Written by an area Landscape Architect and birdwatcher with over 30 years of experience with landscaping in north Texas: what works and what doesn't. Emphasis on attracting birds to north Texas yards, and reducing required yard maintenance. Tips, trivia and proven advice for a natural, low-cost approach for this unique and sensitive part of the country.
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Saturday, February 23, 2013
How to frustrate large "bully birds" taking over your feeder
Most large “bully” birds, such as Crows
and Grackles, can be discouraged by using a weight-sensitive feeder. (We use two at our house.) Some
“squirrel-resistant” birdfeeders can adjust. So when anything heavier than a
few ounces sits in front of a seed port, the port closes. (Most “good” birds
weigh less than 2 ounces.) Often, the feeder’s “tipping point” can be
adjusted. If, for instance, you like Blue Jays – which weigh about 5 or 6 ounces,
but don’t want Grackles, which are about 8 ounces you can set the tipping point
at 7 oz. to exclude one species but not the other.
Another tip: Large birds (White-wing Doves come to mind) can be discouraged with a tube-type feeder. The perches should be no longer than 2 inches [1.5 inches is better]. That's because bigger birds can't sit on the small perch - they fall off and eventually give up!
“Really…how does a bag of chemicals know the difference?” Be very,
very wary of claims of certain chemical/fertilizers that say they “kill weeds, but not
your grass”. Bulls**t! The problem is that there’s absolutely no universal definition of a “weed”,
unlike a “tree”, ”shrub” or “flower”. In plain language, absolutely nobody can tell you definitively what a "weed" is. Certainly not a bag of fertilizer.
could actually be any plant that’s growing where you don’t want it to grow…such
as a rose growing in your driveway. Each of us knows what a "weed" is to us, but That's probably different from you neighbor's definition. In my LandscapeArchitecture work, I’ve always wondered how a
chemical can tell the difference between what you want and don’t want.