Puttering for the birds

Because, well, we're around home a lot more now.

Since my anti-squirrel projects freed up the other plant/birdfeeder hangars I decided to try this thing. I finally have a bird feeder that isn't really fragile and not too deep for the smaller guys & gals, I read that birds will visit it more often if the water has some sort of 'action', like a bubbler or sprinkler type thing. Well, what's the fun in that? Plus, that could be expensive so I took a milk bottle and washed it out and put a little hole in the bottom with a 1/16" drill bit. Fill that up with water and put the cap on it. The water will run out the hole for a minute or so before it slows to a drip. The bottle will start to collapse in on itself because air cannot enter in exchange for the water dripping out but that will take several hours. In the meantime, you have a steady drip that attracts birds as well as keeps mosquito eggs from being able to hatch since the surface keeps getting addled.

It took a few tries but I finally got a pic just after a drop hit the water.

And just for fun again, there's a male goldfinch. You can see the old birdbath I had there. It was too deep. I tried to put a big rock in the middle but that just wasn't working so I replaced it with one I found from a garden store over near Westfield. 

I wonder if this year will be different now that I'll be able to provide unfrozen water on a regular basis. Just clean and fill the bath with lukewarm water each morning and hang the bottle with hot water to drip. In addition to the pigeons, mourning doves, starlings, sparrows and grackles I do get some prettier birds. I've seen a nuthatch, blue jays, cardinals, various finches I can't identify and a few types of woodpeckers.

I miss the red-winged black birds, but not the cowbirds. The mockingbirds don't seem to come to the feeders but there's no mistaking their presence. I also haven't seen any orioles, grosbeaks of either kind, titmice or chickadees (I just love those). Maybe they'll come.

THose anti-squirrel contraptions are pretty at all but they do work. I had the baffles up too high for a while and I eventually saw that the squirrels could jump out from under them and grab the bottom of a loaded feeder. Lowering them fixed it. So far anyway. There's the suet feeders, the birdbath, the poles and thistle feeders. All I have to do is look behind me in my office to get a wholesome distraction from time to time.

I just wish the hummingbird feeders caught on. Better luck next year.

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