The latest Ripples’ column in The Free Weekly is about my favorite subject…wildlife!

Tasty pinecone treat covered in peanut butter and seeds

I’ve taken some time this autumn to learn about ways I can help migrating animals.  The photo at left is one example of a wildlife treat you can make with just a pinecone, peanut butter, and seeds.  This treat is hanging right outside our door, which might not be the best location – I may have to move it into a nearby tree or hang it in a more visible location with less human traffic, but I wanted to watch the birds eating, so we’ll see if any drop in for a snack on their journey south!  One of the best kinds of seeds to put out during migration is black oil sunflower seeds, since they’re high in fat and calories.

Don’t forget the hummingbirds! They appreciate it when we don’t take our hummingbird feeders down too soon. Ruby-throated hummingbirds make a 24-hour non-stop flight across the Gulf of Mexico, without hitching rides on larger birds (that’s a myth). Helping them by providing nectar makes me feel like they’re carrying a part of me with them wherever they go. For a bird’s eye view of migration, check out the movie Winged Migration. It really makes you feel like you’re flying with the birds!

I still have SO much to learn about creating a backyard habitat and supporting wildlife as they are migrating.  Do you have any tips to share with us?  What do you enjoy doing to attract pollinators and wildlife to your backyard?

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