Monday, November 8, 2010

If birds can't find your feeder, does it exist?

A while ago, I wrote about getting a bird feeder so my daughter could watch the birds, and then about having to get rid of the bird feeder, after a raccoon tried to abscond with it.

A year and a half later, we are trying again. My daughter saw an episode of Curious George in which he made a bird feeder (and had to fight off a pesky squirrel), after which some real kids gave instructions about making your own homemade bird feeder. She really wanted to try, so we cleaned out an empty 64-oz Epsom salt carton, cut a hole for an opening, filled it with bird seed, taped the top shut, and stuck a pencil through it for a perch.

Hubby had wired one of those big stakes for hanging tomato plants to the deck, and I thought this was the solution to our raccoon problem--the advice I've seen is that if it hangs higher than eight feet, the raccoon can't get to it. None of our trees are that tall, but the deck certainly is. Second, the stake allowed us to point the feeder outward, which would prevent bird droppings on the deck (hubby's concern).

So I bound the feeder to the stake and waited. And waited. And waited. I even added the shelled sunflower seeds that were so popular with the birds in the last feeder--and nothing.

Is it the weather? We've had some crappy windy rainy days, but also some beautiful sunny days, and on the latter, I still see birds around. (And amazingly, the stake seems to be strong--the feeder is just as secure as when I first mounted it).

Or is it that the birds don't know it's there? In our effort to post the feeder somewhere the raccoons can't get to it, did we put it someplace where the birds can't even fathom there's food?

1 comment:

  1. Ayana Dilday GonzalezNovember 12, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    Hi Amy,
    I love your blog! I did this with my girls last spring (we used a plastic mayonaise jar and a long thin branch we found outside), and it took about a week or two before any birds found it. Eventually they did discover it, and it was really fun for a few weeks. But then water seeped into the jar when it rained, and all the seed at the bottom sprouted and then grew mold. We cleaned it out and started fresh, but the same thing happened again, and in the end I bought a "real" birdfeeder to replace it. I hope yours is more successful than ours was! Lots of luck :)