Extreme Bird Feeding is located on a 10 acre parcel of mixed hardwood trees which is surrounded by hundreds of wooded acres of land in Central Michigan. Michigan offers the beauty of all four seasons. During the Summer in Central Michigan the temperatures can get up in to the 100 degree F range. There is a lot of shade with a full canopy of leaves though. In the Fall it is beautiful and very rich with color. Winter brings temperatures below 0 degrees F and a lot of snow. Spring brings back all the leaves and migrating birds and awakens the hibernating animals. The mature trees here at Extreme Bird Feeding are 80 to above 100 feet tall and are of the following breeds: Poplar, Red Maple and Red Oak, there is also some Wild Black Cherry. Most of the brush and sapling trees are Red Maple and Witch Hazel.
One of the primary natural food sources for the birds and other animals is the Red Maple seeds and leaves. The Red Maple leaves are a favorite of the whitetail deer. The Red Maple seeds fall in the spring and are a good food source for the birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and other small mammals. There are also some wild berry bushes found scattered among the woods for the animals to eat too. Also, there are many different insects for the birds and animals to enjoy.
In the fall one of the primary natural food sources is the acorns from the Red Oak trees. Here at Extreme Bird Feeding, these acorns rarely make it to the ground. You will find that the squirrels and chipmunks will harvest them early and right from the tree branches! Another fall food is the Witch Hazel nuts.
The amount of food we provide with our feeding stations is more than 200 pounds per week! The type of food we use is: Black Oil Sunflower Seeds, Striped Sunflower Seeds, Shelled Corn, multiple flavors of Suet Cakes, peanuts, in the spring we put out a small amount of Apples, Oranges, and Grape Jelly for the birds along with Nectar (sugar water).
There is also a small natural pond towards the middle of this property however, it does sometimes dry up by mid summer. There are other natural water sources in the surrounding area that stays fresh year round.
I came up with the bird feeding station design through 3 years of trial and error. It was a great challenge at first to outsmart the squirrels in keeping them off of the bird feeders. After beating the squirrels, the raccoons came around and I had to come up with a new design. That worked fine for a while until a big black bear came and had a feast. Now, after 4 years, it seems that I may have finally won with animal proof bird feeding stations.
I have researched the Michigan DNR web site and am following the rules and laws regarding feeding the wildlife in this area. They also have a lot of good information about avoiding disease and sickness too. I do my best to follow their guidelines, suggestions, and more.
Since we purchased this land there has been no hunting at all and there never will be so long as we are here. Our family does enjoy target shooting but the only ‘shooting’ of animals here at Extreme Bird Feeding is with a camera. All of the birds and animals seen here are wild and there are no fences on this property.