Birdies, Part Two
One problem with putting out birdseed in the yard is the fact that "extra" critters that are attracted to the seed other than birds, like rats (yuck), squirrels (cute), or raccoons.
After we moved here, I filled up our old bird feeder with seed and hung it out on a regular shepherd's hook in the backyard. The next morning, not only was every bit of bird seed gone, but the bird feeder was broken on the ground.
So I went to Wild Birds Unlimited to get some advice. They said my problem was definitely raccoons. We had lots of squirrels who liked our bird seed in Pittsburgh, but it always took them at least a few days to get through all the seed in the feeder, and in the meantime, birds got to snack too. But to have all the seed gone in one night? That wasn't going to work.
They recommended I get the pole system. Here's a link. I admit that it was a little pricey to get started. But what I got was a pole which I screwed into the ground. Then I added a raccoon baffle. This is a cylindrical type thing which goes around the pole which the raccoons (or squirrels for that matter) can't get around. Then, I got a new feeder to put at the top of the pole. It took awhile to attract the birds to the feeder, but now that they've learned I have some good cooking, we get all sorts.
It's funny to look at our pole now. There are all these muddy footprints under the raccoon baffle, but only birds can get past the baffle. So, it definitely works. The cool thing about the pole system, too, is that you can add extra hooks or "arms" to the pole, and have several feeders hanging from the one pole.
The photo above isn't incredibly great, but you can see my bird feeder on the top of the pole with the one arm and two other feeders. One is a suet feeder (which the woodpeckers like) and the other is the hummingbird feeder (which I should take down because the hummingbirds are all gone now). And of course, that's Lucy our dog on the porch. It looks like she's eating a stick or getting into some other kind of mischief.