For feath­ered friends

Bed­eque man al­low­ing pub­lic to come and take sun­flow­ers from his garden

Journal Pioneer - - FRONT PAGE - BY MILLICENT MCKAY Millicent.mckay@jour­nal­pi­oneer.com

Ron Rayner of Bed­eque is ready to give away his sun­flower seeds to any­one who wants to feed their song­birds.

It’s been a nearly silent sum­mer for Ron Rayner.

Usu­ally var­i­ous species of birds flit around his prop­erty bring­ing their songs.

But not this year. “There are usu­ally about 200 finches, jays and other song­birds on my prop­erty, liv­ing in the trees and bushes.” How­ever, there were only two robins’ nests that hadn’t been de­stroyed, and sight­ings of only a hand­ful of small birds.

“I planted about a quar­ter of an acre of sun­flow­ers seeds for my birds. I loved hav­ing them around. But there are too many crows now liv­ing on or near my prop­erty, so the song­birds haven’t sur­vived.” Rayner has ex­tended a pub­lic in­vi­ta­tion to come and take a dozen or so sun­flower heads to feed the birds peo­ple may have vis­it­ing their prop­er­ties.

It’s not hard to get the seeds loose. Dust off the yel­low of the flower and you’ll see the black of the seeds. Just rake your hand over the seeds and they’ll come free, ex­plained Rayner.

“If you take a sun­flower head, prop it up on a spike, the blue jays and finches will just eat up those seeds.”

“It’s a joy to work up the bed and see the flow­ers grow. And it’s even bet­ter when the birds are around. But there weren’t

any to see this year. I used to sit and watch them fly around, but I mainly only saw crows raid­ing nests this year.”

But Rayner warns to be aware

of the flower, which can rot be­cause the sap in the head of the flower can make the plant wet and mouldy.

“If you take too many heads

and just lay them around, they can get mouldy pretty quickly. I just want peo­ple to be able to feed their birds.”

Rayner is ask­ing the pub­lic to

call 902-887-2229 be­fore com­ing to his prop­erty at 2062 high­way 1A in Bed­eque.

MILLICENT MCKAY/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

Ron Rayner scrapes free a hand­ful of sun­flower seeds from a sun­flower head from his garden. Rayner is do­nat­ing the flower heads to any­one who wishes to have some seeds to feed birds on their prop­erty.

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