feeder questions

kate hammill katehammill75 at hotmail.com
Thu Jun 14 11:53:36 PDT 2001


Margaret, Brock, Edwin, Tweeters:
Regarding feeders: First, Margaret, your "more knowledgeable" friend was 
incorrect. There is no real scientific studies what show feeding birds makes 
them dependant on feeders. Please continue to feed your birds if you enjoy 
it. As long as you do it responsibly and keep your feeders clean, why not?
As far as "undesirable" birds, such as Starlings. Knowing your seed types 
and feeder styles will solve most of your problems with these species.
For larger "problem" birds, use wire cages around your feeders. Small birds 
can enter, large birds get bored trying and move on.
NEVER buy cheap mixed feed at local hardware and bargain stores. Feed only 
Niger thistle, top grade black oil sunflower, and pure clean white suet, and 
a top grade ground feed(no corn).NOTHING ELSE.
If you use a wire cage around your thistle and black oil feeders you will 
have no problems with large unwelcome birds.
If you put your ground seed in a ground feeder with a wire cage top you will 
have no problems with birds like rock doves.
Now here is were most people have trouble.Starlings and suet. Easy to solve. 
STOP feeding cheap suet cakes or ANY suet cakes to your birds.
Stop feeding suet filled with other junk, like peanuts, berries,and insects. 
The birds want the SUET, the other stuff is just filler. BUY PURE WHITE SUET 
IN TUBS and use a hanging log suet feeder. This style is basically a small 
log 12" to 18" long maybe 3 to 5" across, with 1" diameter holes drilled in 
it at various intervals about a inch deep. Fill the holes with the pure 
suet. Hang it from a tree or pole. Use a squirrel guard if needed. That's 
it. I have had Chickadees, Flickers, woodpeckers, nuthatches, bushtits, and 
even a few warblers go nuts over this feeder, but NO more Starlings. If a 
few do try to hover in front of the holes put up a wire cage around it for a 
while till they lose interest. The wire cage must be spaced far enough away 
from the log so the Starlings can't land on the wire cage a reach in to get 
the suet. I guarantee this type of feeder will work. I've tried them all. 
This is the only style that works and the real key is the PURE WHITE SUET 
and the SMALL 1" HOLES. Starlings just don't like plain suet that much.
You can find all the correct feed at Wild Bird Stores including tubs of 
white suet. They also have a full line of wire cages and feeders for any 
space or purpose. If you can't find pre-made suet log feeders, make your 
own, all you need is a drill, 1" bit, and a old log.
I know this seems like a lot of work, but it will solve or at least minimize 
your Starling problem.
hope this helps in some way.

kate
Seattle, WA.98103


"you gotta get in to get out"
-Peter Gabriel
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