammers) just won´t eat it so for them I usually have oat, hemp and some other seeds too. Those birds doesn´t seem to like suet or coconut fat either.

      It is exiting to see how Nova slowly changes the group. Now she tries everything to win Orvar over and that just makes him even more annoyed. But he did forget that yesterday for a while because he played with her for a couple of seconds, until he remembered that he doesn´t like her 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Have a great day now!

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