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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted on 2008.11.25 at 22:53


mechtild at 2008-11-26 17:28 (UTC) (Link)
I think we had so much damage last winter because we had a bird feeder. They girdled and killed the neighbour's apple tree, and they nearly killed our huge old Burning Bush so that we had to chop its ten feet of glory down to the ground to revive it. It's not so bad when they crop the ends of things. That stuff can grow back.

Last winter, ee found that we had very, very few birds coming to the feeder for the longest time. Finally we were going great guns, with empty feeders every morning. But one night in the early hours I got up to go to the toilet and saw movement through the picture window in the living room. I squinted, seeing a large shape moving under the feeders. Was it a bear? I tiptoed off to find my glasses. No, it was not the hump of a big bear, it was three deer. I had put the feeders high enough up to be out of harm's way, I *thought*. But the deer could stretch up, even stand on their hind legs like circus ponies. With their noses they'd tip the feeders at an angle so that the seed spilled out. They kept doing it until it was empty. One would spill while the others ate the seed off the ground. Those little pixies! That was the end of the winter bird feeding. I must have gone through twenty pounds of Wild Bird Mix feeding deer. And because they came each night for the seed, they'd got fond of the yard as a dining place and started in on the bushes. But we didn't know about that until the thaw when we went out to assess the winter damage.

I do love looking at the deer, but they are the bane of gardeners when they become numerous, frequent visitors. Especially hard is seeing trees and shrubs killed. When you've selected, purchased, planted and nurtured a plant yourself for years, it's harder to see it damaged, even destroyed.
primula_baggins at 2008-11-26 23:33 (UTC) (Link)
"I must have gone through twenty pounds of Wild Bird Mix feeding deer."

*giggle* Well, that doesn't sound too good, but it's kinda sad they have so much trouble finding food. I'm sure I'd feel the same if they were eating up everything in my yard.

mechtild at 2008-11-27 06:01 (UTC) (Link)
Primula, you make a great deer advocate. :)

it's kinda sad they have so much trouble finding food

I think they come eat bird food simply because it's a lot easier and faster than foraging in the woods. They raid the feeder (or try) even when the weather is mild and there's stuff they'd normally browse still growing. Bird seed is a highly concentrated food compared to the stuff they usually eat. Like me preferring a dense high-calorie nut-studded granola bar to a high fiber cereal that tastes like nothing, or shredded cardboard.
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