Have More Birds At Your Feeder

Want more birds at your feeder? The key is making it a safe place from predators.

Attracting birds to your backyard feeder can take time.

Trying to attract birds to your backyard and garden takes a lot of time, care and consummate understanding of birds and their needs. Here are a few things to take into consideration when trying to entice and keep the company of birds within your space:

Keep in mind that birds have the freedom of flight and therefore, the freedom of choice. So, if your food source isn’t sufficient, they will instinctively seek out another one. Ultimately, any kind of bird’s attention you win will need to house its young, feed them and dwell in a safe and comfortable environment. Bird lovers, therefore, should pay close attention to the presence of predatory critters that steal food and pose a mortal threat to bird safety.

You Might Have To Feed The Squirrels, Too

It would be a complete waste of time to spend the energy creating the right ambiance for your prospective bird-friends only to look up and see squirrels and other critters enjoying all the spoils of your labor. While nature is a largely unavoidable phenomenon, you can still do a few things to make a bird’s day go smoother.

For starters, squirrels, raccoons and other critter-friends eat much of the same stuff that you put out for the birds. Of course, we don’t want our critter-friends totally separated from the scene. That’s impossible, anyway. Instead, providing a comfortable food space for Mr. Squirrel away from our bird-friends may help solve the problem. Provide a separate area of food and refreshment the same as you would for two pet dogs by providing a dish of food for each animal. This way, the bird friends can relax and feed in their special area without having to compete with outsiders for food.

So how can you feed your squirrel? Here are tips from the article, “Save the Bird Seed From Squirrels

“Squirrel feeders can be as simple as a spiral wire that holds a dried corncob, but many feeders are designed to make the squirrel work for its food. Why not?

These agile, acrobatic creatures will do anything for a peanut, and it’s amusing to watch them use their brains to solve a problem. Some squirrel feeders require the critter to lift a lid on a box, some look more like moving jungle gyms, and others employ bungee cords. If you’re going to feed the squirrels, you might as well enjoy the show!
You can see more tips in this video:

How To Keep Cats Away From Bird Feeders

Cats are one of the most common predators of birds, and pose the greatest threat to their safety. The best way to keep your bird-friends safe from felines is to pay close attention to how cats behave. One useful way of keeping your bird-friends safe is to place feeders away from trees and other areas that cats can jump on, climb up and maneuver around in order to attack.

Often, placing a feeder on an isolated pole can deter a cat. Other remedies include putting a bell on kitty’s collar or leashing kitty when she’s outside. Another method employed to keep a cat in check, as well as snakes and other predators, is the use of baffles and chicken wire. Any barriers you use need to be employed with consideration of the predator’s size and agility.

How To Deter Hawks & Other Birds of Prey

As stated, nature is inevitable and such is the loss of life. No living creature, including humans, can exist outside of the circle of life. Predators will have their way, no matter how much we try to lovingly provide a safe space for our bird friends. Occasionally, you may witness nature taking its course, so just be in understanding about it. It is the best defense. Certain predators, like snakes, hawks and other birds of prey swoop in and steal young birds and eggs in order to eat and survive, as well. When dealing with birds of prey, remember that “out of sight means out of mind.”

Try to make the feeder less visible from the sky by positioning feeders under shelters or trees, if possible. Ground-feeding birds are also easily preyed upon by cats, too. These birds rely on the food discarded by birds high up in the feeders. If you are able to build a catchall to collect fallen feed for these birds and yet, make it high enough for a cat not to be able to jump upon it, this can also be a viable solution.

Get A High-Tech Bird Feeder

Modern technology can also lend an environmentally safe helping hand in deterring predators from invading your burgeoning bird sanctuary and stealing feed. One company, Duncraft offers the The Nite Guard Solar, a solar powered device that deters nighttime predators by flashing red light that mimics the eye of another animal. On their webpage, Duncraft enthusiasts applaud the product’s success at deterring nocturnal creatures, like coyotes, from embarking upon well-travelled animal trails emanating from their woodland habitat to the customer’s backyard.

Other manufacturers, like Woodlink, offer great deals on critter resistant birdfeeders, as well as other bird products. As an added advantage, Woodlink’s website is a source for handy links to other fine manufacturers of bird products and gadgets.

Cooper's hawk
Did the birds that normally visit your feeders disappear? It might be because of birds of prey are hanging around, like this Cooper’s hawk.

Don’t Punish Animals For Their Natural Behaviors

As a rule, it is never a good idea to punish an animal for displaying its natural tendencies, i.e. its predatory nature.So, before you punish the neighbor’s cat for committing foul play, have a talk with its owner. Express to your neighbor the many benefits of keeping their cat indoors, including better overall health and longevity for the animal. Instead of looking to attack the snakes, raccoons and birds of prey, learn their behaviors and find safe and artful ways of avoiding the inevitable as much as you can. Remember, when you bird watch, you watch more than just the birds. You watch the bird’s total environment and that includes its predators, too. Having a consummate understanding of our bird-friends’ lives helps you create an optimal environment for their comfort and survival.

If you think talking to your neighbors about their cats will be tough, keep in mind that they, too, are an integral link in the chain of nature and anything they can do to help would benefit them and their beloved feline, as well. We are all one in the circle of life!

In the end, if the birds decide in their infinite, instinctive wisdom to put down roots and nest at your house, you’ll know that your spot is tops and all the hard work really does pay off!

Happy birding!

Article Categories:
Birds · Lifestyle