xt7jh98zct60_23 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/mets.xml https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/2015ms086.dao.xml Bevins, Martha 0.05 Cubic Feet 55 items archival material 2015ms086 English University of Kentucky The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.  Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Martha Bevins letters to Tom McCarthy Radio broadcasting. Agriculture -- Kentucky. Birds Women air pilots. 1957 May 28 text 1957 May 28 2016 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/2015ms086/Box_ms_42/Folder_1/Item_23/1957_5_28__Bevins_Peanuts_for_the_birds_p1.pdf 1957 May 28 1957 1957 May 28 section false xt7jh98zct60_23 xt7jh98zct60 I
Morning View Kentucky
28 May 1957
Hello Mr. McCarthy,
When you asked about the peanuts, I was sitting in chilled
discomfort on a not-too—dry log watching young Downy Woodpeckers
. emerging from their nest in a small dead maple stub a few feet
away. Heavy clouds had eclipsed the clarity of the morning and
the wind had become cold, but I remained on the log, unable to
resist the fascination of the scene before me. By continuous,
frantic effort, the struggling parents were coaxing the giddy
little fellows from their carven home into uncertain flight which
was theoretically aimed at the suet tree some 300 feet aWay.
as is usual, each youngster, once aWing, promptly set off in
the wrong direction. The din was sufficient to attract every
predator within hundreds of feet.
as to the raw peanuts. I started buying them separately because
there were not enough of them in the general mixed bird food.
Practically all birds Save doves and quail like peanuts, with
the result that they Were quickly gone, leaving only food of
. interest to grain eaters. It Was necessary to put out far too
much of the mixed food in order to keep peanuts on hand for
Ehickadees and Titmice and others who do not eat grain.
at first I bought a few pounds of roasted ones at a time until
the dealer suggested that raw ones would be better for the birds
because of their higher oil content. as the birds increased, I
settled into a routine of buying loo pounds at a time, always in
‘ the shell as they remain so much fresher that Way. The rate of
consumption varies, with two peaks, one during late winter, and
the other when the greatest number of young are leaving the
nests; but it averages about 500 pounds a year.
as to the method of feeding the raw peanuts. Smaller birds cannot
shell them, so in the morning I shell enough to take around to
the feeders, then a few at a time as I need them during the day.
Several of the feeders are simply big flat rocks at the base of
a tree. When I supply them with peanuts, I place a mound of the
shelled nuts upon the rock and gently step on it so that some
are broken up and others are not. Then I build a little pile of
unshelled ones for the Blue Jays and squirrels.
When feeding Chickadees and other little fellOWS, I squeeze a ,
single shelled nut between thumb and finger, thus splitting it
in half, which size they handle with ease. Cardinals, the larger
Woodpeckers, and birds of that size prefer the peanut shelled
but left whole.

_ ,. , -2-

I I carry a few shelled peanuts with me aIWays, and the birds know
it, which accounts for their following me and asking for nuts
whenever the feeders are empty.

Incidentally, when I shell peanuts, I Save the shells. They are

an excellent mulch for flowerbeds. Because of their shape (I split

them lenghhways when cracking them) they never become packed,

yet interlock so that they seldom blow or wash aWay. They are

particularly fine for keeping the ground cool around lilies.

Raw peanuts are pale and completely lack the peanut taste as we

know it. In fact, they have very little taste of any kind, but

the birds thrive upon them.

If, in desperation, I had been forced to have the tree patch

dusted, I would never have dared use any of the contact killers

such as DDT. I am afraid of them. I would have used Rotenone and

other garden type insecticides.

I doubt that a fox got the little hen. She undoubtedly roasted too

high for him at night, and he probably Would not come so close

during the day. Perhaps it was a hawk or an owl. The sudden activity

of your rabbits the other morning may have indicated the presence

of a weasel.

Try this UK bulletin on your strawberries, providing all the pages

of strawberry ills and pests does not discourage you c0mpletely.