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Bird feeders

  1. Sep 15, 2006 #1
    I have started feeding the birds. So far I have attracted gold finches, house finches, cardinals, house sparrows, chickadees, bluebirds, and the entire neighborhood population of cats!!!
    They hide out in my bushes and flower patches waiting for the opportunity to pounce. I have placed the feeders high in the trees but don't want my yard to become the neighborhood kitty bar.

    Short of http://www.yardlover.com/products.php?pid=169" [Broken], is there any way to keep the cats out?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2006 #2
    Congratulations, you're now the 'crazy cat lady'

    http://www.duffgardens.net/content/newspaper/newspaperdec2.jpg

    simpsons_CrazyCatLady.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  4. Sep 15, 2006 #3

    arildno

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    Perhaps you should start doing as Tom Lehrer, "feeding" pigeons in the park?
     
  5. Sep 15, 2006 #4
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  6. Sep 15, 2006 #5
    Build a fence?
     
  7. Sep 15, 2006 #6
    My neighborhood restrictions won't allow fences in front yards.
    I am not sure if a fence could keep cats out anyway.
     
  8. Sep 15, 2006 #7
    If I move the feeder to the back patio then I won't be able to see the birds except from the kitchen table. I don't spend much time there.....

    I guess I'll have to go for the sprinkler....:grumpy:
     
  9. Sep 15, 2006 #8

    Danger

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    The trick, as long as the aesthetics are okay with you, is to mount the feeders on top of poles that have disks around them. Neither cats nor squirrels can climb around the disks.
     
  10. Sep 15, 2006 #9

    Evo

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    For cats? My cat jumps over my five foot tall fence all the time.

    larkspur, no squirrels yet? Squirrels were always raiding the bird feeder where I used to live.

    Heh, just saw Danger's post. Yeah, that's a good idea.
     
  11. Sep 15, 2006 #10
    I have not seen a squirrel around here for a long time....could be because of all the cats.
     
  12. Sep 15, 2006 #11
    get a dog.
     
  13. Sep 15, 2006 #12
    Get one of those 50-ton anti-cat robots you see advertised on the Home Shopping Network at 2AM every weekday (see what you've been missing?! :biggrin:)
     
  14. Sep 15, 2006 #13

    Math Is Hard

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    one of these?
    build13.jpg
     
  15. Sep 15, 2006 #14

    Evo

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    Oh No!! :rofl:

    I WANT ONE!!!!
     
  16. Sep 15, 2006 #15

    DaveC426913

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    Are the birds gathering on the ground? Or are your cats able to get them in the feeders?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  17. Sep 16, 2006 #16
    Most of the birds stay up off the ground but the doves are starting to come around and feed off the ground.
     
  18. Sep 16, 2006 #17

    DaveC426913

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    The reason I ask is becasue you can control what birds you get by the feed and the type of feeder.

    I was only interestred in attracting the smaller birds - finches and such. Pidgeons and larger birds make a total mess.

    So, you can get finch feeders which have both perches and seed openings too small for any but the smaller birds. And buy niger seed, which the larger birds won't eat.

    What this does is not attract ground feeders, so nothing for the cats to hunt.


    P.S. Doves? I don't think I've seen a live dove except in magic shows. But I live in Cananda...
     
  19. Sep 16, 2006 #18

    Astronuc

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    Mourning doves are quite common in the NE US, and maybe up into Ontario.

    Chickadees and some finches will pick at particular seeds, and consequently seeds get spilled onto the ground. Doves, cardinals and jays will feed on the ground, and they will be vulnerable to cats, of course.

    We have squirrels, but our bird feeders are surrounded by mesh to allow bird through but not squirrels.

    We have a small dog, so maybe she keeps cats off the property. She also chases squirrels. Unfortunately, she will also go after birds on the ground, and she has caught a couple of sparrows or how finches recently, so we let out carefully to give birds on the ground a chance to fly away.
     
  20. Sep 16, 2006 #19

    turbo

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    If you give them black oil sunflower seeds, chickadees are pretty thrifty with the seed. They will take one from the feeder, and fly into a neighboring tree to eat the kernel, then come back for another. Goldfinches are absolute slobs, though. They will pick out and discard 3-4 seeds before eating one, leaving a lot of seeds on the ground (which attracts the mourning doves). I try to keep that cleaned up, so we don't get overrun with mice and squirrels. When I hand-feed chickadees, they will sort through the seeds, and pick the fattest one, but they do not discard the others - they simply try to get the best one available. At times, I have had two 'dees in my hand and another on my shoulder waiting for a turn.
     
  21. Sep 16, 2006 #20
    How do you feed them by hand? do you sit out in the yard holding out your hand full of seeds? How long did it take before they came to you?
     
  22. Sep 16, 2006 #21

    turbo

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    Some flocks are more gregarious than others and some individuals within each flock are braver than others but usually, if I stand next to the seed feeder with my hand out, some chickadees will start coming to me in a matter of 5-10 minutes or so. Red-breasted nuthatches took a bit longer, and they hovered and quickly picked seeds for a while, but once they got used to me, they came to my hand readily and landed. White-breasted nuthatches and woodpeckers have not been as brave. They get close, but will not land on me. If you have several feeders, the birds will use the feeder farthest from you to minimize their risk. If you have one feeder and stand near it, they will risk coming to you, and especially in cold weather, they seem to enjoy the warmth of your hand on their little feet. Chickadees weigh almost nothing - it's amazing how puffy and fat they can appear in the winter, and how little they weigh.

    This winter, I'm going to see if I can get a tufted titmouse to eat from my hand. These cute little guys do not run in flocks, but often eat in the same places as chickadees, so I hope I can get them acclimated to me. Last year, I mixed black oil sunflower seeds with shelled striped seeds to give the chickadees more impetus to come to my hand. It didn't help a bit. They were content to take their black-oil seeds in the shell and come back for more. I do not hand-feed the 'dees for more than 15-20 minutes or so at a time, because the more timid birds are not getting fed during that time.
     
  23. Sep 16, 2006 #22

    Evo

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    That's really cool. :approve:

    When I was little, I got a squirrel to eat out of my hand, then it got impatient and started scratching at the back door when it wanted food, then it would just run inside the house whenever you opened the door. My mom was less than thrilled. Getting it back outside was NOT easy.

    This reminds me of when our parakeet would get loose, my grandmother would get the crab net (they're nets on round hoops attached to long poles) and trap the bird with it. I've never seen anyone wearing a corset and orthopedic shoes move so fast. :bugeye:
     
  24. Sep 16, 2006 #23

    Moonbear

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    I never got birds to eat from my hands, but did have a couple bluejays that would play "catch" if I tossed peanuts to them. I fed the squirrels by hand, but they had to stay outside. The chipmunks were allowed inside the door, because they'd find their way back out (I used to line up peanut halves on my legs and the chipmunks would sit on my legs, stuffing each peanut into their cheeks...it was really cute if their cheeks started getting full and there was still a peanut left...they'd unpack and repack their cheeks, shifting around the nuts, trying to find a way to fit that last one in. Sometimes they'd just hold it in their teeth and take off...they were determined not to leave any behind! :biggrin:

    The birds here might be good candidates for hand-feeding, if I had the time to stand there with my hand out for them. They tolerate me sitting on the deck only about 10 ft from the feeder, sometimes closer.
     
  25. Sep 16, 2006 #24

    DaveC426913

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    Ah yes. Mourning doves.

    They may be upper class compared to pidgeons - but they're still skyrats...
     
  26. Sep 16, 2006 #25

    turbo

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    Over 20 years ago, I was in a competitive course to see who would get what jobs in a 4-shift crew on a brand-new paper high-speed on-line coated fine paper machine. I eventually earned the top score, but my best stress-buster during that time was a wonderful female chipmunk. I would get home (an old house-trailer out in the country) around 4:00 or so, grab some sunflower seeds and go sit in the driveway trying to unwind. After less than a week, the chipmunk was eating out of my hand. Before the next week was out, I would get home, put sunflower seeds in the left pocket of my flannel shirt, and go outside and whistle, and the little darling would pop out of the rock wall, look left and right and race across the driveway and up the front of me, diving head-first into my shirt pocket. She was a sweetie, and she let me handle her and cradle her in my hands and look at her. The next spring when her babies were coming out, they could only approach me if mom wasn't around. If she saw them near me, she would bite the hell out of them to drive them and then come to me for affirmation. I had to love her and hold her to my cheek, but that was "tough love" with her babies.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2006
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