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Bird Feeders
January 1, 2000

Q.- I purchased a bird feeder (hopper style) and would like to know what is the best location to put it? I also would like to know what type of seeds I should be putting in it?

A.- The feeder should be placed on a solidly planted post in a wind-sheltered location. It should also be located far enough away from the house so that movement in the house will not startle the birds. A spot close to trees and bushes will be more attractive to birds than one out in the middle of the yard. The post should be tall enough as to not allow a cat to jump onto the feeder from the ground. Remember that some agile cats can jump as high as 2 m (6 ft). To prevent cats and other critters such as squirrels from climbing up the post to reach the feeder, nail or staple on a sleeve of galvanized sheet metal or heavy plastic. This sleeve should be 60 cm (2 ft) in length to discourage cats from jumping over it. The slipperiness of the material will not allow animals to climb on it. You may also choose to install the feeder hanging in an evergreen, for example.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)If you are interested in attracting a specific type of bird you may want to go into a wild bird store to get the right seed mix. If you are interested in attracting a variety of birds there are many commercially available wild bird seed mixes available. A surprising number of species prefer sunflower seeds. You can try different mixes until you find the one that is best suited to the type of birds you are interested in attracting.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)Do not be impatient after first installing the feeder. It may take the birds several weeks to find and feel comfortable enough to use the feeder. It is also important that once you start feeding that you continue. The birds will eventually come to rely on your food source. If you suddenly stop feeding you will have removed an important food source for these birds.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)A good book for budding bird watchers and bird feeder enthusiasts is 'The Birds of Edmonton' by Robin Bovey, published by Lone Pine Publishing.


Jerry Filipski

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