Saskatoon berries drawing out the bears to the yard

A very interesting morning has unfolded for me. I spent some pleasant and poignant minutes speaking to a reader and now avid birder in the northeast. She asked me to protect her anonymity so I do that but I have an idea many in her region know who she is.

A very interesting morning has unfolded for me. I spent some pleasant and poignant minutes speaking to a reader and now avid birder in the northeast. She asked me to protect her anonymity so I do that but I have an idea many in her region know who she is.

For a bit we spoke about the sad passing of Jack Layton. She has been inspired with her own battle with terminal cancer by his words of encouragement to all who fight on. Even in this home where my husband battles lung cancer the fact that Jack could care about others enough to send a letter to all Canadians.

After that discussion we went on to talk about the birds. She has a big feeder near her bedroom window and another a few feet away in a willow tree. Every morning her grandchildren or caregiver make sure her birds have food and water. She has chickadees, blue jays, juncos, and woodpeckers as her entertainment.

Today she was not impressed as a sharp-shinned hawk took one of the juncos.

I had to add my own story of this hawk since this very morning I watched the hawk sit on the wheel barrow handle just outside the window. He was no doubt hoping I would open the pigeon coop to supply his meal for the day.

There are a few red-tailed hawks around in all areas.

The hummingbirds seem to have gone for the most part. A report did come in about an Anna’s from Topley.

Jack and Ned from Telkwa have both had the visit from the Eurasian Collared doves. Ned figures he could have a family. Amazing how many of you have seen these beautiful birds. No wonder the hawks are in the area.

Some have mentioned the lack of Saskatoon and other berries in this region. I have to brag a little and tell you we have never had such a big crop of Saskatoons. The bear is quite happy to come for a big feed every day. I know that he must eat a lot because of the size of his droppings. Droppings might be too mild a word. We are  careful and try to control the dogs and so far we are all existing in a calm place.

I hear that there was a talk about ants in Prince George. Many I know like to buy some chemical concoction to kill the ants but if you are a birder you know that the northern flicker does a good job eating them.

Back to the lady who battles cancer and looks after the birds. As I write this I know she is probably enjoying watching something at her feeders. She just might be listening to the new CD about bird song she just received. She could be trying to identify something new in the ever growing collection of bird books she has.

Maybe a little off the topic of birds this week but if you do have a house-bound person, maybe something like a bird feeder might be just the ticket for creating some interest and joy for your loved one. I know it works around here.

Like my new friend in the northeast told me, “I can’t die yet, I have to feed my little birds through the winter.”  Good for you! I did suggest that she listen to CKUA radio station to a program called “The Road Home.” Try it at CKUA.com. Such a peaceful inspiring show. Great for those who love the outdoors and all it has to offer.

Share your stories, sad or happy when you call 250-846-5095 or just e-mail a note to mallory@bulkley.net.

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