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Bill O
10-19-2008, 11:17 AM
A little off topic but I know there are some bird enthusiasts around here.

I just setup a bird feeder yesterday and it looks like it will be cleared out by the end of today. Its a sparrow feeding frenzy with the occasional raid by starlings and blue jays.

Its the standard glass (plastic) tube with four perches and a tray at the bottom. Each perch has the option of a little sliver type opening or a larger bowl type opening.

Is it not a good time of the year to setup a bird feeder? Should I switch the opening to the smaller option to keep out the big birds?

spyboy
10-19-2008, 01:06 PM
I don't know when I can setup my bird feeders, since the black bears probably haven't gone into hibernation yet.

Kirk

Bill O
10-19-2008, 01:23 PM
We have a big brown bear. He prefers pheasants over seeds and spends most of his time hibernating.

http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/3981/n1404370776741574463dx7.jpg

KD Talbot
10-19-2008, 03:42 PM
Now is a great time to set them up in Connecticut, probably not wear Kirk lives. The bears are eating everything they can get their paws on to fatten up for winter. Natural food sources are becoming less abundant.

Starlings and sparrows actually prefer millet, the small brown seeds that most commercial birdseed mainly consists of. I set up a couple of feeders, one with the millet for the sparrows etc., and one with more expensive black oil sunflower seeds which attract more diverse birds such as cardinals, titmouse and nuthatches. The black oil sunflower seeds have the highest nutrient content that birds need to survive, so for most species is the best thing you can feed them.

I think the smaller slots are for niger, or thistle feed. I have a couple of these feeders, too. They attract goldfinches and redwing blackbirds. The goldfinches are a dull grey or olive color now and the redwings have flown south, or soon will. I've had 30 or more goldfinches at the feeder on cold winter days. In spring they turn their brilliant gold color to attract females. The redwings return in spring, this is the true sign of spring as the robins stay where they can find uncovered ground all winter. I have seen large flocks in January near my house.

KDT

mtruman
10-19-2008, 04:24 PM
Now is a good time, but some of the migrating birds that tend to be more piggish (like the starlings) can clean things out in a hurry. I just bought 90 pounds of seed yesterday (50 of sunflower seeds and 40 mixed). If I'm lucky this will last half the season. We had 5 feeders out last fall/winter as well as a couple of suet feeders and I had to fill them all at least once a week to keep up. Sure is great being able to sit by the window and watch all the birds out there on those cold winter days though.

Breeze
10-19-2008, 06:25 PM
We have a bear population here in West Bethel, so I wait to hang bird feeders pretty much until Thanksgiving ( US version). Some years that isn't late enough--- but I do have some deer hunting friends that will tell me if they have seen fresh bear scat late in November.

I buy the cheap plastic convertible feeders, one size hole for Niger, the other for Black Oil sunflower and hang one of each. When cold weather really sets in, I also offer Suet cakes in the wire mesh holders.

I feel I get the widest variety of birds with those choices and I don't bother with the Millet mixes because I don't particularly care to feed the Starlings and the sparrows, who fend for themselves quite well.

I have to take my feeders down mid-late April to avoid bear predation. This situation is rather recent ( the last 4-5 years) and it pains me to miss a lot of spring migrants.
I haven't seen a Rose Breasted Grosbeak or an Indigo Bunting in a few years, and I'm sure all the winter natives wonder where the feed-bag goes once the seasons change.

I can say that is a big mid-winter euphoria to look out in the early morning and see several dozen Common Redpolls with a few Hoary Redpolls in for a blitz. And I love the lead up to spring as the House Finch, Purple Finch, Gold Finch and Pine Siskins start to show their true colors/ breeding plumage.

It is pretty darn cool to see a Cardinal pair feed in early morning and late afternoon, taking turns on the ground underneath the feeders, especially when the snow is deep.

Darn Bears. GRRRRRRRRRRRR. I used to have the show year round.

Breeze

MsCntry
10-20-2008, 12:31 AM
We haven't seen any bear this summer. We have a big bag of sunflower mix, and I just take a 4cup measuring cup, and throw it out on the ground, as we haven't gotten any feeders yet. We also have 2 cake feeders in the wire baskets, usually on those we see only one black and white woodpecker, but he is gorgeous!! We have a mixture of birds that feed on the seed I throw out, but I do not know what kind they are. We have had seed out all summer, with no signs of bear. The only thing around here the birds fight over seed with are the fat chipmunks that are storing up for the winter. LOL:p

Rich
10-20-2008, 08:47 AM
We haven't seen any bear this summer. We have a big bag of sunflower mix, and I just take a 4cup measuring cup, and throw it out on the ground, as we haven't gotten any feeders yet. We also have 2 cake feeders in the wire baskets, usually on those we see only one black and white woodpecker, but he is gorgeous!! We have a mixture of birds that feed on the seed I throw out, but I do not know what kind they are. We have had seed out all summer, with no signs of bear. The only thing around here the birds fight over seed with are the fat chipmunks that are storing up for the winter. LOL:p

That might be a Downy woodpecker you see. Hmmm, have you noticed elevated levels of chipmunk activity? I have!

JimS
10-20-2008, 11:49 AM
Breeze...funny you mention that!

I HAD a birdfeeder until last night when a bear scaled my deck and ran away with it...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3219/2957970147_499c526e07_o.jpg

We heard the ruckus but it was too late. And for those of you who know my dog, she actually barked (once) during the ordeal!

Tim&Val
10-20-2008, 04:45 PM
We have never had an issue with bears at our feeders, and we leave them out all year (just outside Ashland, NH). We have the mixed type and the sunflower seeds. Once we had a racoon but he came after a suet cake. Now the suet cakes have to stay in little cages that are chained to the deck. :D Other than that, it's usually just a huge variety of birds plus the squirrels and chipmunks.

Oh, and we have turkeys at the feeder (http://www.barkeater.ws/JumpinTurkey/JumpinTurkey.htm) once the snow hits the ground!

Valerie

KD Talbot
10-20-2008, 07:27 PM
I'll have to get a turkey to keep the squirrels out of my feeders. I wonder how they work on bears?

KDT

MsCntry
10-20-2008, 10:06 PM
That might be a Downy woodpecker you see. Hmmm, have you noticed elevated levels of chipmunk activity? I have!

OH YES!! We didn't see any chipmunks all summer, then all of a sudden we have at least 3 now stealing the bird seed LOL. I know there is at least 3, because I went out, and had 2 hiding in our fire pit, then another one ran up to the fire pit without seeing me, it squeaked really loud then hopped into the closest hole of the pit ROFL it was hilarious!!

Here is the woodpecker

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g211/mscntry/Nature%20at%20home/17.jpg

And the chippies in the fire pit lol

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g211/mscntry/Nature%20at%20home/chip.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g211/mscntry/Nature%20at%20home/chip1.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g211/mscntry/Nature%20at%20home/chip2.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g211/mscntry/Nature%20at%20home/chip3.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g211/mscntry/Nature%20at%20home/chip4.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g211/mscntry/Nature%20at%20home/chip5.jpg

Brad
10-21-2008, 05:55 AM
What a nose - for pictures.

mtruman
10-21-2008, 10:40 AM
We have never had an issue with bears at our feeders, and we leave them out all year (just outside Ashland, NH). We have the mixed type and the sunflower seeds. Once we had a racoon but he came after a suet cake. Now the suet cakes have to stay in little cages that are chained to the deck. :D Other than that, it's usually just a huge variety of birds plus the squirrels and chipmunks.

Oh, and we have turkeys at the feeder (http://www.barkeater.ws/JumpinTurkey/JumpinTurkey.htm) once the snow hits the ground!

Valerie

They Turkey vs. Squirrel video is hilarious! We have turkeys under one of the feeders quite regularly but it looks like ours need to be trained in squirrel maintenance methods. Maybe I could have them give yours a call...

mtruman
10-21-2008, 01:22 PM
Here are a couple of our regular visitors (Downy Woodpecker and White Breasted Nuthatch). Both really love the suet feeder.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SP4OoeylfXI/AAAAAAAAGf8/zqZmR8XoY_o/s800/080315-224836.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SP4OqOHk6yI/AAAAAAAAGgQ/ygp0cC62jiM/s800/080315-225106.jpg

Breeze
10-21-2008, 05:10 PM
Jim S,

I'm really sorry to hear that news and see the evidence.

Bears DO NOT FORGET where they have found food, I'm just sayin.... keep that in mind if you are thinking this might be a freak one-off occurance.

You house is now on the Ursa Trick or Treat route, and even if she-Ursa sleeps through the winter, she will remember where she snagged a treat and come looking for more.

Dang it. Empathy.

Breeze

Brad
10-21-2008, 06:32 PM
No napping on the deck for Jim.

KD Talbot
10-21-2008, 08:32 PM
Nice feeder shots, everyone! Mark gets an A.

KDT

spyboy
10-21-2008, 09:48 PM
Here's a shot I took back on October 12th of a few critters at the feeder...

http://www.spyboy.com/feeder.jpg

Patrad Fischroy
10-22-2008, 09:39 AM
Not wanting to show too much favoritism, but I prefer the feathered, two legged critters over their featherless counterparts

spyboy
10-22-2008, 12:16 PM
Hey, I tried to shoo them all away but they just kept coming back to the feeders :)


Not wanting to show too much favoritism, but I prefer the feathered, two legged critters over their featherless counterparts

KD Talbot
10-22-2008, 07:10 PM
Deerfield or Fryeburg Feeders? I want a sausage and peppers right now!

KDT

spyboy
10-22-2008, 08:14 PM
That was the Sandwich Fair. And yes, that's why I went, for a sausage sandwich :)

K

Tim&Val
10-22-2008, 09:19 PM
We went last year, but Tim decided this year that he'd rather that I just bought the caramel and the apples and made my own treats rather than brave the crowds.

We did enjoy the animal barns. :o

Valerie

M_Six
10-22-2008, 10:36 PM
I get these big, furry birds.

http://www.bimmermail.com/morningdeer2.jpg

Between them, the raccoons, the chipmunks, the squirrels, the foxes, and the possums, the poor birds are lucky to get anything. :D I go through a little over 100lbs of various seeds and peanut pickouts a month. The wildlife is worth the expense, though. We always have a show in our backyard, especially in the winter.

h2oeco
10-22-2008, 11:19 PM
These guys tend to put a dent in the bird seed supply...

http://www.ecomalley.com/photos/main.php?g2_itemId=1171

mtruman
10-23-2008, 08:37 AM
Between them, the raccoons, the chipmunks, the squirrels, the foxes, and the possums, the poor birds are lucky to get anything. :D I go through a little over 100lbs of various seeds and peanut pickouts a month. The wildlife is worth the expense, though. We always have a show in our backyard, especially in the winter.

100 lbs a month! Yikes!! The "big furry birds" sure can go through a lot. I don't feel so bad about 200lbs for the season anymore. Like you said, it's worth it to have all the wildlife around.