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Putting up the bird feeders

wildlife, gardening, environment, Rural living, Pets and Vets
bungeejumper
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Re: Putting up the bird feeders

#275202

Postby bungeejumper » January 4th, 2020, 7:27 pm

madhatter wrote:Interesting. I have wondered how effective a squirrel resistant cage would be for a starling, but the lack of any such claims led me to believe that the answer would be “not very”. Probably is worth a try, though I suspect it squirrel would try to knock it to the ground, even if it still couldn’t get at it, would allow foxes carry it off.

I suppose the occasional starling snack attack is the price you pay for all the woodpeckers on the feeders? It's a fair swap, for me at least.

We tie all our feeders up with the thickest grade of green-plasticised wire we can get (at least a two foot drop down from the supporting branch overhead), and we haven't had any probs yet, although squirrels will certainly skid vertically down the wire to have a try at the nut feeder. (At significant peril to their own nuts, I might add. :lol: )

The chilli experiment is worth pursuing, IME. I've been reading up on it recently, and it seems that chilli and peppers in general are a genuine turn-off for raiding mammals (squirrels, rats, foxes) - but not for birds, which can't taste them at all. Apparently the prehistoric proto-chillies decided, way back in the mists of time, that they wanted birds to distribute their seeds but not mammals, so they evolved a species-specific pest deterrent that still works perfectly today. The more I learn about evolution, the more I am astonished.

BJ

chas49
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Re: Putting up the bird feeders

#275253

Postby chas49 » January 5th, 2020, 9:10 am

bungeejumper wrote:The chilli experiment is worth pursuing, IME. I've been reading up on it recently, and it seems that chilli and peppers in general are a genuine turn-off for raiding mammals (squirrels, rats, foxes) - but not for birds, which can't taste them at all.

BJ


Whether it's further evolution or just random mutation (which may be the precursor to an evolutionary change), I'm not sure, but our local squirrel (squirrels?) were deterred for a few days by the addition of chilli - but they now seem to have overcome this and are back to their normal thieving!

bungeejumper
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Re: Putting up the bird feeders

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Postby bungeejumper » January 5th, 2020, 9:24 am

chas49 wrote:Whether it's further evolution or just random mutation (which may be the precursor to an evolutionary change), I'm not sure.....

Vindaloo crisps, chilli salsa wotsits, red hot smokey chilli biltong, even chilli chocolate. The little bastards are becoming desensitised. Gone are the days when they'd have sniffed at a bag of sweet and sour crisps and declared it to be foreign muck. We're all doomed.

BJ. (Actually, though, chilli chocolate is rather good.)


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