Feathered friends need care during winter

By Susie Hovater Malone

The Cultura Garden Club’s December meeting was held at the home of Brenda and Troy Oliver. Everyone enjoyed a delicious meal of baked ham with all the trimmings provided by the members.

Dianne Pace presented the program: “Caring For Our Feathered Friends in Winter and Cleaning Feeders.”

She explained that birds in the late fall and early winter can survive without a feeder when the trees have good nut crops and natural foods; however, when temperatures drop low and ice covers their normal food sources, feeders are helpful to these feathered friends.

If they can’t find enough food, they will eventually die.

If you start feeding the birds in the winter months, you need to keep it up because they rely on it and anticipate it being there.

Feeders are available for purchase from various stores.

It is recommended that feeders should be cleaned monthly or at least quarterly to prevent diseases, such as pox and conjunctivitis, as well as mold, mildew and ground rodents. Dawn dishwashing detergent works best. Always wear gloves and even a mask on a windy day. Other essentials include a large brush, source of fresh rinse water, gallon jug and bleach.

Dianne also stated, “It is important to keep clean water in bird baths or any water source you have available for your backyard birds. Periodically clean the source with a cup of bleach to a gallon of water mixture and rinse thoroughly. Make sure no bleach water is left in any pump.”

Judy Baker served as program chairman.

President Debbie Nale expressed appreciation to the garden club members for their work in decorating downtown for the Christmas holidays.

I presented a report on the annual Every Light a Prayer for Peace and Christmas Tree Lighting, which was held Dec. 1. The celebration was well attended and enjoyed by everyone.

The Garden Clubs of Alabama Every Light a Prayer for Peace was held Dec. 2 in Montgomery at the state capitol.

In a short business session, members approved to donate two new bicycles to the Russellville Fire Department Helping Santa toy drive. Members also brought toys to donate to this project.

For the highlight of the meeting, members enjoyed the annual Dirty Santa gift exchange, which was a lot of fun.

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