Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Breakfast Guests

I am always looking for the perfect bird feeder, one that attracts only birds and can be seen easily from indoors. I have two ineffective "squirrel-proof" feeders that were quite pricey. I also have a 2 litre pop bottle that has a screwed on red plastic perch. This low-tech feeder is too wobbly for squirrels and it attracted Rose-breasted Grosbeaks to my yard in the spring. It cost all of 99 cents.
My cousins came for Thanksgiving dinner in October and Samuel presented me with a little clear plastic window feeder. He told me to put some cooking oil on the suction cups to make sure the feeder would be secure. I have had it filled with nyger seed for a month and haven't noticed much action at all. On the weekend I topped it with sunflower seeds and the birds have been lining up for a turn to perch in it. I was having breakfast yesterday and was looking eye to eye through the window at the Red-breasted Nuthatch. Hi there! (The pair have been hanging around for three days now)

Pine Siskin Sideview

Next in line was a dainty bird with a heavily streak breast. A Pine Siskin! This is the clearest shot I got in the little time I had. A White-breasted Nuthatch was around as well as the Chickadees and Goldfinches and House Finches. What fine breakfast company.
My sister-in-law who lives near Toronto posted some pictures of a new feeder she bought at Costco. I asked her if it was squirrel-proof and she assured me it was.

Cage feeder beside my old feeder

I went there at noon and bought this huge, brass monstrosity called a cage feeder that has been "endorsed" by Cornell University. It wasn't too expensive but it sure dwarfs my old feeder. I hung it just before dark and within five minutes had a number of bird guests figure out how to get at the seeds. I will have to see what the squirrels do in the next few days. I am sure Samuel's window feeder is squirrel-proof and I suspect it will attract the best birds.

The wind is blowing hard off the Great Lakes and we are getting our first snowfall of the year. Our yard is surrounded by several mature trees and dense shrubs which I hope will protect our over-wintering birds in the coming harsh weather. I will keep a number of feeders filled and leave something for the squirrels and chipmunks too. And we will see who joins me for breakfast at the window.

What type of feeder do you find to be best for your backyard birds?


  1. We have quite an effective squirrel proof feeder ... I don't have a picture with me. At least it frustrated our squirrel Chit ... until something got poor Chit. Actually, something got Chit and Chitter and all the little Chats in the neighbourhood ... there is not a squirrel left. About a year ago I thought I saw a Bobcat stalking our Chit and it was soon after that ... there were no more Nutkins!

  2. never heard about the oil on the cups! Congrats on the Pine Siskin! I have yet to see one this year!

  3. WOW! What a great new feeder Ruth! I have the WBU squirrel feeder which works quite well, another tube feeder, a thistle feeder, a suet feeder, a peanut feeder, and that wonderful 4 way feeder WBU has which attracts a plethora of birds. I love doing the window feeder (just like yours) in winter. I am still trying to get a photo of a pine siskin! Congrats!

  4. You will love that window feeder, Ruth. I only have mine out in the winter, but it's so fun to see those little birdies up close!

  5. Ruth,

    I have had several feeders over the years and the wooden feeder that is rectangle and has plexiglass on the sides has attracted the most birds for me. I want to put several feeders out this year and would love to find one of those window feeders. I would love to have that type of company for breakfast.

    If you have time, please drop by my blog and find out how you can Be A Blessing This Christmas

    Enjoyed my visit, as always.


  6. You made me consider the window feeder and I have the place for it.

    I have bought lots of feeders but the ones I like the most are from Wild Birds Unlimited. I like them mainly for the ease of cleaning and their durability.

    You have a great system there, Ruth. You will have a large community of birds this winter! I can't wait to see what lives in Toronto in the snow :o)

  7. We had one of those bird feeders once, and it worked, but now that we have moved, we don't feed the birds. Maybe we'll start again someday.

    we had a couple of flakes (I think) here, but that was all.

  8. Anonymous6:05 am GMT-5

    That does it! I have to get one of those window-mounted bird feeders!

  9. CS- Sounds like a dark fairy tale! A bobcat in the neighbourhood is scary for more than the squirrels! I wouldn't leave a pet tied up outside.

    Monarch- The oil seems to work well, so well that it is very difficult to remove the feeder!

    Jayne- You should be receiving royalties from the makers of your bird feeders. You 4 way feeder is great. I think your feed bill likely is as much as feeding another household member, but so worth it.

    RuthieJ- I may invest in another one as it seems to be working well.

    Mary from ON- Sounds like your feeder offers the birds some protection. The birds will really appreciate them once the ground is snow-covered.

    Mary- Like Jayne, Birds Unlimited should be offering you free merchandise for your feeder pictures. Window feeders do simplify picture taking, except I noticed my windows need cleaning.

    AC- We were to get 5cm of snow, but it did not materialize this far from Lake Huron. Thankfully...!

    Jennifer- It should be a worthwhile investment.

  10. Darling photos. In my latest post, you'll see my favorite feeder. Everyone loves those platforms - wrens through mourning doves. (the Cooper's Hawk was admiring it today :0(

  11. Cathy- You had the Red-breasted Nuthatches before we did. They seem to be around more this year. I did check out your deluxe feeder.

  12. You've got a nice bird feeder set-up their along with the birds to go with it.I had the same window feeder for a while.-Nothing is more consistent for attracting birds than good old sunflower seeds.

  13. Larry- You have written useful information in your posts on backyard feeders and water sources. You share my success in attracting some new birds for sure.


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