Feeding Woodpeckers


Kittens are cute, but I’m not a great lover of cats. Between the barn and our log house, their function here is to help keep the rodent population, field mice, gophers and ground squirrels, down, as well as alerting us when a rattlesnake is in the yard. In exchange, we maintain a community bowl of food between the barn and shop. We lost our strain of Manx cats several years ago when two bobcats picked them all off, one at a time. Great hunters with kittens easy to give away, the Manx reestablished themselves with renewed heterosis among the McKee clan in Elderwood, a few miles as the crow flies over a couple of ridges.


The two white puffballs were deposited in the haystack inside the horse barn with ample rations. Robbin confirmed their survival the next evening with binoculars, but by the second evening only one could be seen. Next morning, both (a.k.a.‘The McKees’) had found the house, mewing incessantly, dashing any immediate hopes that the barn would become their headquarters.

Concurrently, we have declared war on the woodpeckers that prematurely picked all of our cherries, apples, apricots and peaches. Their population has exploded on the ranch and we have resorted to pellet guns to hollow out a no fly zone around the house. All of which is to say, Virginia: the kittens are still alive!


4 responses to “Feeding Woodpeckers

  1. Glad they survived – hope they become good hunters!


  2. In this day of patrolling social media by the “media police” I’d like to suggest you remove anything that might be “mis”construed that you would even think of shooting a protected native species of bird. I feel your pain of the losses. Don’t know how many trees you have but might consider covering them with bird netting?
    I wish you green grass, calves and unbroken fences.
    God bless you,
    an envious flatlander


  3. We utilize netting where we can, Richard, but with minimal success. The woodpeckers are moving towards the acorn crop now that most of our fruit trees are done. We have a fair idea of what’s rare and endangered with several EIRs under our belt over the years, and respect our biodiversity too much to jeopardize it.


  4. I have no question about your integrity. I just ment so many people have gotten in trouble for something they innocently said on line and the fact that they aren’t game birds. I know you would only scare them away ;o)


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