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Re: Putting up the bird feeders

Posted: January 4th, 2020, 7:27 pm
by bungeejumper
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

Re: Putting up the bird feeders

Posted: January 5th, 2020, 9:10 am
by chas49
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!

Re: Putting up the bird feeders

Posted: January 5th, 2020, 9:24 am
by bungeejumper
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.)

Re: Putting up the bird feeders

Posted: February 4th, 2020, 11:33 am
by flyer61
As the feeders are outside my office window I get to see the vermin (squirrel) up close before they are dispatched by my trusty air rifle. The damage they can cause is quite amazing if given the opportunity.

How am I going to see some Chaffinch's, Green Finches and Bullfinches on my feeders? Any suggestions? All 3 have been seen over the years but not latterly.

Have a good selection of tits, Long tailed, Blue, Great and Coal. Just starting to poke their heads in the boxes but not taking up residence just yet.

Re: Putting up the bird feeders

Posted: February 4th, 2020, 1:52 pm
by tjh290633
Chaffinches are usually ground feeders, so you might have to look at the ground beneath your feeders to spot them.

What food are you using?

TJH

Re: Putting up the bird feeders

Posted: February 4th, 2020, 6:52 pm
by flyer61
Premium bird seed mix also have a 3/4 coconut which I put in mealworms and sunflower seeds. Fatballs and peanuts in a feeder as well.

Plenty of ground feeders come in Dunnocks, Robins, Blackbirds. The Robins also come up to the station.

Biggest haul of long tail tits at one visit is 9.

Re: Putting up the bird feeders

Posted: February 4th, 2020, 7:57 pm
by tjh290633
My greenfinches go mad on the black sunflower seeds. I've had 12 or more fighting over them in the past, feeding in relays.

TJH

Re: Putting up the bird feeders

Posted: February 17th, 2020, 4:38 pm
by flyer61
No Greenfiches, but a Chaffie has been spied and a single female Bullfinch came onto the feeder. For much of the day it is busier on the ground!
Given the setup I now have in place I reckon I am supporting around 30 birds.