Sunday, June 22, 2014

Chippy and the $150 Bird Feeders - Part II and The End

So a few weeks ago we put a couple of bird feeders in our yard.   We are newbies at this.  I thought all we had to do was hang the feeders and fill them with bird food.
My novice expectation was that  exotic, cute little birds would immediately flock to our feeders, flutter around, smile for the camera, and keep me entertained for hours on end.
Well, part of that did happen.  The birds did come.  There were finches,  sparrows, morning doves and occasionally cardinals.   I consulted my National Audubon Society’s “Field Guide to Birds - Eastern Region” book
to find the proper names for them. I didn’t realize how many different types of finches and sparrows there were.  I soon fancied myself to be a  budding “birder”.
After a few days, I noticed that the feed was disappearing rather quickly.
I became suspicious when I saw that the chipmunk had taken up residence in the “big foot” planter I have under the tree in our front yard.   Which, by the way, happens to also be the tree that one of the feeders hangs on.

Okay, he is kind of cute.  But he was eating all of the seed.  Bird seed.  For the Birds.  My cute little exotic, okay maybe not so exotic, birds were not getting their fair share.  I figured that soon they would find other feeders that were much more to their liking.  You know, the Johnson’s down the street or Janet, next door.
As I watched Chippie climb up the tree, skim the branch and then jump down onto the feeder, I had the brilliant idea of moving the feeder into the back yard and onto a shepherds crook.  No way would he be able to navigate that slippery pole.

That’s how much I know about wild life.
As Ross says, “Why that little bugger!”

Ross - “I’ll show him!”

I googled to find out how to deter Chippie.  I discovered that we had to install something called a baffle onto the top of a tree hanging feeder or on the bottom of the shepherds crook.
The nearest place we could find that carried such a thing was at “The Bird House of Cape May”.  Cape May is about an hour and 10 minutes from where we live.  It was worth the drive.  The owner was knowledgeable.  The shop was adorable and carried everything a newbie birder would find interesting.   Plus they had the baffles.

Fast forward to today.  We now have three feeders, each with their own baffle.    Yesterday, I saw a squirrel hanging around the backyard feeder.  I might have to install a top and bottom baffle now on that one.

Yeah, so far the tally for this new hobby of mine is at least $150.

The other day, as I was sitting in my sun room, I saw something flit by the window.  I got excited thinking it was a hummingbird.  I had not seen one of those yet.   I watched as it “perched" on the pine tree a few doors down.   As I zoomed in with my camera, and snapped this pic, I was perplexed.  I didn’t find this species in my Field Guide to Birds - Eastern Region.


Oh and another thing.  Yesterday I found a bone on our picnic table.  I don’t know where it came from or whose it is.



  1. It's a Harry Potter bird feeder! My chippy friend eats the helicopter seeds that are lodged in the deck.

  2. That would be interesting about the bone, I agree, ewwww! What a great hobby you started with not much of an investment. I'm sure you'll enjoy seeing who comes to visit your feeders. We don't have feeders now, but when we lived in New Mexico we did and I got to tell by how many birds that came to feed if a storm was eminent that would bring a lot of snow. When there was a lot of birds feeding, sure enough within a day or two we would get such a storm.

    The house we lived in before this one, our next door neighbor fed the birds. He had trouble with squirrels eating the food. He would trap the squirrels, take them far away and all would be well for a few weeks, until you guessed it, either those squirrels or new squirrels would come by and eat and then he would keep repeating the cycle. Not sure if he knew about baffles.

    enjoy the bird watching!


    1. Hmm, that’s interesting about birds being weather forecasters. I will pay attention to that. Your former neighbor certainly treated the squirrels humanely. That was a lot of trouble to go to.

  3. I don't always keep my feeder filled, and sometimes I let it stay empty for long periods. So the birds don't always come when I fill it. I really love watching them at my mom's where there are lots of feeders, always full. I do have a nifty cage-like thing that fits over my tube feeder that makes it squirrel (and I assume chipmunk) free. I think I will make an effort to keep my feeder full and maybe even add another. They are so enjoyable to watch!

    1. I understand that if you feed the birds in the summer time, they won’t fend for themselves and that you must also make sure that you feed the ones who hang around in the winter too. We might decide to downsize to one feeder before then.
      They are fun to watch.

  4. Too funny. I guess there is a solution for any problem, including chipmunks.

    1. I also read that some people grease the pole of the shepherds crook. That’s going a little too far for me.