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Sunday, June 15, 2014

How to avoid feeding bigger "bully birds" at your feeder

Great-tailed Grackles
Starling
 Most large “bully” birds, such as Crows and Grackles, are in urbanized areas with parking lots, stores, busy roads and such. They're excellent scavengers, and shouldn't be using your birdfeeder as a food source.

 In a home environment, they can be discouraged by using a weight-sensitive feeder. Some oif these “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.

 
 
Searching for bats at night       You and your kids can look for bats in the dark of night – when they’re flying around hunting bugs. Simply fasten a piece of tracing paper over a normal flashlight. The light will then be dim enough not to be seen by bats – who can only see bright lights. (If you fasten the paper with a rubber band, make sure it doesn’t get left on the ground. Birds, and lots of other animals, can mistake it for a worm and will eat it.) Bats can detect objects very accurately in the dark, and won’t ever fly into you.

 

 

OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.

 

 

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