An apple a day keeps the birds happy

Dear Heloise: My wife, Bobbi, has worked for several years at coming up with food for the worm- and bug-eating feathered friends at our Schott Bird Sanctuary on the banks of the beautiful Medina River in Castroville, Texas. The answer is as easy as apple pie, or close. A pared Red Delicious apple is placed daily on the same limb of a tree near the seed feeders, and the mockingbirds and woodpeckers flock to the fruit all year, but most especially when they grab apple bites to deliver to their babies in the nearby nests.
We have several generations of mockingbirds and woodpeckers now thriving on apples. The other birds, mostly seed-eaters such as the finches and cardinals, complement their sunflower-seed meals with apple. The key is that the apple is pared and stuck on a limb with a limb perch. We do this year-round, even in the dead of winter, and it helps all the birds to survive. -- Joe Schott, Castroville, Texas
Fresh fruit and seeds -- what could be tastier? I'm sure your feathered friends truly appreciate the fruit and seed you put out for them! -- Heloise
Dear Readers: Shelley Holcomb of Overland Park, Kan., sent in a photo of her 5-year-old Manx cat named Buster, who is & quot;stuffed & quot; in his favorite place -- a basket labeled & quot;stuff. & quot; It looks like he's found a good fit!
If your newspaper doesn't print the pet photo, be sure to go to my Web site,, and click on This Week's Pet -- you'll find Buster's picture there! Also, if you have a great or just plain unusual pet photo you'd like to share, send it to: Heloise/Pet Photo, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000. -- Heloise
Dear Readers: When bathing Fido, if the collar is nylon, leave it on and wash it, too! Or, take it off and scrub both sides with the shampoo or liquid detergent, then rinse. Clean pooch, clean collar. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I want to share a hint for people with pet rabbits that they keep indoors.
I just found a really neat idea that rabbit owners would probably be grateful to hear. I don't brush my rabbit as often as I should because he's an indoor bunny and hair gets everywhere. I have a long, deep-sided litter box lined with newspaper, and I got the idea to set it on a table, put him inside and comb his fur. Not only did I not have to worry about him falling off the table, but when I was done, I emptied the paper and loose fur into the trash. No messy cleanup of fly-away fur. -- J. Thompson, via e-mail
Dear Heloise: I have a small kitchen and two small dogs that eat dried dog food. I have a cookie jar that matches my kitchen decor and decided to keep the dog's food in it. Nobody knows! -- Mary Clark, via e-mail
Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to
King Features Syndicate

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