Cindy’s Pet Talk

Episode 19:

The joys of our wild feathered friends

Tim and Cindy talk about their passion for wild birds and why they need our help.  Especially when 100-350 million are killed by cats, 38% of which are pets and the rest are feral. Needless to say, Cindy questions why and how people rationalize letting cats roam.  The question she did forget to ask, was, if these people paid $1000 for their cat would they still let it roam throughout their neighborhood? 


Read Cindy’s blog on what happens when her Dad will not let her have a bird for a pet.

Tim and Cindy also discuss their philosophies on bird feeders. With Cindy forgetting to mention that when walking, there are more empty bird feeders out there than full ones.  Either commit or take them down! Plus know what seed attracts what birds. And remember…..the extra price you pay for squirrel proof feeders, you will make up for in saving buying the seed, suet, peanuts ect.  Don’t worry the squirrels will get their share.

All squirrel proof

Shelled peanuts 

Niger Seed for the Finches 

Sunflower Tube Feeder

…and don’t forget the suet feeders in the winter!

Cindy’s all-time favorite feeder, using mixed seeds, with the results she loves. I win!

Here is a picture of her feeder used for shelled peanuts that has no fallout and mess on the ground. Perfect!

A picture of Cindy’s old backyard with an array of birder feeders right by her patio and Koi Pond. Can you spot them?

Remember to clean your bird feeder every 2 weeks or so. If there are sprouts coming out of it, that’s a hint. Use 1 part bleach with 9 parts water, to prevent the spread of disease and let it dry out before refilling.


Tim and Cindy debate on the happiness of a caught budgie bird in their backyard.

Pictures taken at Tim’s feeders.

The topic of life always seems to get brought up by Tim & Cindy.  Philosophies of bird watching are no different. From Del, at age 8 (Cindy’s son & producer of the podcast) saying she should leave alone the one and only squirrel that can beat a rodent-proof feeder, to the pecking order of who gets to eat first at the feeders.   But when the discussion about the importance of winterized bird baths comes up, the metaphor of today’s society cannot be overlooked.  Read Cindy’s blog about this at:

Don Cherry with his heated bird bath


Skunk in the back of Cindy’s Apartment building utilizing the bird bath! Note the slate ramp that the small birds can land on & go into the water. 


Sometimes the road to hell is paved with good intentions, such is the intentions to assist birds with nesting material. So don’t offer: human hair, dryer lint, yarn. Help out by planting indigenous plants such as milkweed. Not only does their “fluff” assist for nesting, but produces the much need nectar for monarch butterflies.

Being an advocate for birds, Cindy describes her admiration for an organization called F.L.A.P. (Fatal Light Awareness Program) which is widely recognized as the pre-eminent authority on the bird-building collision issue. 25 million migratory birds in Canada die as a result of this. Read more about them at

In this episode we focused on the group Freedom Drivers. This organization is committed to getting pets (GP’s, ducks, roosters, chickens, & if course dogs and cats) a new lease on life. With the number of animals in pounds and the number of euthanized animals rising, the services that Freedom Drivers provide are more valuable than ever. On a busy day, as many as 50 kittens and cats are brought into pounds, with over 95% of them being unvaccinated and unfixed. One pound near Montreal keeps dogs for no more than a few days before euthanizing them. The volunteer drivers go out once, twice or even three times a week, sometimes driving far east to the Maritimes with no monetary reimbursement for gas or mileage. With the price of gas going sky high it is with much pleasure that DCPRF could buy gas cards to reimburse a portion of their costs.   Like an underground railroad for animals the first driver picks up the animal from the pound and drives up to 100 km to the next driver, in relay style.


Over a span of 14 months, volunteers with the Freedom Drivers transported more than 2,000 animals from three pounds near Montreal to rescue organizations. Almost all would have been put down otherwise. Now most of them are in their forever homes.


There are approximately 50 to 60 drivers in the Facebook Freedom Drivers group, which over 1,000 people are apart of, but it is important to note that it is the same 25 to 30 people who are on the go again and again. Their Facebook page is full of pleas for people to help drive animals through specific routes.


The volunteers evaluate the animals in pounds, photograph them, and make contact with the registered rescue organizations in Canadian cities. A pound might put some animals for adoption, but in most cases releases the animals only to rescues.


If you would like to see some of the transported animals that were saved, click here:


So, remember if you are taking a trip with an empty car, think about helping them out.  They have even driven homeless pets to the Maritimes!!!

Listen to Episode 19 of Cindy’s Pet Talk: