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Make the House to Attract the Birds You Want

Make the House to Attract the Birds You Want

Homes for the Birds-Make Your Own Bird House,

Saturday, March 2 from 10AM-12PM,

Ada Park Learning Center,

$10/bird house kit


Learn to identify local winter birds and how to attract them. Learn to improve nesting habitat in your yard for cavity nesters and other Michigan birds. Then build a Bluebird house to take home and put in your yard. All materials and supplies provided. Pre-registration is required.

Family Friendly Winter Fun in Ada

Family Friendly Winter Fun in Ada

ADA, MI – Ada Township offers all sorts of winter activities for children.

Discovery Days:   For ages 3 - 5 and their guardians.

Wednesday and Thursdays: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon Ada Park.  $5/child

Pre-Schoolers bring your parent or guardian out to Ada Park for a fun morning of nature study, hands-on activities and a craft. Programs will have inside and outdoor activities so come dressed to be outside.

 

Build a Bird Feeder:  February 15, 16

What do birds eat in the winter? Feel and try to identify different kinds of bird seed with your eyes closed, make 2 different bird feeders to take home.

 

“Whoooo are you?  Owls in Michigan:  March 14, 15

Learn about owls and their amazing adaptations.

Bird counters wanted for annual count

Bird counters wanted for annual count

Bird counters of all ages and skill levels are needed for the annual Kent County “Christmas” Bird Count.  The count is actually on Saturday, December 31st. 

There are seven “count” areas that cover the eastern metro area, which include the communities of Ada, Cascade, Lowell and surrounding townships.

Field teams, with knowledgeable birders, will depart at 8:00AM from the Wittenback/Wege Agri-science and Environmental Center at 11715 Vergennes Road in Lowell.  The participants will return around Noon for lunch.  At 5:00PM, the groups will gather to tally their findings.

A $5.00 participation fee for those over the age of 18 is requested.  If anyone can’t pay the fee, the Grand Rapids Audubon Club is providing a grant to cover the cost.  For more information call Ranger Steve at 616-696-1753 or click on this link:  http://www.glsga.org/graud/grac_bird_count.h

Meijer in Cascade gets unexpected visitor

Meijer in Cascade gets unexpected visitor

CASCADE, MI - The Meijer store at 5531 28th Street SE in Cascade had an unwanted visitor on Sunday, October 23.  A white-tailed deer entered the store and surprised employees and customers.  The Kent County Sheriff’s Department says the deer caused damage to merchandise and was chased out the rear exit.  There were no reports of any injuries.

The deer ran into several parked vehicles parked in the parking lot.  An overhead page at the store notified car owners that there may be minor damage to their cars as a result of the deer running into them, but no one filed an incident report.

We trade our Urban Wildlife for a rare sighting -- The elusive badger

We trade our Urban Wildlife for a rare sighting -- The elusive badger

Meet Bella, Bucky and Barry:

We leave the urban wildlife in Forest Hills and head to our cabin in Wisconsin.  In Michigan, you would call our cabin a cottage.  In Wisconsin, they are known as cabins.  Anyway I digress - our cabin is on 10 hilly acres of grassland in the bluff country of southern Wisconsin. 

Wisconsin is known as the dairy state, but the “state animal” is not a cow.  It’s the badger.  Yes, Wisconsinites have seen Bucky the Badger, the University of Wisconsin’s mascot.  But very few of them have ever seen a real badger.  Our property in Wisconsin was invaded by three badgers last year!!!!

The first sign of a badger invasion:

The first sign of the badger invasion was the yard, which was dug up.  Badgers prefer to live in open grasslands, fields and pastures.  My husband mows about four acres of our property and lets the rest of the grasses grow wild.

A break from urban wildlife for a day at the beach

A break from urban wildlife for a day at the beach

LAKE MICHIGAN -  Even a dog has to take a break from all the excitement of his backyard kingdom.  On this sunny summer day, George, my husband, and I head to the beach.  Our friends, Nancy and Don, own a cottage on Lake Michigan, and they have invited the three of us to spend the day at the beach.

This is George’s first visit to Lake Michigan.  The waves were a little intimidating at first.  He would sniff the water, but he would not allow himself to get wet.  He wouldn’t even dip his paw into the water to check it out.  Then something caught his eye.  George noticed the beautiful white birds walking along the water’s edge.  He tried to get close to these interesting critters, but they would simply fly off.

Silly me, I thought seagulls only lived by the ocean, and then I moved to Michigan and discovered the Big Lake is home to a thriving population of seagulls.  I have since learned that seagulls or gulls will live al

Urban Wildlife - Critters who taunt George - Meet Nutty

Urban Wildlife - Critters who taunt George - Meet Nutty

George is one of the most good-natured dogs you will ever meet.  I feel bad for him when “Nutty” and his squirrelly friends taunt him.  I think they realize they are safe around George since he is not very fast on his feet.  We have two types of squirrels living in our backyard: several Fox Squirrels and one American Red Squirrel.

Fox Squirrels are the largest squirrels in Michigan.  They are sometimes confused with the slightly smaller Eastern Gray Squirrel.  The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is Fox Squirrels have reddish-orange bellies, while their cousins, the Gray Squirrels, have white bellies.