Feeding our ‘Winter’ birds ABQ New Mexico

Five inches of snow…. then it stopped. Temps stayed at about 32, so it did not accumulate any more on the streets. Paved driveway is melting clear this afternoon, as are the streets at our altitude. Above us in the higher areas, quite a few streets get packed snow and ice covered. The more vertical hills are virtually impassable until sunshine (sun shines most every day) melts them clear and dry.

Seldom New Mexico (high mountains are the exception at night) gets the really freezing cold spells that the northern states deal with frequently.

Many people have luxury homes up higher on the mountain side. They also stay in hotels at times during winter storms, from what I have heard. One especially snowy year, a man wearing a suit, carrying a briefcase, wanted a ride 2 miles up to his home from the local convenience store late at night. The streets were not plowed and the snow was over a foot deep. I had chains on the truck with my sons inside, so he climbed into the camper shell, giving instructions to my sons through the cab window with sign language.

I attacked the last steep hills full throttle churning and throwing snow and got several dozen blocks up closer to his home, before the truck lost all traction and slid down backwards about 100 feet, while gracefully spinning around. He then climbed out, said thank you and trudged the last block up to his house :>)

 20’s tonight is going to halt the melting. ‘Teens’ possible for the next few nights. Birds didn’t come out of the snowy trees and bushes to eat the suet and seeds I put out, until the brief sunshine this afternoon. I bought a 40# bag of Pennington wild bird seed from Walmart. Will require a couple of bags before spring. I toss it on the patio where the assortment of hungry birds eat it all, rather than in bird feeders. They waste it in feeders. Throw out what they don’t like, looking for the sunflower seeds. I have known people like that :>)

The mountain birds come down and hang out around this lower foothills neighborhood until spring. They are quite pretty, varied in coloration and type. I pick up a big hunk of beef suet (fat) from the local Smith’s (Kroger) butcher. Hang it in wire CD holders in a couple of trees. Surprisingly the smallest birds are the carnivores. They swarm in several times daily, like a little squadron of miniature gray fighter planes and all take turns pecking away at the fat.

All of the birds like the Peanut Butter I smear on the tree trunk and also the Peanut Butter flavored suet blocks from Walmart. Just bought 9 of them to start, they hang in two little green cages where we can watch the winter birds ferociously feeding. 

Birds do not like the white suet blocks with seeds in them. Took the white ones back to Walmart and exchanged for the brown Peanut Butter type (with or without Insects:>).

 We really like to see the little birds gathered all around the rim of the big bird bath. I keep a heater in the water all winter. Some really cold nights/days it only keeps a circle of water open to let them drink. I had to replace the last heater after ten years. Wife had given it to me as a Christmas present. Found the exact same kind again…Ebay… Amazon :>)

Snow at our elevation of 6,000 ft+, just below the mountain’s foothills, is still stuck all over the yard from the last storm. Getting colder each night…20 degrees and dropping. Snow in our neighborhood is staying for the duration….

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