Ostomy Memories of a Birdless Bird Feeder

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HenryM

NOT BEING MUCH OF A HANDYMAN, I felt inordinate pride when I completed my squirrel-proof bird feeder last week.  I had to figure out how to place a wooden bird feeder atop an 8’ iron fence pole with some squirrel discouragement on it.  I turned a large, plastic planter upside down and punched it down the pole for a baffle.  I connected three small pieces of wood into a pi sign (Π) that fit closely onto the top of the pole with the feeder screwed to it.  With the pi signs legs straddling the iron post, I wrapped it with duct tape (naturally) so that, now, the feeder sits secure atop the post.  It’s in the backyard, filled with choice bird seed, where I can see it from my reading chair.  I even tied a little bit of red ribbon atop the feeder to attract an avian crowd.  I live in a neighborhood full of large trees and birds.  Within a couple of days, I witnessed a squirrel start up the pole but unable to get past the inverted plant container baffle.  My hopes soared.  That was a week ago.  I haven’t seen an effin’ bird at the feeder yet.  

bowsprit

It scares birds off like a scarecrow does, and sorry, it is a bit of an eyesore. Try hanging bird feeders. I read about a man and his wife in England who were in constant competition with their neighbor on who hung the better bird feeders and attracted the birds. I wonder how that contest ended? They kick the seeds they don't like out of the feeder. What if the squirrels and the birds shared the feed? They love sunflower seeds.

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SallyK

Great job, Henry! I have 2 bird feeders hanging off my shed that the squirrels love. It is so funny to watch them try to get at them. They will literally hang upside down to get the food. LOL

Justbreathe

Bill

Hello HenryM. 

I think your feeder is a great monument to those who will have a go  despite  feeling inadequate to the tasks of DIY.

We have had loads of different feeders in our garden over many years and if I introduce a new one it usually takes a while for the birds to get used to it. 

It  helps to know what birds are likely to be in the area, so that you can ascertain what sort of feed to put out to attract them.  Once they start coming, they usually continue , unless there are predators about like cats, dogs,  hawks etc.  Some birds are ground-feeders, so would not go for the sort of feeder that you have made. However, once the other birds start eating the food , it is likely that the ground feeders will come to pick up the bits that get scattered. 

Squirrels are an interesting animal: I am quite entertained when my wife chooses to (try to) scare off the greys, yet will almost encourage the black ones. ( we don't have reds in this location anymore ). Squirrels are rodents, so they naturally will chew almost anything. There is little point in buying or making plastic or wooden feeders with squirrels about, as they can be very destructive. Also, they are clever and agile animals who are unlikely to be thwarted for long by simple obstacles.   There are some great videos on you tube showing how they can be 'trained'  to overcome almost impossible obstacle courses to get to the food.

We have a small  river running through our garden so feeding the birds tends to encourage the river rats. For a while I resolved this problem by rigging up an elaborate feeding station 20feet high over the river, so that any food dropping off the table fell into the river. It was not long before ducks would congregate underneath to take advantage of the food source.  This feeding method was advantageous inasmuch as there was no mess to clean up from birds discarding the food that they did not like. Birds, like other animals, learn quite quickly from each other, so once they start coming, they encourage other's to follow. 

We spend endless hours watching and enjoying them as our closest living neighbours and I hope that you too attract some interesting species to entertain you when you are not out walking. 

Best wishes 

Bill 

 
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Justbreathe
Reply to Bill

Aha - I loved this - so I am not the only one who favors the black squirrels as opposed to the gray ones....they just seem so much more docile! I too love to sit and watch the birds come to the feeders and get a drink or bathe in the birdbath. We have a few squirrels, but raccoons are an annoyance. The bird feeder has been placed in many different areas - hung from a tree, dangled between trees, etc. We almost gave up, but then I ordered the little shepherd's hook and "viola" ...the raccoons now only knock over the little feeder on the post. As a side note - our birds have very expensive tastes - they scatter most of the seeds looking for the black oil sunflower seeds. So I buy a large bag of those (pricey) as well as the less expensive variety seeds. I put a handful of the black oil sunflower seeds in the little feeder each day and as I am putting those seeds in the feeder, I can almost hear them say - THAT "STINGY B*I*T*H"! It's the old bait and switch trick! I fully expect, if I live long enough, I will have a sunflower field in the backyard one day!

ron in mich

Hi Henry and all bird lovers, when I built my deck on the back of my house, I put in longer than the other support posts on the corners so I could put flower pot hangers on them for my wife. But it didn't take long to realize the birds were hanging around, so we switched to bird feeders and we get much more enjoyment watching the birds, including an occasional cardinal which puts it way out of its range up here in N. Mich. Good job on the feeder.

AlexT

These work well with whatever length gas pipe you want. Pound the pipe into the ground and simply screw the base onto the pipe and attach your feeder with some screws (wooden bird feeder) or a little Liquid Nails for a plastic feeder. Need to clean your feeder? Simply unscrew the base, clean, and screw it back on.

SallyK

Maybe effin' birds aren't native to Florida.

bowsprit

Life never ceases to amaze. You must have read The Birdman of Alcatraz, Henry. A man who showed such deep compassion towards winged creatures had also committed murders in the past. He murdered a man who had severely beaten his girlfriend and a prison guard who refused to let his brother visit someone he had not met for twelve years. He spent a total of 52 years in jail, most of it in solitary confinement. His book "The Diseases of Canaries" and other research added much to avian knowledge. I think he should have been released in the last years of his life to spend some time with his family and his beloved birds.

Justbreathe
Reply to SallyK

LOL - Hey Sally - you're a hoot!

SallyK

This might come in handy, Henry, in identifying the effin' birds.

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