Thread: Feeding the birds

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    #11
    Moderator MODINE's Avatar
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    I got on with a company that does International logistics, freight forwarding. This is the slower season.

    Birds need food, water and shelter. Keep a heated water source open and clean all year. Squirrels, Opossums, Raccoon, Skunks and field mice will like the seed, so be careful feeding too close to the foundation. Had a skunk one year raise some babies under my porch. Their cute.
    "Focus on where the razors spine is during the shave." This will allow you to make pitch adjustments to the blade angle reducing the chance of cuts.
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    #12
    Senior Member Mr. Wilson's Avatar
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    Further remarks after a week of observation:

    As I live in a fairly dense urban environment, I put the bird feeder on a wheeling clothesline, fill it with seed and then wheel the feeder out to where it is suspended among some branches in a narrow tree. It is around seven feet from the foundation, and we do have a problem with field mice in the area. Thus far, I've seen chickadees, titmice, purple finches, robins, bluejays, sparrows, and starlings. No squirrels on the feeder, only on the ground.

    The first few minutes after filling the feeder with seed are very nice. The chickadees and titmice are the first to discover it, and all is relatively calm. Robins and bluejays then arrive and while they are larger, the smaller birds can still feed around them. The problem is when the sparrows discover that the feeder has been filled. They arrive as a flock and take over everything. The other birds are forced to move away and just wait for their numbers to diminish.

    Thus far, I"ve mostly been using the black oil sunflower seed. At one point, I put out a suet cake and this was a disaster. After the sparrows arrived, a small group of starlings arrived. These birds are like thugs, knocking the feeder about and fighting with each other over food. The other birds quickly move away. So no more suet for now as that's the only time that the starlings have arrived.

    Today I tried a new trick. Put just a small amount of seed out and see if this will attract just the smaller birds as they tend to feed at the start and the finish of the session. Seems to help extend the presence of the chickadees and titmice, but the flock of sparrows does arrive eventually.
    Alan
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    #13
    Moderator MODINE's Avatar
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    Congratulations this sounds creative, yes the term is "bully" birds. In our area Starlings, Red wing Black birds, Cow Birds, are the thugs. The Sparrows (couple species) are OK.
    Ever seen a Cat bird? They are quite vocal and similar to Mocking birds when singing. They can even Meow like a cat in the bush. I swear it's true.

    Sounds like you are getting hooked. I got my brother-in law hooked on feeding the Humming birds. I had once created a contraption (my sister called it a Tommy Knocker, she thought I had lost it,) to feed mealy worms to our Missouri state bird the Eastern Bluebird (not seed eaters). Loss of habitat had diminished there presence in the state to extinction levels. They are back now with regular people putting up artificial bird houses and maintain them for nesting pairs.

    Keep up the good work.
    MIke
    "Focus on where the razors spine is during the shave." This will allow you to make pitch adjustments to the blade angle reducing the chance of cuts.
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    #14
    Senior Member Mr. Wilson's Avatar
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    Thanks. As for the catbird, I'll try to keep an eye out for one. There is a bird with a rather high-pitched tail; not dark with red, but rather black and white. I think the latter may be more in my range. My old Peterson's guide (1947) says that catbirds prefer thickets, not exactly to be found close to hand here, and rarely winter in southern New England. But who knows, with things allegedly warming up (dipping down to 6 degrees F here tonight) maybe their range has moved further north since 1947.
    Alan
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