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Would it offend if...

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Re: Would it offend if...

Post  llama momma on 11/16/2011, 4:15 pm

In the past I have used a type of squirrel guard. It was very wide, metal dish shaped thing. It attached right below the bird feeder so they couldn't climb over it. And it worked nicely from the ground up...but when the squirrels at my other house could no longer climb up the pole they flung themselves from tree branches (at least 10 feet away) and landed smack in the middle of the 4 sided open feeder. There is a national retail chain, Wild Birds Unlimited, you can google them. They have several different squirrel guard contraptions.

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Re: Would it offend if...

Post  llama momma on 11/16/2011, 4:20 pm

I (very gently) agree with you gwennifer about changing the name of the thread. We'll see what BBG wants to do. The current title does kind of hide the content and we could miss out on a lot of knowledgable input from others.

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Re: Would it offend if...

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 11/16/2011, 10:41 pm

Great shot, Boffer.

Much like other threads, I will split this one off. I was only searching for entry level interest. However, feel free to start your own, too. I would recommend keeping it in "Everything Else" since birds and bird chatter have little to do with the main premise of SFG. I'm just glad others are interested, too.

Something I saw interesting....a garden with landscaping lights. You know, the ones that are solar powered? I noticed this driving down the road the other day in someone's yard. I thought, "Why would someone do that?" It occurred to me, "Maybe they are attracting moths, etc, to their garden. If so, I wonder if bats/birds would follow?" That may be worth investigating.

Yup, baffles are important to keep those squirrels at bay. A couple tips there...

- Squirrels can jump up to 4 feet vertically. Hang your baffles under your feeders at least that high.

- Squirrels can jump up to 12 feet horizontally. Farther, if dropping out of tree branches. So, you may need to baffle your feeders from above, too. But, it's easier to put the feeders on poles completely away from trees, if possible. (However, there is NOTHING funnier, imo, than watching a squirrel launch as far as he can to a feeder and completely whiff....or bounce off a baffle. Sadly, they are super smart and it only takes about one adjustment for them to get it perfect forever. If you want to be evil, you just keep moving your feeder a bit each day...which I've done in the winters when I have the time for good laughs.)

- Squirrels love sunflower seeds. Coincidentally, so do most songbirds. However, I have found that feeding the squirrels off to the side can distract them from hard to reach feeders. Like water, squirrels take the easiest path. I feed squirrels, and nuisance birds like Grackles, cracked corn. It's super cheap and also brings in native sparrow species in the winter.

Side note: Soon I'll be adding a squirrel bungee. Search it on youtube. It's hilarious. A bungee cord with a couple corn cobs hooked onto it. The squirrel jumps on and bounces as he tries to eat. Apparently, they just play with it for hours on end. The apparatus costs under $20. I think my kids are getting me one for Christmas. Either way, it ought to be fun to watch, especially if I get it 3-4 feet off the ground. Twisted Evil

Oh, and don't be "gentle," BBG is in the kitchen cuz he can take the heat. I try to speak honestly and from the heart, even if it ruffles feathers. Anyone can do the same with me. No biggie. Wink

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Re: Would it offend if...

Post  llama momma on 11/17/2011, 4:09 am

[Oh, and don't be "gentle," BBG is in the kitchen cuz he can take the heat, Ok BBG! I wanted to be respectful.

Have not seen one little squirrel since moving here 5 years ago, unheard of in my 5 decade+ experience. Never lived in a rural area before either. 400 ft over is a small 3-acre patch of dense woods with mature trees. But I have seen coyote, fox, and hawks, perhaps they efficiently eliminated squirrels from establishing residence?

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Re: Would it offend if...

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 11/17/2011, 9:20 am

I'm amazed at living in Ohio and never having encountered a squirrel. That just boggles my mind. I've seen them in rural parts of Kansas. (Haha, yes I know the difference between a squirrel and prairie dog. Wink )

I have 4 under my feeder as I get up to look out my window. I also have about 10 mourning doves, 6 sparrows, 2 juncos, a chickadee, a northern flicker, a couple of house finches chattering, and a goldfinch on my thistle sock. And, that was just a morning glance.

I may get some time to get out and describe my setup today. I think it would be encouraging to share because it's not as hard as some think to get some really good pictures of birds these days.

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Re: Would it offend if...

Post  llama momma on 11/17/2011, 5:21 pm

I have usually lived in the suburbs in NY and Ohio which are loaded with squirrels. But for some odd reason, not one around my yard or pasture, so strange!

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Re: Would it offend if...

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 11/18/2011, 9:24 pm

BBG - those bungee feeders are hilarious! rofl I'm curious tho...don't you have a "hound dog"? I would love to put one on our black walnut but am kind of afraid that the squirrels would be so intent on playing with the feeder that it would give the dogs a better shot at them??? I've seen our one mixed breed dog grab a squirrel out of the air as it was jumping from the ground to a tree. So i'm thinking it may not be such a great idea in areas where the dogs are. Smile

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Re: Would it offend if...

Post  llama momma on 11/19/2011, 7:42 am

BBG have you tried out bird bath heaters? Although it sounds silly at first I was pleasantly surprised at the number of birds crowding around for a drink during the frigid cold months. And if the heater was accidentally turned off and froze the water? The little darlings kind of sat there banging away with their little beaks on the ice. Talk about a guilt trip.

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Re: Would it offend if...

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 11/19/2011, 6:43 pm

1- Those squirrels are pretty darned smart. As of now, they scatter every time the dog comes out. I have even tried to ambush them with her by silently raising the doggy door in the basement...only about 20 feet away. She still has no chance. However, I will watch when the bungee goes up. You make a good point.

2- I have never given a lot of thought to the bath heaters. I live near a creek that runs, so it's rare that it freezes completely over in our climate. That said, I'm pretty geeky when it comes to birds. I may do it someday just to see what I bring into the yard. I am slowly working on a birdbath turned water feature on the ground so the sparrows and whatnot won't hesitate to jump in. I am trying to set up some pictures of bathing birds.

I've had a busy weekend, and next week looks to be busier...with work and family both. But, I will start working on specific topics to post separate threads soon.

Oh, and just so everyone knows how crazy it gets, I just looked outside this afternoon and counted 41 Eurasian Tree Sparrows (not present anywhere but St. Louis in North America) and 42 Mourning Doves. I saw a few finches, a woodpecker or two, and a grackle. That makes very near 100 birds in my yard at the same time.....a new record for us. I'm sure the gov't will be looking into my operation soon enough to see if they can find a way to tax me.

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Re: Would it offend if...

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