Finally he’s back! We have been waiting for this male Painting Bunting since November. He had been coming to the feeder a couple times a day until we left for Thanksgiving vacation and the feeder was emptied. Today was the first time we have seen him since. The females come almost daily. I wonder what the males do, when the females are staying on task, making their daily stops at our feeders.
Almost two weeks ago we were at Walmart (a rare trip) and picked up 2 $1.00 bird feeders. The kids spotted them and really wanted to get them. They got me excited about the feeders. I couldn’t wait to get home and hang them. We have one lone cedar tree outside our schoolroom window and I thought that would be a great spot for the feeder.
The next day we had a Cardinal and squirrels. I wasn’t too happy about squirrels. I was thinking they would eat all the food quickly but we all found them interesting to watch, even the cat!
Within a couple of days though, they had eaten though the handle of one of the feeders, making it fall to the ground and ultimately breaking it. I didn’t see that coming so quickly! The second feeder was also distroyed within days. They ate a hole in the side of the feeder so big it was impossible to put more food into it.
This past weekend I went on the hunt for a “squirrel proof” feeder. I found plenty of choices at Lowes and settled on the one pictured above. It has held up well so far but it’s not squirrel PROOF. We’ll see if it lasts. I don’t think there is any stopping those pesky squirrels. This morning there were 3 young ones all attaching the feeder. They would take turns on the feeder while 2 stayed below waiting for scraps to fall. They are very cleaver animals.
The design of this feeder is a metal cage that slides down with the weight of the squirrels. The little metal leaves slide over the food holes, “blocking” them. The cage slides down but the squirrels are smart, and small. They can get their front feet around the metal leaf, and still get the food.
We love having the feeder just outside the window where we spend so much time. I always have my camera loaded and ready with my 70-200mm. I’m learning how to dodge the window reflections. It’s best to get right up next to the window to shoot but that’s not always possible. Some birds see any movement and they leave. Blue Jays are very skittish, they don’t stick around even to eat. So far, each time, they grab a piece, then fly to the fence and use their feet to hold the food while they peck at it with their beak. Cardinals will hang out on the feeder while they eat. I can’t wait to see what we’ll find on the feeder next!