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Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Squirrel Baffle and Morning Dove Problems

I wanted to show you my solution to the squirrel problem.  If you remember I bought myself two new bird feeders recently.  I thought the new feeders would be so perfect because they were larger.  This meant I would need to refill less frequently and, most importantly I thought, the perch area was larger to accommodate larger birds like the blue birds and red birds I am trying to encourage.



I went to the Dollar Store in search of large plastic bowls but they were out so I purchased hard plastic punch bowls.  Yes, they cracked but only a little when I punched the bottom center with a nail first and then again with a phillips screw driver.  I then forced the hangers through and voila, homemade squirrel baffles.



Now I have a new problem.  The larger perch on these feeders allow the doves to land on the feeder instead of just eating out of the open feeder or off the ground like they always did before.



Now the little birds are having a hard time getting to the food because the doves are hording the feeders.  The doves also like to do battle over the food.  They flap their wings and jump around and fly off and back in groups.  All of this scares the little birds.


So now I am faced with the dilemma of how to encourage the large red and blue birds to feed while limiting the number of doves I want to feed.  



I've done a little research.  Some of  the solution were (i) shorter/smaller perches, (ii) put out feed that the nuisance birds do not like or (iii) stop feeding for a week so they all go away and then you start all over.  




None of the solutions sound great.  Anyone have any better ideas? 




Here is Buddy trying to figure out what all that wing-flapping is about.




8 comments:

  1. you must have the most elegant bird feeders i've ever seen!

    i've noticed that little sparrow folk are predominately ground feeders.

    perhaps you could spray some feed under a shrub for them and then hopefully let the big birds go to the feeders they're used to commandeering!
    no answer really.
    good luck!

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  2. and that little buddy. oh he's just too adorable!

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  3. I had a lot of bird feeders in Texas. You'd think I'd remember what I did but the only feeder that comes to mind is an oblong wood frame with a screen bottom. It hung in a tree and early in the morning all you saw was the tails sticking up of as many doves as could get around the frame and bend over into the feeder leaving their tails sticking almost straight up. I think you should read about your small birds. I think the earlier comment may be right that they are mostly ground feeders. The best thing I had in my yard was dripping bird baths. Birds love moving water.

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  4. Sorry, I have never had the least bit of luck trying to get the birds to do what I think they should be doing. I have come to believe that the birds are resourceful and will find food on their own so I no longer feed them.

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  5. I wish I had an answer for you. I'm with Buddy...just confused about the whole thing. ;)

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  6. Good luck!! Squirrels are really hard to beat. my guess is that eventually they will chew through the plastic bowl. I've even had squirrels chew through my heavy plastic garbage pails, and then through the metal ones that I switched to! I have squirrel-proof feeders that close under the weight. Yet even these have to be away from any limb or pole a squirrel can cling from (you can re-apply constantly Vaseline to poles sometimes but even some can make it up that). My doves here are ground feeders...it is best to throw seed on the ground...or they seem happy to get leftover pieces. It is amazing they survive. Even a squirrel proof feeder can be rocked by the squirrels until it falls onto the ground and spills out the contents! Andrea

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  7. I bet Buddy could get those doves outta there!

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  8. Interesting problem, wish I had a suggestion. You are a dedicated bird lover!

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