Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

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'


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


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    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


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    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

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

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


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Oh No!! :rofl:

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


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    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


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook