Reports of grackles in the Northeast

Brenda Mallory talks about this week's bird sightings.

How has it been for you so far? I mean summer, of course. It doesn’t hurt my feelings in any way if it is not hot at this time of the year but I could do without the splash of rain we get most days. Not enough to put the watering can away but enough to make the grass too wet to cut.

Well, enough of the old lady moaning and groaning. Just a walk through the forest to look at all the wild flowers has perked me up. The edge of the trail shows a big collection of yellow arnica. Here and there blue forget-me-nots are looking down on little purple violets. Masses of Solomon seal scent the air.

Chocolate lilies do not smell as sweet but do add their own unique perspective to a northern summer day. Also showing up are the wild roses and Indian paint brush.

What’s interesting these past few days is watching a couple families of waxwings feeding bugs to their young. Quite a full time job.

The Northeast has had a bit of rain this past week but the long range looks a bit better for you. Just the same avid birders get out there and take the time to call.

Karen from Fort Nelson was telling me she was pretty sure she saw a sandpiper. Some of the shore birds like that are already heading south. Called early migrants, I’ll say.

Still in the Northeast, it has been reported that there are a few grackles around.

A Smithers reader had a couple doves in her yard. I have an idea that they were the Eurasian collared doves.

A few hummingbirds have come back to feeders. Make sure some fresh sugar water is at the ready. In the Northeast where you have had a big rain, check to make sure the water is not in the feeders.

If you are making sure your dogs is groomed check at the same time to see if the pesky mosquito has not been blood sucking your poor animal.

Try the dryer sheet idea. I know of a lady who wraps a sheet onto the dogs collar and it seems to help. Carmen rubbed a some citronella candle wax on the dog. Could be messy I suppose. Make sure you don’t use anything with DEET in it. Nasty stuff.

What do we do? The dogs here get a small bead of repellent along their nose. They also have a fan at ground level. It doesn’t take them long to figure out that the wind takes the bugs away.

One of the dogs has figured some of it out by rushing through the bush like a bull moose.

Whatever works, go for it. If you have a good way to help your pet share your ideas when you call 250-846-5095 or just e-mail a note to

A call this morning from a reader in Fort Nelson was asking when we can stop feeding the birds. With the number of bugs and flowers around any time I suppose would be fine. Unless of course you are like me. I get a great kick out of watching the young birds coming to the window to be fed. Today we had the downy and hairy woodpeckers. Mountain Chickadees, nuthatches and black-capped chickadees.

Brenda Mallory writes For the Birds and Spice of Life.