Home Forums Miscellaneous Outdoor Tidbits Feeding birds

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  • IaCraigIaCraig
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    Post count: 1709

    As I sit in front of a cozy fire on this chilly day, I just noticed a rare visitor to my sun flower feeder…a tufted titmouse. He is one of my “trophy” birds I like to see because they are a bit rare in my area. Seeing him makes my day and got me wondering how many other Iowasportsman members feed birds, what their “trophy” birds are and if they would share any tips. I will start, I have 4 different types of feeders, sunflower, suet, thistle seed & a general mixed feed(peanuts,cracked corn, millet etc). I get a very wide variety of birds, and enjoy them all, but get anoyed by the squirrels that destroy my feeders. My tip, I use an electric dog bowl on a tall stump to provide water in the winter to the birds.

    Anyone else :question:

    AvatarMosquito Heights
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    Post count: 8

    I feed only black oil sunflower seeds (I add suet in the winter) and have every “good” bird going.

    I used to feed mixes bit got grackles and starlings.

    I have a red bellied woodpecker that is my favorite. You can almost set your watch by him.

    We hae had as many as 20 cardinals at the feeder at a time, chickadees, nuthatches and downy woodpeckers are daily visitors as well as finches and bluejays.

    Every spring for a week or so, we get rosebreasted grossbeacks pasing through.

    My biggest problem is deer. Once the snow gets thick, they become pests. 30 feet from my front door, knocking seed out of the feeder and eating it off the ground.

    Avatarhacksaw
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    Post count: 1434

    Quote by: IaCraig

    As I sit in front of a cozy fire on this chilly day, I just noticed a rare visitor to my sun flower feeder…a tufted titmouse. He is one of my “trophy” birds I like to see because they are a bit rare in my area. Seeing him makes my day and got me wondering how many other Iowasportsman members feed birds, what their “trophy” birds are and if they would share any tips. I will start, I have 4 different types of feeders, sunflower, suet, thistle seed & a general mixed feed(peanuts,cracked corn, millet etc). I get a very wide variety of birds, and enjoy them all, but get anoyed by the squirrels that destroy my feeders. My tip, I use an electric dog bowl on a tall stump to provide water in the winter to the birds.

    Anyone else :question:

    Yep, we feed the same plus ears of corn for the squirrels and it is a forever battle keeping the squirrels outta the bird seed. Have a couple of squirrel proof ones is all. Enjoy all of the birds but especially like it in the late afternoons when an occasional flock of Cardinals comes to town from the fields. Have a bird book but not smart enough to find the rare ones in it, I guess ? 😉 We also have deer at night invade the easy feeders and we live less than 5 minutes south of downtown Des Moines and also have had them nap under our pine trees. But, it is all good.

    AvatarBrad Phillips
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    Post count: 3188

    I mostly feed the deer in the back yard, but lots of birds, squirrels, and rabbits enjoy what is left. I usually put out a butter tub of corn a night (for Deer) and one int the morning for everyone else. I only put out a butter tub as I don’t want them to live off what I put out but some extra calories are good. Normally I don’t put anything out until there is enough snow on the ground that things are hard to find.

    It is funny how some birds are on a regular schedule, I suppose they have a list of possible meal sights 😀

    AvatarKev-Cat
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    Post count: 1030

    I enjoy bird feeding too. I had a battle with the squirrels raiding our feeder and were emptying it nearly every day.

    Plan A – I used an old plastic trash can lid and mounted it under the feeder and raised the feeder up to a little over 6 feet. Then the wind caught the lid and shook the seed out.

    Plan B – Installed 2 guy wires to keep the whole thing from fluttering. Then the squirrels climbed the wire upside-down and raided the feeder again.

    Plan C – Threaded 5 empty plastic pop bottles onto the guy wires. The squirrels try to climb and get flipped every time. Squirrels are defeated and birds abound.

    Is there an electric heater I could add to my current bird bath?
    Kev

    Here is my simple feeder setup:

    AvatarBrad Phillips
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    Post count: 3188

    I have seen small heaters that are meant to be put in a bird bath or dog bucket.

    AvatarPrime_Focus
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    Post count: 2933

    It’s always a treat to see a tufted titmouse. I used to see a lot of them come past a deer stand that I had. They would come by in large numbers always staying down in the low bushes, close to the ground. I would here them coming long before I saw them. They would slowly move through the underbrush and then suddenly be gone. They’re a neat little bird.

    Avatarkenhump
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    Post count: 12769

    Put a heater in a large bird bath once. Problem was starlings would take a bath in it then fly over to a chainlink fence to dry and freeze to it. Got to be a pain ‘debirding’ the fence all the time. Lived across the street from a grade school. “Mister, why do you hang birds on your fence?”. Went to a smaller semi covered dish and problem solved.

    Avatartrout
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    Post count: 1078

    Lol Ken taste like chicken ?

    Avatarkenhump
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    Post count: 12769

    Quote by: trout

    Lol Ken taste like chicken ?

    No, but I think chicken taste a bit like starling. Cedar-waxwing are very interesting winter birds. Once had a flock of 20-30 descend on a neighbors Mountain ash tree the was heavy with berries. Stayed about 3 days and picked the tree clean before leaving. We had a few visit our feeder, but most stayed in the ash tree.

    AvatarKev-Cat
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    Post count: 1030

    Quote by: kenhump

    Quote by: trout

    Lol Ken taste like chicken ?

    No, but I think chicken taste a bit like starling. Cedar-waxwing are very interesting winter birds. Once had a flock of 20-30 descend on a neighbors Mountain ash tree the was heavy with berries. Stayed about 3 days and picked the tree clean before leaving. We had a few visit our feeder, but most stayed in the ash tree.

    Those cedar-waxwings are my favorite. I planted a “prairie-fire crabapple” just for them and also to help pollinate my other apple trees in the spring. That type of crabapple is very small – about the size of a small cherry. They clean the entire tree and I never have any mess. They also run the squirrels away so they can eat. B) My tree just got cleaned out a couple days ago.

    They will often line up side-by-side and one bird will pick a berry from the end of a branch. Then they all pass the berry down the line for the last one to eat. Neat to watch.

    Just was looking for a bird-bath heater. How many watts for an 18″ diameter concrete bowl? There appear to be many sizes from 25 watt up to 250 watt. Looks like the 50 watt models are the most common.
    Kev

    Avatartrout
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    Post count: 1078

    Visiting a relative at night I asked why the birdbath had a such a brite light in the drink ? it was led rope lighting all coiled up- budget friendly defroster.

    IaCraigIaCraig
    Participant
    Post count: 1709

    I tried one of those birdbath heaters, but it threw my gfi breaker.(maybe it was too many watts.) I put it on a non gfi, then it would fall over sideways. (I think the deer helped). Anyway, now I just use a electric dog water bowl on a stump with a big rock inside of it and it works great. Speaking of cedar waxwings, I see them in the spring in large flocks stripping my crab apple trees of the old fruit, but seldfom see them in the winter.

    Avatarjalariso
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    Post count: 93

    The bird I most enjoy seeing at the feeder is the Red Headed Woodpecker. I hardly ever see one anymore and they seemed so common several decades ago. They appear so formally dressed-up for dinner. 🙂

    Avatardirtracer4
    Participant
    Post count: 53

    I have a few feeders scattered around my front yard. I have probably 10 or so mature Pines so I have an abundance of Cardinals. There’s always a mess of little birds around the feeders all the time. Pretty sure they’re Juncos, but I’m not too good on identifying birds yet.
    I’ve only seen a squirrel around just a few times & pretty sure it’s the same one all the time, (he doesn’t wear a name tag, and they all look alike to me 😀 ), so I made a ear corn feeder for him. The trouble is is that I’ve never seen him eating the corn. The Blue Jays (& Cardinals) come in & completely pick the ear clean in no time. I put a new ear in one morning a couple days ago, and by early afternoon, the Jays had it down to the cob. They also harass all the other birds around the other feeders & make a mess all over the ground.
    Can’t wait until spring – had at least a dozen or so Hummingbirds hang around last year. Those guys are fun to watch.

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