Do you feed the wild birds?

Do you feed the wild birds?

Joined: May 25th, 2006, 12:05 am

January 23rd, 2012, 12:48 pm #1

For Christmas I asked for, and got a new birdfeeder. I placed it closer to the house, so we could watch the birds and it took them a couple of weeks to find the new feeder, but once they did they went through almost 5 pounds of wild bird seed in less than 3 days!

I'm beginning to wonder if feeding the birds might take as much money, as feeding the people.

If you feed the birds, where do you get your birdseed, and how do you decide what to get? There are dozens of choices for bird seed!

We've got Cardinals, titmice, finch and bluejays all eating from the feeders.

Looking for the most economical way of feeding the birds.
glendaMO
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Joined: September 24th, 2009, 3:01 pm

January 23rd, 2012, 12:56 pm #2

dad built his own feeders and built in a "shelf" so the bigger birds couldn't get to the food and and to settle for the stuff that fell to the ground.

Without the blue jays - they went through half as much food. (the jays dig through the millet for the sesame seeds - and once it's on the ground the squirells and deer scarf up the food a whole lot faster than the birds.

They also had seperate thistle only feeders to attract finches.

Mom also hung out fat for the birds re-using the net bags onions come in. But eventually the bear destroyed a few feeders to get the fat and she stopped that too.

ETA: The big birds also do not like safflower seeds - so adding thatin keeps the little birds happy. (but again - the big ones are diggers, so your best bet is to make a physical barrier to keep them away.)
Last edited by stina716 on January 23rd, 2012, 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: May 25th, 2006, 12:05 am

January 23rd, 2012, 2:46 pm #3

has a wire housing that prevents the Blue Jays from getting to the feed - but it appears the titmice and or finch are tossing things, and the jays are scavengering for it.

I'm willing to feed them all - as we enjoy watching them. I may need to consider putting only thistle for the finch, into the wired cage, and putting the mix only into the other feeder - that the jays and cardinals can get to easily.
glendaMO
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Joined: September 24th, 2009, 3:01 pm

January 23rd, 2012, 3:59 pm #4

The finches like a tiny hole to peck the food from, you can use a 2 liter soda bottle with perches poked into it and small holes about 2 inches above the perch. Dad replicaed the store bought finch feeders and hung them with a pulley system in the trees - out of reach of bear deer and squireels. till the bear figures out how to bend the nails to release the cord and drop the feeder to the ground. Mom doesn't feed the birds much anymore!!
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Joined: June 5th, 2006, 5:33 pm

January 23rd, 2012, 4:19 pm #5

For Christmas I asked for, and got a new birdfeeder. I placed it closer to the house, so we could watch the birds and it took them a couple of weeks to find the new feeder, but once they did they went through almost 5 pounds of wild bird seed in less than 3 days!

I'm beginning to wonder if feeding the birds might take as much money, as feeding the people.

If you feed the birds, where do you get your birdseed, and how do you decide what to get? There are dozens of choices for bird seed!

We've got Cardinals, titmice, finch and bluejays all eating from the feeders.

Looking for the most economical way of feeding the birds.
If you have the land, is to plant what they like.

I do have a finch feeder that I put out when there is no other food source available, but I don't often fill feeders. After the garden is done, I leave every plant standing until the next spring so the birds can forage all winter. I have several berry bushes planted along my fence lines too, and I let the grasses grow at the back (or I did until dh decided he just had to mow yesterday) and throw out bird feed so it will grow among the grass.

------
The road to success is always under construction.
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Joined: May 28th, 2006, 3:48 am

January 23rd, 2012, 4:40 pm #6

For Christmas I asked for, and got a new birdfeeder. I placed it closer to the house, so we could watch the birds and it took them a couple of weeks to find the new feeder, but once they did they went through almost 5 pounds of wild bird seed in less than 3 days!

I'm beginning to wonder if feeding the birds might take as much money, as feeding the people.

If you feed the birds, where do you get your birdseed, and how do you decide what to get? There are dozens of choices for bird seed!

We've got Cardinals, titmice, finch and bluejays all eating from the feeders.

Looking for the most economical way of feeding the birds.
My dad has tried just about everything to keep the squirrels out of his big feeder. He finally made something to keep them out. He rigged a metal grid (a kitchen cooling rack, I think) that gives them an electric shock when they step on it. He has to switch it on and off when he sees a squirrel on the feeder but after a few reminders after he first starts putting food out again they quickly learn to avoid it.

What can I say, he's handy and retired and has too much time on his hands.
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Joined: September 24th, 2009, 3:01 pm

January 23rd, 2012, 5:21 pm #7

If you have the land, is to plant what they like.

I do have a finch feeder that I put out when there is no other food source available, but I don't often fill feeders. After the garden is done, I leave every plant standing until the next spring so the birds can forage all winter. I have several berry bushes planted along my fence lines too, and I let the grasses grow at the back (or I did until dh decided he just had to mow yesterday) and throw out bird feed so it will grow among the grass.

------
The road to success is always under construction.
I suppose that'd work if you're not in a frozen wasteland for 6 months of the year!! we only feed in the winter and even then take the feeders down at the first sign that the bear are waking up. Unfortunately usually the first sign that the bear are awake is that they've destroyed your birdfeeder!
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Joined: May 25th, 2006, 12:05 am

January 23rd, 2012, 5:44 pm #8

For Christmas I asked for, and got a new birdfeeder. I placed it closer to the house, so we could watch the birds and it took them a couple of weeks to find the new feeder, but once they did they went through almost 5 pounds of wild bird seed in less than 3 days!

I'm beginning to wonder if feeding the birds might take as much money, as feeding the people.

If you feed the birds, where do you get your birdseed, and how do you decide what to get? There are dozens of choices for bird seed!

We've got Cardinals, titmice, finch and bluejays all eating from the feeders.

Looking for the most economical way of feeding the birds.
In fact, I am being tempted to buy a feeder just for them. We have an abundance of oak trees around the house, and when we first moved here, I had the squirrels eating out of my hands, but that was when I was working 2-3 days/week. I don't have time to do that now. They are fun to watch, and have lots of personality. One little fella would knock (run and jump) onto the door for me to put out food.

I saw a spring on a chain, that hangs from a tree, in which you can screw an ear of dried corn onto, the squirrel has to navigate to the corn and hold on, to eat. I'm sure they'd enjoy it - and we'd enjoy watching them eat...

By having the squirrel feeders in addition to the bird feeders, I think the squirrel will stay away from the bird feeders, but maybe I'm dreaming?
glendaMO
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Joined: May 25th, 2006, 12:05 am

January 23rd, 2012, 5:52 pm #9

If you have the land, is to plant what they like.

I do have a finch feeder that I put out when there is no other food source available, but I don't often fill feeders. After the garden is done, I leave every plant standing until the next spring so the birds can forage all winter. I have several berry bushes planted along my fence lines too, and I let the grasses grow at the back (or I did until dh decided he just had to mow yesterday) and throw out bird feed so it will grow among the grass.

------
The road to success is always under construction.
I leave my purple conifers and black eyed susan's on the stem, so the birds can feed on them all winter. Only problem is, they are near the front door, so we really can't see them. I've got the feeders just outside, on the deck, so I can see the birds. I'm hoping for to put one outside the kitchen window too.
glendaMO
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Joined: June 5th, 2006, 5:33 pm

January 23rd, 2012, 5:53 pm #10

I suppose that'd work if you're not in a frozen wasteland for 6 months of the year!! we only feed in the winter and even then take the feeders down at the first sign that the bear are waking up. Unfortunately usually the first sign that the bear are awake is that they've destroyed your birdfeeder!
And I thought coyotes & bobcats were a nuisance.

------
The road to success is always under construction.
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