They say it’s National Cat Appreciation Day… so here’s a favorite cat birdhouse! Partial to tuxedos, he’s the most expressive and birds find him a cozy roost during the off-season. There’s tabbies in orange or grey, and a Siamese or two, plus some killer ceramic cat birdhouses which can be fashioned after your own furry friend.
There’s a lot of bird fanatics out there who’d rather NOT see a day dedicated to felines as the only cat they may find attractive is a dead one 🙁
Yes, it’s one of the oldest arguments out there – but so easy to see both sides of the controversy if you love cats and happen to feed birds… keep your cat inside!
The problem with feral populations is breeding, yet so many (bird fanatics) are opposed to the famous TNR (trap-neuter-return) strategy. They insist it doesn’t work, and the only means viable is removal (even going to extremes such as poisoning). But they’re sadly misinformed! Because simply removing cats from a feral colony creates a vacuum where more magically appear to take their place.
Managed colonies prevent breeding, and cats are for the most part well-kept, with provisions of food and shelter. After all and as always, humans are undoubtedly responsible for the messy situation to begin with. That’s all we’ll say here, and thankfully comments are closed because the heated debate will linger forever with some very nasty remarks from both sides… seen it before!
As for our own guys: Shmitty is 20+ years old and mostly due to being an indoor cat, the girls are 16+, and Fatty, the ex-feral has got be at least 14 years old. They’re basically content (and safe) seeing the great outdoors and especially bird watching via screened porch. Unfortunately the neighbor’s 3 are constantly in our yard 🙁
Oh yeah… those cat birdhouses; what better gift for the crazy cat lady in all of us?
What do ya do when you can’t accommodate all your yellow feathered friends? Several options to feed lots of goldfinches at once might include adding a new finch feeder and/or hanging a few inexpensive thistle socks.
Because of their late nesting season, goldfinches abound in late summer/early fall, but they’re molting process begins with dull, olive-drab winter feathers appearing. Should other finches who enjoy thistle (or nyjer) seed be hogging feeders, there’s a cool upside-down model designed just for the goldfinch.
Some of these other birds at finch feeders might include redpolls, pine siskins, house finches and more, so competition can get thick, and the sweet yellow ones really don’t compete much at feeders.
An economical way to give everyone a fair share is with thistle socks. The hanging mesh thistle feeders typically come in white, yellow or black , with some red ones fancied up for holiday. So popular nowadays, you may even see them in your grocery store’s bird section!
Two other great things about feeding finches thistle seed is that it won’t germinate to cause weeds, and squirrels usually leave these feeders in peace!
Could it actually be… a bear-proof bird feeder?
It’s not here yet, but due in December is a steel tube bird feeder by Birds Choice with claims to be bear resistant.
Although we’ve not seen them in our own GA backyard, many folks (both on the outskirts and in residential neighborhoods) have posted videos and pics of bears destroying their bird feeders… big time too! Whole feeding stations are decimated, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll command said bear to cease and desist either. Worse part is that it becomes habitual for them.
They’re extremely smart and considered problem solvers. Once a food source is discovered, you can bet they’ll return. They like the same foods as birds; seed mixes with black oil sunflower, peanuts, suet and sweet nectar too. That’s why Yogi and Boo-boo hung out at the park… for pic-i-nic baskets 🙂
We’ve seen large raccoons grabbing hold of hummingbird feeders with both hands and guzzle like it was beer, but it doesn’t really compare to a bear in your yard.
Wait… quite possibly we’re in their yards, thus the troubling and increasing episodes with the new urban bear and human contact. Through no fault of its own the bear usually loses, and we hear it on the news all too frequently 🙁
While this video is pretty fascinating to watch… it’s just not a good scenario in the bigger picture.
So back to the steel tube feeder: It features 5 small windows on each side to monitor seed levels and 6 perches that look large enough for cardinals’ comfort. Powder-coated steel tube holds 3.5 quarts, top removes for filling with removable bottom for clean-out. Overall measurements are 25.5″ tall x 8″ diameter, with a hefty weight of 9 lbs.
After viewing some of these bear vs. bird feeder videos, you might need to hang this one high, or secure it (really well) to something so the bear doesn’t walk off with it!
They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky… remember the theme song? Maybe old enough like us to mix them up with the family residing at 1313 Mockingbird Lane.
It was Grandpa from the Munster’s who had the pet bat! Only showing him in flight, I don’t recall ever seeing his bat house, can you remember his name? Regardless, both of those theme songs keep replaying in the brain.
On a more serious note, it’s believed that about 44% of bees have perished this year from pesticide poisoning, which is really scary! Like the birds & bees, bats are also major pollinators of tropical plants and fruit, they’re considered the night shift pollinators.
Thankfully, more folks are tuning into the needs of these friendly flying mammals with fur. Offering bat houses for roosting actually helps promote pollination. Aside from the thousand of insects consumed nightly, pollination is a huge draw. Especially for the agave plant, because without it- there would be no tequila!
Materials vary from recycled plastic and cedar to aged barn wood for a more rustic appeal. There’s even several plans available online to build your own.
It may prove difficult at first to attract them, residing near a pond or lake greatly increase chances of occupancy. Recommended height is 12 to 15 feet, with a clear pathway to entry.
Facing SE or SW allows the bat house to receive maximum sun exposure for retained heat. Structures of brick, stone or wood are ideal mounting surfaces as they also retain heat. Metal- not so much. A pole may be easiest as the shelter can be attached while still on the ground, and then erected with bat house already secured.
Either way, bat houses are definitely something worth looking into. With holiday approaching they’d make an excellent gift for the nature-lover on your list.