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Fascinating fun with backyard bird feeders



How to feed summer birds

backyard, birds, feeders, seeds, sugar water

I have two kids, two daughters-in-law and two grandkids. We are all practicing social distancing, and each of us is living vastly different lives.

Paul, my oldest, decided to use this time to do jobs that he was just too busy to tackle before we all began to stay at home. Cleaning the attic and bringing all their old clothes and furniture to Goodwill or the dump. Fixing broken sidewalk paths. Experimenting with planting veggies (moderate success), greenery (wonderful plumage), and basil and mint (growing wildly).

His newest endeavor is attracting birds to their back deck. With his mask on, off he went to Home Depot, which is close to his home. Lots of choices in all price ranges. He chose their Perky Pet feeder because it claimed it was squirrel resistant. For only $19.95, the Perky was the best choice because his area is home to squirrel families.  And in terms of seeds he said, “Although there were bags of specialty seeds to attract specific birds, we bought a 40# mixed seed bundle."

He also bought a pole with a spike to ram in ground to which he hung the feeder. Out came the camera to show off his new “toy”. Everyday I would get texts and photos of the beautiful birds the feeder attracted.

In the beginning, the Perky Pet feeder was truly squirrelless. The squirrels were content munching on the seed droppings which landed on the grass at the base of the feeder. Eventually the pesky squirrels got smarter. But Paul is no quitter. He mounted a homemade squirrel baffle. A squirrel baffle is merely a contraption that prevents squirrels (and other small mammals) from climbing up the bird feeder pole.

Not content with his success, he mentioned that his best friend Mike has hummingbirds visiting his backyard. So that was the next project. Amazon, here he comes. “I wasn’t sure what I would find at Home Depot and I like seeing the reviews.”  Two feeders for $17. No seeds necessary. Just water and sugar. What could be easier?

Hummingbirds are magnificent. Small – two to three inches. With wings that create a hum. Paul bought flowers to attract the hummingbirds, but that didn’t seem to be necessary.

The feeders have been up a month. Everyone enjoys capturing the birds feeding, seeing the different species they attract and loving the colorful array.

Paul’s final comments: 

1. No matter what bird feeder you buy the squirrels are a problem, but there are solutions.

2. Be sure to place the feeders where you can easily photograph them. 

3. We are seeing different species of birds move in and then move on.

4. There is less activity mid-day. Early am and dusk seem to be the best times. 

5. Although the hummingbirds were attracted very quickly to the feeder, we are now seeing woodpeckers coming around and becoming dominant. 

If you want to make your own feeder, just do a simple online search. You will get huge results. I liked Kathy Woodard’s Garden Glove site. The Garden Glove by Kathy Woodard offers DIY projects. Easy to make birdfeeders, with step by step instructions




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