While some folks really despise them, others quite enjoy feeding squirrels, watching their amazing acrobatic ability and silly antics. As long as bird feeders are set up properly with baffles to ward off squirrels-it’s really no problem at all.
There are some great squirrel feeders out there, some peanut feeders that will even accommodate Blue Jays (another one considered a nuisance by some). This metal wreath whole peanut feeder does just that. With an innovative, fun design, it offers peanuts in the shell to Jays and squirrels alike.
If you’d rather watch a bit of a show, the Squngee is where it’s at! This bungee cord squirrel feeder hold two ears of corn (or corn logs) and squirrels have to work for the prize. It’s really a hoot to watch!
Squirrel can chow through those corn cobs pretty darn fast too, and it can get pricey keeping them fed. Check out your local feed store for bulk packaging of corn cobs. Here in Georgia, a 50-pound bag runs about thirteen bucks. Another great option is to use corn logs instead of actual corn cobs. These are compressed corn and one is equal to about 12 ears of corn. They’re available in sweet corn, or nut and corn flavor…and squirrels love them.
If you’re feeding loose corn on the ground, don’t be surprised if a few masked critters of the evening show up for their fair share too!
Goldfinches, Indigo Buntings, Purple Finches and others are a welcome addition to any yard or garden — these colorful birds will flock to a finch bird feeder if you are lucky, and chow down on thistle for long periods of time. Pecking one tiny seed at a time makes it easy to observe them.
This food has added benefits; squirrels ignore it, and it is not germinating which means that spilled food won’t turn into weeds. But what if you’re not lucky enough to have enough finches to eat all of the food on a regular basis? The thistle, or nyjer seed can clump when it gets damp, and the attraction for our feathered friends will quickly fade.
Here’s a trick to keep thistle bird feeders fresher longer: Place a few inexpensive ping pong balls inside your feeder. The thistle seed is very fine, so it flows around the ping pong balls and is available to the birds. The balls will take up space in the feeder, reducing the amount of food it holds, while allowing an even distribution for more feeding space. The result: less food in the feeder means less clumping and fresher food. You can add or remove balls until you get the right balance of food and space for your feeder and your habitat.
With their nesting season winding down, Goldfinches abound! Their electric yellow plumage is hard to miss. Adults feed babies thistle, or nyjer seed exclusively, so large capacity or extra thistle feeders are very helpful this time of year. Even those convenient thistle socks or bags, are an excellent way to accommodate all the newcomers.
Because of their sweet nature, Goldfinches will usually just give up and fly off rather than fight at crowded thistle feeders. A fresh water source such as a bird bath is also very enticing to all songbirds, and with moving water like the dripper shown here, birds will be flocking to your yard!
Remember to keep thistle feeders out year round to enjoy these vibrant summer colors. Goldfinches’ plumage will start to fade in the fall when they molt, but the same cheery birds will hang around your yard if offered thistle seed on a consistent basis.
American Humane legislation banning shelter animal seizure passes Michigan state House
Lansing, MI (July 28, 2010)—American Humane is encouraged that the proposed state legislation it created to stop shelter dogs and cats from being seized by Class B dealers for scientific experiments has passed the Michigan House of Representatives.
“One can only imagine the horror of having your family pet wind up in a shelter and then be sold to a Class B dealer for scientific experiments before it can be picked up or find a new home,” said Allie Phillips, a former prosecutor who authored the legislation in her role as American Humane’s vice president of strategic initiatives. “This is a heartbreaking and cruel practice that must be stopped.”
By a vote of 78-20, Michigan’s House of Representatives passed House Bill 4663 (Koda’s Law), which, if approved also by the Senate, would effectively end the 30-year practice of pet dealers taking shelter dogs and cats for sale to research facilities. Under current law, Class B dealers (named after their type of U.S. Department of Agriculture license) engage in the practice of providing shelter animals around the nation to research laboratories for experimentation. There are currently nine Class B dealers that broker live animals for experimentation in the United States, with three being located in Michigan.
The landmark legislation was sponsored by State Rep.. John Espinoza (D-Croswell) and authored by American Humane, the nation’s historic voice of advocacy and awareness for the protection of children and animals. Founded in 1877, Denver-based American Humane provides public policy leadership, education and direct action incorporating a vast network of agencies, academic institutions, businesses and individual Americans to help protect children and animals from abuse and neglect.
Previous efforts in Michigan to ban Class B dealers have gone county by county, and there are currently two remaining shelters in the state that practice pound seizure.
The bill will now move to the Michigan Senate for consideration.
For more information on this and other issues relating to the protection of children and animals, please visit American Humane at www.americanhumane.org.
Squirrels stealing seed from the bird feeder…it’s a miserable yet common theme among backyard birders. Even if you do feed the furry critters, it’s never enough because they always invite their friends! Their acrobatic skills and antics are enough to drive one bonkers!
Many squirrel proof bird feeders tend to resemble miniature critter jails with their metal cages surrounding a feeder tube. They work well for the most part, but that industrial look just doesn’t suit all environments. There are better options out there for feeding your birds and foiling squirrels.
This high quality squirrel proof bird feeder is the called the Sky Cafe. It’s available in several options, including color roof, and seed separators, to offer multiple seed mixes in one feeder. It may be hung or pole mounted with the baffle below the feeder. The Sky Cafe is attractive and very effective at keeping squirrels out of your birdseed.
Check out why the Sky Cafe is called the “Fort Knox” of feeders in this great manufacturer’s video below and see for yourself. You may get a little chuckle too!