Uninvited Guests at the Birdfeeder
Once you get your bird feeding station up and running, you may run into problems with two kinds of uninvited guests – those interested in the seeds (squirrels and chipmunks, rats and mice, and starlings and house sparrows), and those interested in eating a bird for dinner (cats and hawks).
When a squirrel is at the feeder, you’re not likely to see birds. Squirrels will scare off the birds while they eat the seed and sometimes they will eat the feeder too. The simplest solution is a squirrel-proof feeder or pole.
Starlings and house sparrows are not native to North America and are aggressive towards other species. Choose your feeder and seed to exclude these species if possible.
Chipmunks, rats, and mice can also become a problem where there is seed spillage under the feeder. Don’t use mixed bird seed, and if you don’t have a squirrel problem, add a feeder tray.
Feral cats and your neighbor’s tabby are a serious threat to many birds. Keep feeders away from brush piles and shrubbery, as this offers cats the necessary cover to surprise birds.
If there are no cats in your neighborhood and you find a pile of feathers near your feeder, look for a full-bellied hawk perching on a tree nearby. Don’t put out poisons or try to trap hawks though, as this is against state and federal law.
- For the birds
- Back yard bird feeding
- Bird Feeder Selection
- How Many Birds
- Birds Attracted by Various Feeders and Foods
- Uninvited Guests at the Birdfeeder
- Questions about Feeding Wild Birds
- Homes for Birds
- Selecting a Bird House
- Bird House Design
- Bird Nest Box Dimensions
- Bird House Placement
- Protection from Predators
- Attracting Birds
- Landscaping for Birds
- Basics of Landscaping for Birds
- Plants for Wild Birds
- How to Get Started
- Protecting Bird Habitat
- Additional Readings