Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Do you Feed the Wildlife?

The other evening, my granddaughter and I were sitting on the park bench in the front yard minding our own business when a mother raccoon and her three kits crossed our drive way.  We tried to contain our excitement/fear.

My granddaughter kicked her scooter over to our neighbor and told her about the raccoons.  To our surprise we found out that she fed them!  She considered them God's creatures and needed to be taken care of and fed.  She already had four Muscovy ducks (from the official city park) and a couple of Mallard ducks that she fed.

I have met the Box turtle many times and almost stepped on her/him when stepping off the front porch.  The turtle didn't panic.  It had seen me before and I had seen maybe this one turtle or its relative eating tomatoes in my garden and enjoying it.
 This is an anoli, a common critter in north east Florida and certainly in my yard.  They are extraordinary great hunters for insects.  I have seen them take on moths that have been rather large.  The anoli tries to scare me by puffing up a pouch on its chest that turns red.  Now, you understand that we really don't need insecticides.

Oh, Lord!  This is not poisonous.  It had sought shelter in our big garden box by the pond.  It liked to curl up on the patterned underside of the lid.  It will hunt for rodents and the like and we have a sneaky suspicion that it has feasted on our goldfish.  Who else could get in there?

These ducks roost in our neighbor's yard.  If they want variety, they go and find shade in another yard.  They are rather mindful of cars but they have the right away.

This is my feral cat that we picked up at the same time we picked up our riding lawn mower.  The cat was supposedly mine and the tractor to be used by my husband.  This has changed dramatically in the last few years.

We talked to her veterinarian about being feral and he said that she will always have that feral streak in her.  She loves being with us and often inspects the pond and eats grass from the garden.  The cat does not eat human food and she drinks water (not milk).  She does not hunt birds.

I don't feed the wildlife because I don't want any of the animals and birds that visit the Back Forty to become dependent on me feeding them.  What when I leave town for an extended time?

In most cases, the breads and other human food might harm the wild animals and birds because our food is not nutritious enough.  The birds might develop "angel wings" that is a deformation of some of their feathers sticking out, hence the name.

By feeding the wildlife, they will lose their natural instinct to hunt and gather food for themselves and they will also lose their fear of people.

Feeding the critters may also create a food fight among the animals and the birds--survival of the fittest syndrome.

There is absolutely no reason for me to feed the birds and animals that come to my Back Forty because there are  plenty of berries and seeds along with bugs and insects.  I reluctantly share my tomatoes with a few box turtles and water is provided.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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