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Old 12-13-2013, 03:44 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
515 posts, read 672,593 times
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I only feed during the winter months and I also provide housing for purple martins, tree swallows and blue birds for the spring and summer months.
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomersBoy View Post
I only feed during the winter months and I also provide housing for purple martins, tree swallows and blue birds for the spring and summer months.
One of the problems with feeding all year long is you get so many squirrels that they damage the birdhouses. I have no idea why squirrels will rip good birdhouse apart? Sometimes they will chew off the roof and sometimes they just chew the opening holes too big for birds. Possibly they steal bird eggs?
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:07 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
515 posts, read 672,593 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
One of the problems with feeding all year long is you get so many squirrels that they damage the birdhouses. I have no idea why squirrels will rip good birdhouse apart? Sometimes they will chew off the roof and sometimes they just chew the opening holes too big for birds. Possibly they steal bird eggs?
It could be that they are after eggs but who knows. Squirrels are rodents and rodents like to chew on everything. I don't have a squirrel problem here. Raccoons are a threat here to nesting birds and will also destroy bird feeders. I live trapped and relocated 3 this past year from a neighbors yard who feeds year round.
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
15,907 posts, read 12,700,152 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomersBoy View Post
It could be that they are after eggs but who knows. Squirrels are rodents and rodents like to chew on everything. I don't have a squirrel problem here. Raccoons are a threat here to nesting birds and will also destroy bird feeders. I live trapped and relocated 3 this past year from a neighbors yard who feeds year round.
My wife loves to buy birdhouses from the Maine State Prison Store in Thomaston ME: MSP Industries Products-Thumbnails. Many she will buy as presents. But we do have many of these around our house. For the last two years we have had so many squirrels that they are destroying most of our houses. I have watched them tear the houses apart. We don't even feed the birds anymore because we are hoping the squirrels move on to parts unknown. We do still have ducks and the squirrels still manage to steal some duck food. We also have fruit trees and loose major portions of our fruit to the squirrels and crows.
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,662 posts, read 76,357,401 times
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It doesn't matter if you feed them or not, at any time of the year. They don't depend on your handouts for survival. Every bird that starves this winter will re replaced by a surviving chick next spring, to maintain the ecologically sound population that your habitat can support or tolerate. One could argue that bird-feeding is harmful to the overall avian population, because it favors the survival of species already abundant that depend on human handouts, at the expense of those more wary and sparse. It might also favor the predators, by concentrating the numbers of prey species ln a tight circle.

One year, planning a winter birding trip to Duluth, I found that a nature shop that had feeders was reporting both a Boreal chickadee and a Northern shrike. When I got there, I saw neither of them, so I inquired. It seems the shrike ate the chickadee, then left and was never seen again.

You do not feed birds to help the birds. You feed them to draw them close to your windows to watch them. Do that whenever you want, it is unlikely to affect the birds much. .

Last edited by jtur88; 12-17-2013 at 06:17 PM..
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,641,399 times
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Originally Posted by Katie1 View Post
Most birds Migrate IF you feed them they Wont! So I wait til they migrate put up the feeders take them down when chicks hatch. I don't want the babies Not learning what they are Suppose to eat in Nature. I am late this year..they wont get fed til Jan LOL I do this for my winter enjoyment of watch them come into feed they can get entertaining at time. Not cause I don't think they wouldn't survive without me.
That's simply untrue. Birds are conditioned to migrate because changes in daylight, in temperatures, and precipitation trigger their biological clocks. Birds are used to individual food sources running out ... they eat all the ripe sunflower seeds or they clean out most of the mosquitoes over a small pond or they eat all the ripe chokecherries on a particular tree.

They are also used to moving shorter distances in response to weather changes. In cold, snowy weather I get a lot more birds at my feeders than when the winter weather turns warmer and the snow melts. When a storm blows in, like it did this past weekend, a lot of the birds "go missing" because they moved out of the storm's way. Some, like the chickadees, cardinals, and juncos tend to stay, but some may be refugees from storms further north. During a warmer, virtually snowless winter, I'll see fewer birds at the feeders, but I will see different kinds, such as some brave goldfinches in their drab winter plumage and more purple house finches.

What young birds learn from visiting feeders is that feeders contain food -- and they will only eat food that they like anyway. If you don't put seed out that they like, they'll either scatter it or they won't eat it. When their parents head south in the fall, the young birds go with them. They also learn from their flocks, which you often see forming in the late summer.
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:30 PM
 
3,463 posts, read 4,724,103 times
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I feed my birdies year 'round. I change mixtures and observe, too.
I think some of my neighbors dont put as much feed out as in the warmer months because my feeders have 4 times the traffic more than the warmer months. Cardinals, sparrows, t-mice and more. If Im lucky I might get a crow or two and hit the lottery when a Coopers or Sharp shinned hawk come to observe the chaos at the feeder.
I have the fattest cardinals in my neighborhood They look stunning against a snowy background!
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:27 AM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,770 posts, read 32,858,347 times
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Here's a heads up! Tractor Supply Co. - - Home Page has a $5 OFF coupon online for purchase of ANY Wild Bird Seed 20# & up! I just paid $5 for a 35# bag at my local store!!!
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Old 12-20-2013, 04:04 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,849,774 times
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I can't think of a more authoritative cite than the Audubon society.

They say feeding or not feeding makes no difference in migratory patterns.

When should I start and stop feeding birds? | National Audubon Society Birds
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:27 PM
 
11,115 posts, read 15,956,515 times
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Any suggestions for attracting cardinals? Are the males mostly ground feeders? I have several small females around the yard, and they seem to like the sunflower seed mix, but the males are indifferent. Also have 3 or 4 different kinds of suet and haven't seen any males after that yet either. (All bought at the Wild Bird specialty store, and/or Audobon Society seed.) Maybe I should get them bargain basement seed. I would like the Bluejays to choose another yard though ... they'll fight with anyone and are PITA.
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