Sunday, July 19, 2009

Caged Feeder

My birdbath has a built in heater, so it doesn't freeze over the winter. The problem is, it holds less than a gallon of water, and by the end of the day the grackles splash it all out. I was looking for one that holds more, plus one with a solar fountain. The best price I could find was for the Portsmouth Solar Bird Bath Fountain at, for $109.98 . I found a $10.00 off coupon, and with the free shipping, my total was $99.98. I just looked at this site now, seems like their price has gone up. You can still find coupons, though, here is one page. Before I bought one, I looked at the comments people left for it. The main complaint was, it doesn't hold water?? I suspect these people never had a birdbath before, because I clean and fill my birdbath everyday, as you should. The second complaint was, it has to be in direct sunlight. I can confirm this, it is because the solar panel is submerged. The only solution is to have a separate panel which you stick in the ground- something to move before mowing! No thanks. So I am happy with mine. One other thing, it claims to hold two gallons of water, but holds less than that.

The other night I was sitting the living room, talking on the telephone. I saw a series of flashes which lit up a corner of my bookshelf. What in the world? I looked outside, but saw nothing. The next day, I checked the memory card and saw the cause. This is the first that I have seen any of these at my house.

Speaking of the caged feeder, I can't say that I am all that pleased with it. The birds don't seem to use it much, and it is not designed well. You have to take it apart to clean the bottom, and the cage is held on with metal flaps. This is not going to hold up to repeated cleanings. I believe this is a Duncraft exclusive. They can keep it. The goldfinch do use it, and lately, chickadees, too.

I do like the Heritage feeder. This blue jay has figured out how to beat it. It flaps it's wings so the feeder does not close off. I've seen it do this a number of times. I hope it doesn't teach the grackles! Lately I have seen robins in my yard, and I think it is because there aren't nearly as many grackles. So, I decided to buy another Heritage feeder, to replace the caged feeder. I bought the first one through Amazon, but decided to buy directly from Ace Hardware Outlet, and save a bit. My total price was $54.10. One final pic. Hey you closed it off, no, you!

Monday, July 6, 2009


I have been cleaning and filling hummingbird feeders for one and a half seasons, and I still have not seen one! So, I thought I would try something different. HummZinger are the most recommended feeder, so I bought a HummZinger Mini. This takes one cup of nectar, which is easy to make, without having to store any. I don't waste so much nectar this way. In a moment of weakness, I also bought a couple of Habita MiniBlossom Hummingbird Feeder Folklore Blue Leaf on Stake by PARASOL These look nice in with my bushes, but unfortunately, they got covered with ants. PARASOL also makes hanging feeders, which you could use with ant traps. I don't know of a way to add an ant trap to the ones that I have.

I do not see the squirrel anymore, so this may be the last bungee video. If I see it return, I will try for more.

I really do not wish to feed grackles, so I bought a new feeder. It is a Heritage Farms 7533 Absolute Bird Feeder, which I bought through Amazon for $54.75. This is similar to the feeder which I had before, but that perch was kept open with a spring, while the new one is balanced. The spring on the old one closed halfway easily, but took more weight to close it off. In other words, it did not work for grackles. Here are a couple of shots of the new one, open with a cardinal, and closed by a grackle. The tube feeder did not work real well, either. I tried a number of times to adjust the setting for grackles, some times it worked, some times it did not. So I replaced it with the caged feeder. A goldfinch was the first to try it out, the wind has it blown sideways.

With these efforts, the number of grackles has dropped off quite a bit. They still hang around underneath the new feeder, waiting for a smaller bird to drop some seeds. After the grackles leave, I will probably put the tube feeder back up, and start putting feed in the fly through.

Yesterday, while I was mowing the yard, I saw the barn swallows flying around me. This is the first that I saw them this year, I wondered where they were. I counted six of them, and they did not buzz me, never getting within ten feet. Last year I almost dove off the mower when one got within a couple feet. When they are going that fast, and coming right at you, it is quite an experience!