About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How to feed birds off your deck and deter squirrels and raccoons.

Hi again Sarah! I had a quick question and thought I might ask in an email, in case
others had the same question.  I have a second story living area, with a wooden deck. I can't place feeders in the ground or in trees, so I have to rely on window feeders.  Are there appropriate feeders that attach to deck railings?  I have raccoons visiting almost every night as it is and it's hard to remember to bring in the bird feeder every evening so they don't get into it.  What do you think would be best for the situation?  I'd like to have more than two window feeders and a feeder I have to remember to bring in at dusk. Thanks again!
 

If you have a problem with wildlife at your bird feeders, you can try changing your feeders or food. I have a few recommendations.

Feeder Choices
  • Squirrel Buster Plus- This feeder deters squirrels, raccoons and large black birds. You can adjust the tension on the spring mechanism to have the feeder ports shut when unwanted guest attempt to feed. It is also backed by a lifetime guarantee.
  • Dinner Bell -  One of the most popular feeders in my yard is the WBU Dinner Bell. You can invite a variety of birds to a delicious meal with this versatile feeder. It can be filled with seed, suet snacks, seed cylinders, fruit or mealworms. If you have a problem with raccoons fill it just enough for the birds to finish by night or use a Safflower seed cylinder. It is also backed by a lifetime guarantee.
  • Finch Feeders- I’ve never had a problem with the critters on any finch feeders that are filled with straight Nyjer thistle seed.
Food Choices
  • Pure Beef Suet with no seeds or Hot Pepper suet deters most animals but still attracts a wide variety of woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, and wrens.
  • Safflower seed: You can start by offering safflower gradually, mixing it with the seed you currently use. Over time increase the amount of safflower until you are feeding straight safflower. The seed looks and tastes different from other bird seed, so it may take your birds some time to adjust. Safflower is a small, white seed that is high in protein and fat. Many favorite backyard birds - including cardinals, chickadees, finches, doves, woodpeckers, titmice and nuthatches- savor safflower. Blackbirds, starlings, raccoons and most squirrels typically refuse to eat safflower seed. Safflower seed cakes and seed cylinders are also available at Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing, MI. 
  • Nyjer Seed – Nyjer, niger, and thistle are all common names used to identify a tiny black birdseed cultivated in Asia and Africa that is high in calories and oil content, and loved by American Goldfinches and avoided by most raccoons and squirrels.

To check out the Wild Birds Unlimited Advanced Pole System for the deck go to: http://www.wbu.com/products/aps/index.html,

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