Nature Notes: Caching Chickadees

As winter approaches, we are seeing many changes in our bird populations. Some birds, like robins, have formed large flocks and are slowly moving south. Others, like our juncos, have just recently arrived but are only passing through on their journey from northern Canada to southern Minnesota and beyond. Others who will remain here all winter are busily visiting our feeders.

Birds essentially have two options when it comes to winter: they can migrate or they can stay. If they stay, they need a way to stay warm and a way to gSparkyStensaasSnowyOwl.jpget enough food to make it through the harsh winter. Again, they essentially have two options: they can wander widely to find food or they can cache food during times of high food abundance. Owls are a good example of a bird species that stay but wander widely to find food. They have large territories they move around in to search for food. Sometimes, when no food is available, owls will leave their territories and widen their search area. In the last two years, we have witnessed an irruption (a sudden increase) of snowy owls in northern Minnesota as a result of food scarcity in their more northern habitat. Continue reading

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HDT Thankfulness Party

On Tuesday, November 15, HDT drove the three miles south on HWY 371 to Bites Grill & Bar to show their thanks. With hors d’oeuvre consisting of a delicious shrimp cocktail and a table-long bruschetta bar, employees had plenty of opportunities to gab, chat, and mingle. Afterwards, they say down to meals consisting of lobster stuffed chicken, prime rib (bigger than your hands, truthfully), juicy walleye, or a wonderfully mixed veggie stir-fry.

Games and merriment followed and many people walked away with door prizes made from ingredients sourced right from our gardens. How cool!

How are you celebrating Thanksgiving? How are you showing your gratitude?

 

Topic of the Month – Food Drives

Many families in Minnesota rely on food from food shelves to feed their households. For some, the food shelf is temporarily their only resource for fresh produce. Eating healthy food like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is important. Access to fresh, healthy food allows families and individuals to get by with less worry, so they can focus on getting back on their feet.

If you are moved to donate, be sure to check with your local food shelf before purchasing any food. They will have the best idea of what is most needed and what is in low supply.

To find out where your local food shelf is, you can just go to Feeding America and search by your location.

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While food canned from home may be well-intentioned, food pantries are prohibited from taking it due to a lack of an expiration date.

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