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Tuppence a bag is pretty cheap

A couple years ago I bought a cheap plastic bird feeder and hung it from a (relatively) low-hanging branch outside the kitchen window.  It stayed there and feed countless birds through the winter, until a powerful storm broke the branch off, smashing the feeder to bits on the ground.

Not wanting to throw money away on cheap plastic junk again, I replaced it with a wooden feeder I got at a discount because the chain was broken.  I repaired the chain and hung the feeder from a sturdier branch using a bent-up coat hanger.  It lasted just a couple weeks before one of the strongest wind storms we've ever experienced snapped the chain.  The feeder fell to the ground undamaged, but the chain and the coat hanger were never seen again.

I bought another bird feeder, a sturdier plastic material with a strong steel hanger.  It's in the shape of a barn, bright red with white and green trim.  I filled it with a generic "wild bird feed" which appears to be various kinds of millet, sunflower and safflower seeds and corn.  The birds have pretty much ignored it until very recently.

I then bought a small wire feeder which I filled with sunflower seeds.  The birds have gone crazy over this feeder, totally emptying it in less than two days.  I need to buy a bigger bag of seed next time.

After reading that some kinds of birds prefer pole-mounted feeders, I jerry-rigged a mounting for the wooden feeder and attached it to a metal pole.  It's a 3-station feeder and I fill it with the wild bird seed mix, the scratch grains (corn, oats and milo) that I usually feed the sheep and safflower seeds.  The birds had ignored this feeder until recently, now they're hitting it fairly regularly.  They don't seem to care much for the safflower, but they like the scratch grains.

The most recent feeder that I've put up was a cheap wood and wire suet cake feeder.  I load it with pre-fab cakes made with corn, oats, peanuts, almonds and pecans bound together with beef fat.  The woodpeckers love the stuff.

I've thought about buying a thistle seed (nyger seed) feeder; that kind of seed is a favorite for the brightly colored finches, but it's also obscenely expensive.  I've also thought about setting up hummingbird feeders when it warms up, but I've never seen a hummer around here, so it's probably pointless.

So far I've seen at least two different species of woodpecker, numerous sparrows, finches, nuthatches, chickadees and a titmouse.  All the feeders are outside the kitchen window.  The seed is fairly cheap in the long run and I think it's worth the small investment to have something pretty to look at while doing the dishes.  The woodpeckers in particular are amusing to watch, as they're almost as big as the suet feeder they love so much.

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