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Anybody Else Feed the Birds?


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So, after years of not doing this, I decided to buy a couple of bird feeders to set out in my garden. I have a finch feeder, a hummingbird feeder, and a normal bird feeder.

Anyway, the first few days the squirrels treated my normal bird feeder like their personal seed buffet. I was going through a full feeder daily. It was like Cousin Eddie brought all of his cousins from the backroads of Kansas.

So the lady at the bird store recommended:

Sizzlin' Heat Bird Food

This wondrous concoction is made with the juices of chili peppers. It coats the seeds with a hot spice that the squirrels detest. Apparently birds don't have saliva glands, so they can't taste the spice. But squirrels can.

I put this stuff out, and one by one those little bassturds would slink up the pole into the feeder. And one by one that would take a bite or two and then slink off the pole, walking slowly into the grass. After two fill-ups my squirrel problem has disappeared. Incredible, really.

So now I can start mixing about 50/50 with the regular stuff. 

Excited to see what kind of birds will pop on by.

Edited by ChiefD
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Haven't done it recently, been a couple of years, but I used to have all kinds of feeders on my line I'd link across 2 trees. Had 2 primary hopper feeders, 2 nyjer tube feeders, and a couple hummingbird feeders. Would have birds in my yard at all hours of the day. Cardinals, blue Jays, goldfinches, occasionally an oriole, and some smaller finches and sparrows and such.

To keep the pesky tree rats off (who also have a special place in my heart ❤️), I'd line the rope through a long pvc pipe at each end of the line so if they tried to get on, the pipe would just shift with their weight and they'd fall of the side since they can't grip the pipe.

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The reason I always went with 2 is that there are some really ###hole birds (looking at you Blue Jays) that get really territorial once they find a food source. They'll sit around the feeder all day and scare others off the thing. If there are two, they eventually get tired of constantly chasing others back and forth between the two, and eventually give up and (I'm sure begrudgingly) learn to "share".

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1 hour ago, Ron Swanson said:

Get ready for the rats to show up.  They don't mind hot pepper juice.

Sorry @ChiefD, but this might be the truth. 

I fed birds for a couple of years. I absolutely loved it. Oh man we had wonderful cardinals, titmouses, chickadees, nuthatches, and my favorites the woodpeckers. Loved watching them. 

And then the pandemic hit. So, I had more time to watch during the day, and noticed some really brazen rats just feasting in the broad daylight without a care in the world. Rat poison did seem to take out the rats, but then I got cats, so feeding the birds really wasn't an option. 

Funny story about this. I got my love of birds from my Mom. She's a hardcore birdfeeder. Introduced me to it. Her and Dad go all out. So, I'm talking to Mom about seeing the rats, and asking if that's an issue for them. She says she's never seen any.

Not long after I ask Dad about it. He just laughs. He said "No, she never sees them because I deal with them. You Mom loves the birds, so I take care of the rats"

Anyway, birdfeeding is awesome, just be aware of what you may be attracting as well. And if you like it that much, the other stuff can be dealt with too. 

 

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We had been feeding birds, but stopped a few weeks ago in light of this.

A Mystery Illness Is Killing Mid-Atlantic Songbirds

Quote

Federal and state wildlife officials in the Mid-Atlantic region are asking people to stop feeding birds and providing water in bird baths amid dozens of reports of mysterious songbird deaths.

Reports first emerged in the Washington, D.C., area in late May. Now wildlife agencies throughout the Mid-Atlantic and into the Southeast and Midwest are receiving similar reports.

"We did see really large numbers of grackles and blue jays, in particular, and they were all younger," says Belinda Burwell, a veterinarian who founded the group Wildlife Veterinary Care in Virginia.

She says birds are arriving without energy and closed eyes. "Sometimes the eyes were swollen or they were crusted," says Burwell, and they have neurological symptoms like dizziness, "where they would swing their head very slowly back-and-forth."...

 

Edited by Don Quixote
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Feeding birds around here mean feeding pigeons, AKA rats with wings.  I hate people who do that.  There's enough drunk people dropping their pizza on the way home to feed them.  I even saw some of them eating a spilled box of buffalo wings.

Edited by RC94
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2 hours ago, Ron Swanson said:

Get ready for the rats to show up.  They don't mind hot pepper juice.

 

54 minutes ago, pollardsvision said:

Sorry @ChiefD, but this might be the truth. 

I fed birds for a couple of years. I absolutely loved it. Oh man we had wonderful cardinals, titmouses, chickadees, nuthatches, and my favorites the woodpeckers. Loved watching them. 

And then the pandemic hit. So, I had more time to watch during the day, and noticed some really brazen rats just feasting in the broad daylight without a care in the world. Rat poison did seem to take out the rats, but then I got cats, so feeding the birds really wasn't an option. 

Funny story about this. I got my love of birds from my Mom. She's a hardcore birdfeeder. Introduced me to it. Her and Dad go all out. So, I'm talking to Mom about seeing the rats, and asking if that's an issue for them. She says she's never seen any.

Not long after I ask Dad about it. He just laughs. He said "No, she never sees them because I deal with them. You Mom loves the birds, so I take care of the rats"

Anyway, birdfeeding is awesome, just be aware of what you may be attracting as well. And if you like it that much, the other stuff can be dealt with too. 

 

Thanks for the info. We typically won't get rats here though. At least where I live. I've had a compost pile for 11 years at this house, and we throw veggie and fruit scraps in there. We'll get a possum or two, and of course ground squirrels, but not rats.

We also have an owl family that lives here and some redtail hawks, so they do a pretty good job of cleaning up the small vermin. 

My mom also was the birdfeeder in my family, so that is where I get it from.

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5 hours ago, ChiefD said:

So, after years of not doing this, I decided to buy a couple of bird feeders to set out in my garden. I have a finch feeder, a hummingbird feeder, and a normal bird feeder.

Anyway, the first few days the squirrels treated my normal bird feeder like their personal seed buffet. I was going through a full feeder daily. It was like Cousin Eddie brought all of his cousins from the backroads of Kansas.

So the lady at the bird store recommended:

Sizzlin' Heat Bird Food

This wondrous concoction is made with the juices of chili peppers. It coats the seeds with a hot spice that the squirrels detest. Apparently birds don't have saliva glands, so they can't taste the spice. But squirrels can.

I put this stuff out, and one by one those little bassturds would slink up the pole into the feeder. And one by one that would take a bite or two and then slink off the pole, walking slowly into the grass. After two fill-ups my squirrel problem has disappeared. Incredible, really.

So now I can start mixing about 50/50 with the regular stuff. 

Excited to see what kind of birds will pop on by.

birds love, and squirrels hate, safflower

i buy a big bag of safflower and blend it with other things. the squirrels seem to have lost interest completely.

 

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We have a feeder.  Seems like it attracts every bird in the county, including the only pigeons I've ever seen in the burbs and a pair of ducks.  I could fill it every day it goes so fast.  

Not too worried about the rats because of my pet hawk.

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7 hours ago, ChiefD said:

Anyway, the first few days the squirrels treated my normal bird feeder like their personal seed buffet. I was going through a full feeder daily. It was like Cousin Eddie brought all of his cousins from the backroads of Kansas.

I put this stuff out, and one by one those little bassturds would slink up the pole into the feeder. And one by one that would take a bite or two and then slink off the pole, walking slowly into the grass. After two fill-ups my squirrel problem has disappeared. Incredible, really.

Start a youtube channel, make millions.. or something like that.

Squirrel Ninja Warrior 1.0

Squirrel Ninja Warrior 2.0

 

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5 Bird feeders with a mixture of Safflower, finch food, peanuts...  and a new concoction we buy, peanut nuggets ( little balls of crushed peanuts), a Hummingbird feeder and Oriole feeder we fill with Grape Jelly.
Also have 3 Bird Baths and multiple Blue bird houses.. and the Robins have nests all over the bleeping place..

Basically, we take care of all the birds in the neighborhood :lol: 

Edited by snogger
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Currently in hiatus because of the bird pandemic noted above. Before that, about 60% of everything I put in the feeder was eaten by deer. It got to the point where I needed to take down the feeder every night to avoid it being empty in the morning.

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My wife has bird feeders out and constantly full. She has now graduated to a bunch of birdhouses spread around the property. Then when she hears chicks in the nests she worries about them and frets. Until the day she doesn’t hear them anymore and freaks out that something at them. This follows with me explaining that things grow up and birds fledge quickly. Then the cycle repeats. 
 

This summer has been awesome…

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16 hours ago, El Floppo said:

reading this all as euphemism, so I'm going to say- hell yeah, I have.

 

15 hours ago, Ron Swanson said:

Get ready for the rats to show up.  They don't mind hot pepper juice.

Is it pee?

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16 hours ago, ChiefD said:

So, after years of not doing this, I decided to buy a couple of bird feeders to set out in my garden. I have a finch feeder, a hummingbird feeder, and a normal bird feeder.

Anyway, the first few days the squirrels treated my normal bird feeder like their personal seed buffet. I was going through a full feeder daily. It was like Cousin Eddie brought all of his cousins from the backroads of Kansas.

So the lady at the bird store recommended:

Sizzlin' Heat Bird Food

This wondrous concoction is made with the juices of chili peppers. It coats the seeds with a hot spice that the squirrels detest. Apparently birds don't have saliva glands, so they can't taste the spice. But squirrels can.

I put this stuff out, and one by one those little bassturds would slink up the pole into the feeder. And one by one that would take a bite or two and then slink off the pole, walking slowly into the grass. After two fill-ups my squirrel problem has disappeared. Incredible, really.

So now I can start mixing about 50/50 with the regular stuff. 

Excited to see what kind of birds will pop on by.

Sounds great but at $22.50 for a 5 lb bag that runs over $4 a lb.

You can get a Suet bird feeder for under $5 and the feed only runs .25 a lb.  That is quite a savings per pound and they are very effective keeping the squirrels at bay.

You load two packs/lbs in the feeder and it typically last at least a week or two.

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2 minutes ago, Bracie Smathers said:

Sounds great but at $22.50 for a 5 lb bag that runs over $4 a lb.

You can get a Suet bird feeder for under $5 and the feed only runs .25 a lb.  That is quite a savings per pound and they are very effective keeping the squirrels at bay.

You load two packs/lbs in the feeder and it typically last at least a week or two.

You must not have grackles.   I tried one of those this year and they go through those suets faster than they do the sunflower seed.   But now that you mention it, I do see they make the suet feeders with the cages around them as well so I think I'm gonna give one of them a shot.  

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