Platform Feeder

July 10th, 2008

My New Feeder!

I’ve had a questionable past with my platform feeder and squirrels, but I think I’ve finally solved my squirrel problem. I originally put up this feeder to encourage Scrub Jays to visit my yard. They are always around my neighborhood, but they don’t seem to want to visit my feeder. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get Scrub Jays to visit regularly, but I have found a ton of finches that are eager for Sunflower seeds. Here’s my story:

This feeder hangs from a huge 28 inch branch hook on my Magnolia tree. It is an inexpensive, recycled platform feeder made by Rubicon. I was hoping that the squirrels in my yard wouldn’t be able to reach the feeder because the branch hook was so massive. While I was happy with the branch hook because it allowed me to hang feeders from high, thick branches on a big tree, it certainly didn’t do anything for squirrel protection. After a few stray birds visited the feeder, the squirrels took over for the next month.

Something had to be done! So, I bought a 12″ squirrel baffle. The feeder was 12″ and so I figured a 12″ baffle would be perfect. Apparently, I hadn’t thought this out too well. The baffle was round and the feeder was square, so this left the sides of the feeder exposed. Pretty soon after that, the squirrels were tipping the feeder over using this corner and collecting their bounty below. Sigh….

So, I took the next step, a put out a 20″ squirrel baffle. Then, the moment of truth. A squirrel carefully climbed down the hook and rested on top of the baffle. Ever so slowly, it crept toward the edge of the baffle…and FELL! I felt kind of bad for the squirrel, but my feeder was now for the birds.

The first few days I had this new setup out, the birds avoided it. But then, a stray House Finch sampled the seed, and pretty soon, the feeder was teeming with birds. Here a few pictures I took with my BirdCam.


Trying to Feed Jays

May 3rd, 2008

I’ve been trying to attract Scrub Jays to my feeders. They don’t seem to like the Squirrel Buster Plus. There are probably two reasons for this: 1) This feeder is a little uncomfortable for such a large bird! The Squirrel Buster Plus can accomodate many birds, but I would think Jays would not enjoy feeding from them. I’ve noticed the Scrub Jays in my yard feeding once or twice from the Squirrel Buster Plus, but they usually avoid it. This is not to say that the Squirrel Buster Plus isn’t a great feeder; the other birds in my yard love it and it really does keep squirrels away. However, it may not be the feeder for my Scrub Jays. 2) Finches. Lots of them! Aggressive finches. I wouldn’t want to hang out with them if I were a Scrub Jay. :)

So, I began looking for an alternative to feed these beautiful birds. I figured a platform feeder would be a good choice because it would give Scrub Jays room to feed comfortably. I tried one out, and sure enough, a Scrub Jay showed up the next day!

My BirdCam caught some wonderful pictures! I’ve uploaded the originals, so they are very detailed. Click on them to enlarge the pictures in my blog post.

But, later in the day, I had a problem. The squirrels started to eye my feeder. I’d used a long branch hook, so I figured the squirrels would at least have a difficult time reaching the feeder. I’d assumed they’d get to it eventually, but I was surprised at how fast they got there! The tray tipped over under the weight of the squirrels, and a whole slew of them had a feast of sunflower seeds! Once it was all gone, this one actually climbed on the feeder hanging on its side to finish the remaining seeds!

The Jay returned. Not much to eat now. :(

So…. How did the squirrels get to my bird feeder? They climbed up the tripod I used for the BirdCam. Lesson learned. Next time I’ll need to pole mount a feeder, use a squirrel baffle, and then use the BirdCam Mounting Arm above the squirrel baffle.

Squirrels are persistent!

Squirrels are Crafty Animals!

April 7th, 2008

A friend of mine sent me a cute squirrel video! It really is amazing how crafty squirrels can be. When I came home today I enjoyed watching a couple of squirrels as they tried to get to my squirrel-proof feeders. Watching the squirrels in my yard is a hoot!

Click here to check out the video my friend sent me.

Ground Feeders

February 7th, 2008

I set up my BirdCam early this week to start catching some pictures of the ground feeders under my seed bird feeders. These little guys are willing to wait and catch what falls from the feeder above. Below, you will see the second most common visitor in my yard, the White-crowned Sparrow. Adult White-crowned Sparrows have a distinctive back and white streaked head. Immature White-crowned Sparrows have a similar pattern on their head with much more subdued gray and brown colors. I see these birds everyday in my yard, but I have never seen one fly up to one of my feeders. They prefer to wait below!




House finches, house finches, house finches. They are everywhere in my yard!



That’s it! I was a little disappointed that the two Mourning Doves that live in my yard didn’t show up on the BirdCam. I have seen them ground feeding several times, but I have yet to capture a picture of them. They have a spot they like to perch in on my tree, but when I approach to take a picture they always fly away.

And now, for the number one ground feeder in my yard!