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Old 12-25-2017, 03:48 PM
 
Location: northern New England
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I do have a suet cake as well that gets a lot of action and seems to be mess proof. We just had 8" of snow and I notice the birds on the ground picking through the snow to get seeds.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTsnowbird View Post
I do have a suet cake as well that gets a lot of action and seems to be mess proof. We just had 8" of snow and I notice the birds on the ground picking through the snow to get seeds.
I used to hang up suet cakes, but every single time the raccoons will knock over whatever the suet cakes are hung from and steal the entire cake. So, I just don't bother with those anymore. The birds seem pretty happy with the good quality seed that I provide as well as the constant supply of running water.
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:16 AM
 
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I have bird feeders set up on my property

But fill them much less frequently after I read that the encourage rats / mice to hang around also.

Not sure if true or an old wives tale ... but I took notice
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:19 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
34,802 posts, read 44,312,506 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLastPatriot View Post
I have bird feeders set up on my property

But fill them much less frequently after I read that the encourage rats / mice to hang around also.

Not sure if true or an old wives tale ... but I took notice
Yeah, it's true. That's why I don't mind having a cat living under the porch.
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:20 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ~🌄 ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️🌄~
8,659 posts, read 7,414,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLastPatriot View Post
I have bird feeders set up on my property

But fill them much less frequently after I read that the encourage rats / mice to hang around also.

Not sure if true or an old wives tale ... but I took notice

It's true. It encourages all manner of rodents (including possums and skunks) to hang around and take up residence on the property, and it attracts other bigger predators that eat birds and will lie in wait to catch them. Where I live, bird feeders attract bird killers as well as bears and coyotes and then they'll trash the bird feeders as well as other property and the gardens and may attack pets. It's just not worth the risk of the potential threat to my pets, family and property to be attracting nuisance animals for the sake of feeding some birds and have the birds become dependent on an un-natural source of food.


.
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Old 12-29-2017, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
It's true. It encourages all manner of rodents (including possums and skunks) to hang around and take up residence on the property, and it attracts other bigger predators that eat birds and will lie in wait to catch them. Where I live, bird feeders attract bird killers as well as bears and coyotes and then they'll trash the bird feeders as well as other property and the gardens and may attack pets. It's just not worth the risk of the potential threat to my pets, family and property to be attracting nuisance animals for the sake of feeding some birds and have the birds become dependent on an un-natural source of food.


.
Possums and skunks are not "rodents", and possums, in particular, are beneficial because they eat ticks. I've cut down on summer feeding only because it encouraged the presence of subterranean voles, which tend to eat my tender bulbs as well as the extra seeds. However, I feed prodigiously during the winter because the community where I live is a bird sanctuary and we have a wonderful variety of birds. I also keep my waterfall/small pond running all the time as a source of water for the birds in all seasons, which they enjoy tremendously, even in the midst of a big snowstorm. Occasionally I have a hawk which will pick off a cardinal for a meal (they never seem to get the sparrows), but that's just nature doing what it will.
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Old 12-29-2017, 06:20 PM
 
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To my way of thinking, the song birds need our help and I'm happy to provide it. Yes, the seeds increase voles and chipmunks and squirrels etc, but that's ok with me. I feel that I am not in a position to withhold anything, sitting here in my warm house as the animals struggle to survive outside in the cold. (I know I am anthropomorphizing this, but I am of the human race, so what other choice do I have?)


Also want to add that we don't buy the prepared suet cakes, we buy beef suet at grocery store, about $2 a pound, and cut it up to fit into our suet cages. We store the excess in the freezer. It lasts much longer than the suet cakes, thus it's less expensive.


And, it took us about 30 years, but we finally figured out how to keep the squirrels, raccoons, etc away from the seed and suet feeders. We hung empty plastic OJ containers on the ropes just above the feeders. The beasties are then unable to grab onto the OJ containers in order to weasel their way down the rope to the feeders and therefore can only feed from what has fallen to the ground.


Also of note, when it snows, we scrape the snow away from the area under the feeders so the birds have an easier time digging up the fallen seeds.

Happy watching and happy listening!

Last edited by LilyMae521; 12-29-2017 at 06:33 PM..
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Old 12-31-2017, 12:43 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ~🌄 ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️🌄~
8,659 posts, read 7,414,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungalove View Post
Possums and skunks are not "rodents", .....

I know that. I should have said "as well as" instead of saying "including". Possums are marsupials and skunks are mephitidae (if that really matters to anyone besides you) but their unwelcome behavior around human properties and bird feeders puts them down there with equally unwelcome rodents as far as I'm concerned. I think they're all great in their own natural places in nature, just not around my home.

I'm not criticizing the people here who put up bird feeders, everyone has their own reasons based in curiosity, generosity and compassion for doing so. It's just not a practical or safe thing to do it where I live. It's also not helpful to feed birds here because there's always lots of natural food available year round in coastal rainforest habitats. Even the hummingbirds stay here year round and many types of migrating birds from the far north stop and over-winter here instead of going further south.

However, I do feel that if it's not a needful or helpful thing in other locations then it shouldn't be encouraged because it's not doing the wild birds and animals any favours to feed them, it's doing the exact opposite and causing harm to them.

.
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Old 12-31-2017, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
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I typically fill up the feeder between late September and late April to catch some of the migrating birds at the feeder. Right now their going through about a pound of seeds a day--some at the feeder and some eating off the ground. My son bought me a Brome Squirrel Buster feeder last year. It does prevent the squirrels from getting the seed. Can't stop the occasional deer though from trying to get food out.

We would have skunks, raccoons and possums in the yard feeder or not. I don't worry about it.
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Old 01-01-2018, 02:39 PM
 
1,153 posts, read 570,124 times
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I realize I should qualify my post about feeding birds with the fact that I am in southern CT, where even though there is space for wildlife, it is greatly diminished. That is why I feel that the songbirds need out help; this is a very congested area in comparison to some other parts of the world. I agree w Zoisite (above) that excess feeding in our area (and likely any feeding in Zoisite's area of British Colombia) can cause harm.

I think we all have a sadness that our natural world is so out of balance.

But, last evening, my nature observation was absolutely lovely.

There were eight graceful white tail deer (WAY out of balance around here. No real predators left...) in our yard just as darkness fell, slowly maneuvering their way through our very natural, wooded yard until they arrived under the bird feeders where the song birds and then the wild turkeys had already pecked at most of the fallen seeds. The deer nuzzled the ground and ate what bits they could find, cracked corn and sunflower seeds, maybe some fallen suet scraps. It truly could only have amounted to a snack for them, especially in this cold. As much as I wanted to go out and throw more corn and seeds, I did not.

They then gracefully moved to the native shrubberies and other natural plants, which is fine. The plants are always there. And as much as they eat each year, they never kill the shrubberies/plants completely, which works out well for everyone in my book.

Anyway, this is just a nature observation in 2018 as our world currently exists in the Boston-Washington DC corridor of USA.

Happy New Year to everyone.
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