Friday, December 18, 2009

A New Chickadee Feeder

Buffalo County was one of the last strongholds for bison in western Wisconsin.  These days my neighborhood is over-run with white-tailed deer, making driving after dark a challenge.

Last month, a 4-point buck got hit right in front of my house.

I pulled it off the road to keep the birds feeding on the road-kill from becoming road-kill too.  I had planned to pull it all the way to my front yard and watch the birds and coyotes devour it.  But it was so heavy, I was only able to pull it into the ditch along side the road.

By the time I got back outdoors with a wheelbarrow, the dead deer was gone.  The County roadkill removal contractor is very efficient.

Then I thought - maybe I could get him to drop off a deer down the road at the Maxville Alternative High School, so the students could observe winter scavengers

A couple of months ago, I talked with teachers at the Maxville Alternative High School about using the Lower Chippewa Natural Area - the largest intact floodplain forest in the upper midwest - as the integrating context for learning.  It's right outside their back door - and across the street from my house.

I set up a bird feeding station (sunflower, nyjer and suet) outside their classroom window a couple of weeks ago, and asked DNR Biologist Kris Johansen, if he could help us get a deer carcass.  He said he'd try.


While I was out of town on Thursday, DNR Warden Bill Wrasse delivered a skinned deer and the students strung it up from the swings.

I stopped by today to check it out.

I was amazed to see the chickadees were all over it - juncos too!

It will be interesting to see who else stops by. 

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