Monday, September 24, 2007

Outwitting Squirrels, Grackles, and Starlings

Are the common grackles driving the smaller birds away from your feeders? Fortunately there are some remedies to help prevent these birds from bullying the other more desirable birds. One way is to use safflower seed, a product found at most wild bird specialty outlets and in many garden centers. Safflower seed will attract cardinals, house finch, nuthatches, chickadees and many more backyard birds. In fact more often than not it becomes a regular year round addition to the other bird feeds offered in your backyard bird feeders. As for grackles, safflower seed is rarely consumed, and if it is, it is not their preferred food and they don't stay for long.

There are also a variety of bird feeders on the market to prevent grackles and starlings, along with squirrels, from raiding the bird feeder. The Vari-craft Bouncer and Brome's Squirrel Buster Plus operate on the weight of the bird at the feeder. The weight of a grackle is 6 ounces and the feeder will close or perches collapse to prevent them from feeding, yet allowing the lighter weight northern cardinal ( 4 ounces) and other birds to feed readily. Other feeders which prevent grackles and starlings from feeding are the "Haven" or caged bird feeders. Duncraft, Vari-craft, and other manufacturers have designed these feeders to allow entrance by smaller birds; chickadees, finch, nuthatches, even Downey woodpeckers, yet deter grackles, starlings, and squirrels. They are very effective. All have lifetime guarantees. View the Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders offered by the Wild Bird Habitat Store

If starlings on the suet feeder are a problem there are a number of suet feeders available to deter them as well. There are up-side down suet feeders where the suet is only exposed on the bottom. These suet feeders pose no problem for the clinging woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches but make it difficult for starlings to feed from. There are also caged suet feeders which allow the Downey and other small birds to enter for a tasty meal of suet, but cannot be penetrated by starlings. Caged Suet Feeders at the Wild Bird Habitat Store

The Wild Bird Habitat Store has a variety of solutions for deterring birds which cause problems at the bird feeders. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Dave at Or log-on at Wild Bird Habitat Store.

No Child Left Inside, Connecting Our Kids With Nature

Are America's children environmentally literate? Today's overscheduled kids are increasingly "plugged in" to electronic devices and media, while at the same time unplugged from the fundamental and formative experience of nature in their own neighborhood. Their senses--including, sadly, their sense of wonder--are bombarded, overwhelmed and ultimately diminished.On top of this "nature deficit disorder," many schools are being forced to scale back or eliminate environmental education programs. Fewer and fewer students are able to take part in class activities that connect them with nature. But a new bill in Congress has set out to change this! Submit your letter to your state Senator to support the No Child Left Inside Act. The Wild Bird Habitat Store is a supporters of environmental education for our children. As technology and multi-media products become a major influence, our children are spending less time outdoors participating in unstructured playtime. Our concern is as children spend less time in nature and learning and playing in the natural community that surrounds them, the next generation of adults, and those that follow, will be less aware of the needs and benefits of conservation. For more information on what has been dubbed "Nature Deficit Dissorder" by author Richard Louv, consider reading Last Child In The Woods.