Yes, an ant moat is usually made to hold water, serving the purpose of keeping ants from reaching sugar water in nectar feeders for hummingbirds, orioles and butterflies. And if you feed hummingbirds the sweet, sticky solution, an ant moat is one of those necessary accessories to thwart pesky ants.
This wooden ant moat however, is dubbed the “anti-ant moat” and works by a principle other than holding a body of water. It has a deep grove on the underside which is filled with a sticky substance that sugar ants won’t cross. It really does work, and although designed for the Lantern Series of hummingbird feeders, will work for any hummingbird feeder that’s meant to hang.
It doesn’t look so bad here, maybe the rivets on the baffle are starting to give, and the nice green luster is gone, but this bird feeder pole serves the purpose quite well. Holding a good-size hopper on top, and two hanging feeders, with enough room for weather guards too. It’s really a nice set up. The bottom of the pole even sits in an auger, that screws down into the ground about eight to ten inches. So what’s the problem?
If you could see this bird feeder pole now, you’d laugh, or maybe think “what the heck?”. It now sports a heavy rope which is braced against three ground stakes… professionally tied and knotted by a former sailor! Now I was very excited to purchase a brand new shiny bird feeder pole, which I plan to install as soon as the weather warms up (along with thorough cleanings of all the feeders). I can only hope the triple-braced contraption holds up until then. Today I tightened the rope, and added a small bungee to keep it from slipping further down the pole.
The ground is just overly saturated with water right now 🙁
Besides all the Georgia rain, and snow we’ve had this winter, our leaf misters ran all summer at the top of the small bank. The ground was already wet before winter’s mess. So I’m thinking why did I buy the new pole? Maybe some cement would have been a wiser option.
Water is an optimal choice, the smallest of birdbaths will entice birds…they love a consistent fresh water source. The bath need not be large or fancy either. Something as simple as a plant saucer on an upturned pot works quite well. Just keep the bath clean and the water fresh.
Another great option is window bird feeders. Plenty of styles are available, from trays or platforms, tube styles and hoppers, like the one shown here. The Canopy Window Bird Feeder adds a bit of charm with its cedar roof and tray. The overhang helps keep seed fresh, while the tray provides perching space for birds. It will accommodate most seed mixes, attracting a wide variety of birds.
Even in apartments, if you have a balcony, you can entice wild birds and bring yourself a bit close to nature!
Versatile for placement almost anywhere in the yard or garden, the rubber tubing is actually wrapped around a simple plant stake here. Our other mister extends over the railing of the front porch, coiled around a metal deck bracket.
The butterfly feeders in this yard are mostly natural. Consisting of host plants, like milkweed, butterflies may feast on nectar from perennial flowers like lantana, trumpet vine, and native hibiscus. There is also a staked glass butterfly feeder, and sometimes we’ll add over-ripened fruit. Melons, bananas, oranges and strawberries are a few of their favorites. The thing with fruit is to be sure it does not mold, which can be tricky in hot and humid Georgia summers. When the glass flower does not contain fruit, it’s easily moved near the leaf mister, and creates a small pool of water. This bath is frequented by the butterflies as well as hummingbirds and other songbirds.
If you’re not having such great success with butterfly feeders alone, definitely try a leaf mister. By creating an enticing butterfly habitat-you’ll be amazed at the bustling activity of these winged jewels!
Last week in Atlanta, the Merchandise Mart hosted its annual gift show, with a whole floor dedicated to backyard birding. Spending a whole day there just wasn’t enough, I felt like a kid in a candy store and wanted everything!
Unfortunately, that’s far from possible, so the search was narrowed to very unique birding products, namely one, butterfly houses. Many of the standards were there, in cedar construction from small to large. A few recycled plastic (or poly lumber) butterfly houses were shown in some fab colors.
This one caught my eye however, likely because of the mod curved entrances. The copper accents were nice too, so I inquired. Upon learning these butterfly houses are hand crafted in solid cypress, and included the tall mounting poll, I was pretty much hooked.
At home I don’t have a butterfly house, but last summer there were tons of butterflies. Planting the host plant (milkweed) helped, but the leaf misters are what kept them around daily. Butterflies absolutely love the gentle spray from a leaf mister, whether they really use these houses or not…you can attract them with mist! By the way…Hummingbirds and others really love that mist during summer’s sweltering temperatures too!