Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Seed Data Are Interesting

For several years now I have kept track of the actual quantity of seed and suet put out for the hungry rascals in the back yard.  And over time the story has been a surprise.  Namely, that I am putting out less over time.  Through September 18 I have put out only 64% the amount of sunflower seed that I did two years ago by this time, and 84% what was consumed last year.  Safflower has shown a similar downward trend.  So what is behind the numbers?  I am not persuaded that there are fewer birds, nor am I running fewer feeders, really.  My explanation is: fewer squirrel raids.  I have been engaged in a long term program to channel squirrels into managed feeding.  They can't raid the feeders and thrive only on the seed the birds toss out or otherwise waste.  That explanation is quantified by a single number: $205.  That's a best calculation of the amount of money I saved in the first 9 months of the last two years.  This feels good.  Seed data are interesting!

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