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HERE'S SOME SUGGESTIONS
FROM OUR WEB SITE VISITORS
ON HOW TO TACKLE PROBLEMS AT THE BIRD FEEDER
....Compliments of Wild Birds Forever

We've all had the same problems: squirrels taking over our bird feeders, bird seed that sprouts under our feeders, no birds at the bird feeder or undesirable birds becoming pests. We've tried to gather the list of most frequently heard problems at the backyard bird feeder and offer you some practical solutions for them. Here's some great suggestions from our visitors!

PROBLEM #1: THOSE *!#*#*! SQUIRRELS!

This controversial topic is just too HOT!!!
It deserves it's own page!
Click here to "go there" now!....but you've been warned!!
Reading this page may cause loud outbursts of laughter!

 

PROBLEM #2: HOW CAN I STOP THE BIRD SEED FROM SPROUTING UNDER MY FEEDERS?

"Put a good layer of straw, (wheat, oat or hay) on the ground beneath your feeder. This catches spilled seeds and makes a secondary feeding station..Makes a great scratching place for small birds.  They love it!"
Nix Hipp,Little Rock, Arkansas.

"Hi, Love your Web site. Just received your Jan. update. Ref: "Bird seed sprouting under feeders" I had that problem with my four tier feeder, so I attached a "Sextant Bubble" from a B-17 bomber that I had in the garage. I hung it upside down under the feeder and it works fine. One could use a large plastic salad bowl in the same way. Its great to watch the Doves sit on the edge of the bowl then slide down for the seed."
Ralph E. Apperson,Palo Alto, California

"As far as seeds sprouting...with 30 feeders, I don't really care. My yard is totally chemical free...you can say I let nature take its course. I just mow the sprouting seeds and keep my feeders full. I'd rather have the birds than a manicured lawn any day."
Valerie,Val Therese, Ontario, Canada (20 minutes north of Sudbury, Ontario.)

PROBLEM #3: NO BIRDS ARE VISITING MY FEEDER!

"About Problem #3- Most birds like lots of cover. Planting trees or shrubs near the feeder will help draw more "customers". Also, a nice big birdbath seems to fit the bill!"
Donna Laing

PROBLEM #4: HOW DO I GET RID OF UNDESIRABLE BIRDS LIKE STARLINGS, GRACKLES, BLACKBIRDS, DOVES AND FINCHES?

"Hello from Trenton, NJ

This is in reply to your 1/1/98 e-mail.  Yes folks believe it or not here in the capitol city of Trenton, NJ there are some of us who like to do something for the wild life here.  In our little plot of land we have 3 birdseed feeders, 3 suet baskets, 1 feeder that is used for nuts for the woodpeckers, titmice, etc., and believe it or not, one squirrel feeder.  I know a lot of folks are pestered by the squirrels, but we say - hey they have to eat too. The one thing that is a problem here are the pigeons.  I do wish they could be changed into mourning doves or something that is more acceptable to folks. The pigeons cannot deal with any of the feeders in the yard.  They cannot land on any of them.  In the squirrel feeder I put whole peanuts in the shell and the pigeons cannot deal with them.  So really all the pigeons get are the scraps that fall to the ground  around the feeders.  Of course the other problem with the pigeons is that they tend to scare off other varieties of birds.  Generally speaking all seem to get what they need.  The doves and cardinals are the first to arrive in the predawn light.  The chickadees, titmice and nuthatches are next.  There are a million little finches, several varieties of woodpeckers, starlings, grackles (spelling?) and blue jays. 

Crows are another bird that for some reason have taken to calling Trenton their home.  Every day starting around 3 o'clock crows from all over the city, and from across the Delaware River in Pennsylvania come to roost in a city cemetery.  It is the most amazing thing.  This goes on all year but Trenton is one of those cities where the day time population leaves by 4:30 p.m.(quitting time).  In the other seasons of the year the crows do not get noticed because there are very few people in town.  In the fall and winter the situation is more prominent and a lot of folks think this is the only time of year the crows come to our city.  By dusk the trees in the cemetery are totally covered with crows.  It makes me wonder what is the attraction.  More recently they are spreading out to nearby neighborhoods.  Some of them also stop to grab peanuts from the squirrel feeder. 

Since my yard seems be a great place for birds to hang, I seem to attract yet another visitor generally in the cooler months of the year.  There are a couple of hawks who know they might get lucky stopping here also.  The crows seem to be the guardians because they do a noble job at trying to ward off the hawks.  Of course the hawks usually get what they came for.  It is certainly fair game, their hunting abilities are amazing.  And, this brings us full circle back to the pigeon problem now doesn't it!

Happy New Year and happy birding!"
Patricia Gorham, Trenton, New Jersey

"Good Day
My name is Kevin and I live in Tasmania the beautiful island state that is south of the Australian mainland. I would like to tell you all about a problem we had and the successful solution we stumbled upon.
When living in a residential suburban town some years ago we had this problem of starlings nesting under the eaves of our neighbors house. Their nest was directly opposite, and above our rotary clothesline. The nesting starlings always used our clothesline as a staging post before they entered, or after they left their nest. Well I guess you realize what our washing looked like after a few hours! It was a total disaster.Some times our washing had to be repeated up to six times. I tried every thing I knew to deter them.
Balloons, Streamers, Tinsel, Plastic bags, Aluminum plates, monofilament line, you name it we tried it. We even inflated the foil inners of cardboard wine casks and tied them to the arms of the rotary clothes line. (although it was fun drinking the wine, you could say the birds drove us to do it) All these methods failed, inside of a few days the starlings would be back sitting on the line beside the scarers. the only way we could get our washing dry and clean, was to actually remain close by the line until it was dry. One day in desperation I cut the shape of a cat out of a piece of flex board (hard board) I painted it black set it in a slot in a block of timber and bolted to the top and center of our rotary closeline. I watched from cover the first and only starling that I ever saw come near the line actually landed on the line looked up gave that frightened twitter that all bird species seem to understand and react to instantly. It flew away we never ever had the problem while-ever this cat shaped scarecrow stood up to the weather. The scarecrow turned with the turning action of the clothesline. Since the moving cat scarecrow was so successful I have taken out a patent made them very portable and sold thousands here in Australia. As far as I can ascertain there is nothing remotely similar available. I have not had the opportunity to test these scarers against squirrels, there are none in Australia. I have read of people who have deterred squirrels using a toy stuffed animal.
If that works them I am certain that these scarers will. Maybe there are some gardeners who might like to give one of these scat cats a trial,and report the results back to me."

Kevin Barry, Tasmania.

PROBLEM #5: BIRDS KEEP FLYING INTO MY WINDOWS!

"I have sun catchers hanging on my large bay window. The sun reflects off the crystals making pretty rainbows inside and the birds see the flickering and stay away."
Sue Olson

"I hang old CD discs from the top of the window pane or eves with a string. The radiance and movement from blowing in the breeze keeps the birds at bay."
Brian Jacobs,Ancaster Ontario Canada

PROBLEM #6: WHAT DO I DO WITH AN ABANDONED BABY BIRD OR AN INJURED BIRD?

"The first thing one should do is to be sure that the bird is indeed orphaned. Mother or Father could be just out of site, but still on the job. Many species will fledge but be unable to fly, whereby the parents will feed the young birds on the ground, in fact many will continue to feed well after the bird has learned to fly. It's just that they need to learn to hunt.
If the baby appears to be orphaned you should contact a local vet where you will be directed to bring the orphan in and they will hook up with a bonified and qualified person to tend to the bird.
All one has to do is to watch the mother and father tend to the babies to see that it's a full time job and with a wide variety of species, who could know how and what to feed.
Also to be considered is the chance that the young bird is sick and the parents know this. We have in the past taken in a baby intending to call the vet in the morning, and the baby does not last the night.
Lastly it is against the law where we live to possess a wild bird, and it probably is where you are too."

Tom Roberts

PROBLEM #7: WOODPECKERS ARE PECKING AT MY HOUSE!

PROBLEM #8: BIRDS VISITING MY FEEDER APPEAR TO BE SICK. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

PROBLEM #9: PROBLEMS WITH NEIGHBORHOOD CATS!

"I have lots of ground feeding birds, and the neighborhood cats were really causing problems.... they were dining well. However, I basically solved my cat problem by providing an elevated platform feeder (about  18 inches square with a lip on the edge, 7 feet up) ... which also has an effective conical shield to prevent cats (and squirrels) from climbing.  Now I can put out feed on the platform feeder, the birds come and feed in peace while all that the cats can  do is sit on the ground and watch.   Gradually, the cats are coming around less and less and my bird population is increasing weekly."
Pete

"Thanks for the tips and advice. A friend suggested purchasing a cheap brand of black pepper and sprinkling it in the spots where I see the cat lurking. (I found a one pound can of black pepper for a little under $2.00). I tried it and IT HAS HELPED! Apparently, cats hate the smell of pepper. Of course, once you water or it rains, you have to re-apply. And, cats are not stupid, so they simply find a new hiding place. I guess this will be an on-going game between the cat and myself! Figured I could afford that and it should not harm the environment or the birds."
Vernille

"About Problem #9- Use the solution of natural enemies to get rid of that bird-terrorizing cat: get a DOG!
Thanks for the helpful site! "
Donna Laing

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