Birdfeeding Help

  1. Anyone who is pretty much into birding I hope can help me...(ahem....Shay?)

    I live in a subdivision but surrounding it is a pretty thick woodsy area that harbors Blue Jays, Cardinals and some finches. I seem to have a hard time attracting them to my yard. I have a feeder with a mix of cracked corn, sunflower, as well as some suet with insects and berries (separetely of course). What I get there is your typical red-winged blackbird, some warblers, and some nasty CROWS!! These big fat birds will practically trash the feeder because they are so large, and I have to go running out there waving my hands frantically to get them off, or turn the sprinklers on.

    Due to it being a relatively new subdivision, there isn't much foliage in the actual neighborhood, although I do have 2 baby Northern Pines near the feeder, and my neighbor has a 17 ft maple he just planted, so that could be why these birds aren't coming around. However, the blackbirds
    are coming around. If anyone has other feeding tips on how to lure these birds from the surrounding woods into my yard, that would be great.
  2. 37 Comments

  3. by   cmggriff
    Susy K, my wife and my mother (not the same person) have had sucess with thistle seed. Gary
  4. by   Q.
    Hi Gary-

    Actually I have thistle seed in the bag feeders, but no one seems to go to it.
  5. by   WashYaHands
    Finches like thistle seed. Cardinals like sunflower seeds. Putting up several feeders around the yard will give the smaller birds a chance to approach the feeder and not be scared off by the crows. I have the same problem with squirrels.

  6. by   nurs4kids
    I'm not sure about Cardinals, I'll ask my dad (the bird/flower/yard/everything pro ). I know the Blue's like birdhouses to nest in and you really don't have to furnish much feed so long as there's plenty of flowers and worms around (I know dad doesn't feed them and he has tons..i'm assuming this is why). Mom & Dad has several small birdhouses scattered throughout their yard. Most are relatively small; I'd guess 4"x8" with 1/2" (I believe) holes to the front. I know the hole size is important (hubby and I built one for mom and the whole was too small for anything but finches). I'll ask dad how to eliminate the black birds (he calls them welfare birds), as he was also successful in doing so. I know he < you will get the humor in this> went on a mission a few years ago and began shooting every "welfare bird" that entered the yard, BUT I don't think this is how he was successful.

    Anyhow, I'll talk to him and get back with you later today. Good luck!
  7. by   Q.

    I look forward to the advice. I am puzzled, however. You have BIRDS in 'Bama? I thought you only had chickens.

    I can't help it Tracy! I love ya so much I gotta tease ya.
  8. by   Q.
    Ok and another thing. Why are CROWS coming to my feeders? I've never had this problem before. I thought crows only ate trash and road kill.
  9. by   l.rae
    Thistle sox......try say that fast 3 times. I have yellow and red finches all over. sometimes it takes a few weeks. If mine gets empty and I don't replace it right away, it cand take about a monthfor them to come back. LR
  10. by   mopsi
    Heres a little idea I saw on TV and it really works..You need some of those little green baskets that strawberries come in from the supermarket..Fill it up with an asortment of stringy thingies..Yarn, thread, pet hair, ect..Hang it from a tree..using bits of red attract them all..and they will gleefully pick out goodies for their nests..Also maintaining a small mud puddle close to the basket will give them the natures glue they use for nests..
  11. by   maire
    FWIW I had a similar problem with the big birds being a pain in the butt, plus squirrels raiding my feeders, so I went and bought a squirrel-proof has a bar on it that you set for sensitivity level...I set it on the lightest setting so only the little birds can sit on it without it the big birds eat from the ground and the squirrels don't bother trying to get at it and I have tons of finches, sparrows, wrens, you name it flitting about in my yard. I use just a typical wild bird seed mix. Also, there is a bird bath nearby so that may help in the attraction.
  12. by   shay
    Originally posted by Susy K
    Anyone who is pretty much into birding I hope can help me...(ahem....Shay?)
    Girl, you KNOW when I saw 'birdfeeding' in the title, I was SO there!!! LOL!!

    The bird freak is in!!

    I offer a variety of seed, and put the 'good' stuff in strong, super squirrel and crow-proof feeders. Like my black oil sunflower seed (the caviar of bird seed) is in this thing called the Absolute II birdfeeder, which is mounted on a post with a baffle at the base. Nothing bigger than a cardinal can access it. Period.

    I have 2 thistle tubes (don't use the socks....too easy to destroy) mounted on a pole with a squirrel baffle at the base. Nothing but small birds can access it, and I have the same flock of goldfinches and indigo buntings return every year for it.

    I have a 3 chambered feeder in a squirrel-proof cage (can ya tell I hate squirrels??) that contains safflower seed and this peanut heart/sunflowerheart/thistle mix that the birds just looooooove. Some of the bigger birds can dangle there and eat for a spell, but they don't/can't destroy it, so I let 'em be.

    Last but not least I have a (again....squirrel-proof) suet feeder that I load with hot pepper suet. Birds don't taste the 'hot,' but squirrels and racoons do, so they leave it alone. Woodpeckers and wrens are especially fond of the suet.

    Here's a link to that 'Absolute II' feeder from the Duncraft Co....their stuff is a bit pricey, but honey, it WORKS and is practically indestructible. I have always been pleased with them.

    The bird freak is now finished. LOL!! Happy birding!!
  13. by   Q.
    Hey Shay-
    I was wondering when you were gonna come around! Thanks for the advice. I'll have to check out those feeders you are talking about.

    Hey, do you have a bat house? And how do you keep asian beetles out of your ladybug house?
  14. by   Lizard101
    OK, there is a new feeder out there for all of you with squirrell problems! It is a hoot, you have to charge it and when the squirrel jumps on it gives them a spin! around, the video was so hilarious, the feeder is pricy~100! but my husband & I think the entertainment factor will be worth it!
    We are lucky to have hummingbirds, but it tooka while for them to come, patience!