Welcome to Dollar Stretcher Community Sign in | Join | Help
in Search

The Dollar Stretcher Community has a new home!

Feel free to read the great frugal living tips, ideas and discussions readers and community members have posted here. But if you'd like to post something or start a discussion, please click here to go over to our new community site and create an account.

Please contact Brandy@stretcher.com for questions about these forums.



Please feed the birds

Last post Wed, Mar 10 2010 7:36 PM by Pat. 38 replies.
Page 1 of 4 (39 items) 1 2 3 4 Next >
Sort Posts: Previous Next
  • Mon, Mar 8 2010 10:37 AM

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Please feed the birds

     Bird watching can be a fun and relaxing past time for the whole family. All you need are birds and attracting them to your yard can be a frugal thing to do.

    We moved from rural Mississippi back to Louisiana two years ago. Leaving our wooded area for a suburban community near New Orleans was a change for us. One of the things we missed was the serenity of sitting out and listening to the wildlife and seeing the wild rambling greenery that grew close to the house. I discovered that an Acadian home with a few trees, bushes and flowers that will grow wild if left alone make for a fantastic quaint setting for birds and butterflies.

    Last year I waited for the yard things to go on clearance and picked up three plastic birdbaths and five shephard's hooks. I gathered up the bird feeders I already had, got a few more given to me by my mother who forgets to add seed to them and found a nice wooden one in the shed on the property they purcased. I was set! My cost on the baths and hooks was $33. 

    I now have several centers in the yard with feeders hanging from the hooks and some in the trees. The birdbaths add a nice touch and make the areas more inviting. 

    This spring, we are working on adding flowers mostly from seed I purchased on clearance. I can't wait to sit out and enjoy the sound of the birds with the nice scenery to look at. 

     Read more about feeding the birds frugally and share your ideas here for creating bird or even butterfly sanctuaries in your own yard.

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Mon, Mar 8 2010 11:34 AM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,463

    Re: Please feed the birds

    The most expensive part is the seed. I have grown some of my own bird seed, but it would take an acre or more to grow enough for a year for here. She said (in the article) that squirrels, chipmunks and mourning doves will clean up filler and that's true to an extent. There are a lot of squirrels here and in a lot of cities/towns and they will climb up or into and empty most feeders quickly, so the cost of seed goes up and up, no matter what kind you buy.

    I had to buy a squirrel proof feeder and they are not cheap, but it was the only option other than quit feeding at all. The squirrels would go through an entire feeder of almost a gallon of seed in one day. The squirrel proof feeder closes when the weight of a squirrel is on it, but it also closes when bluejays or any larger birds come around, so now all I have are sparrows and finches for the most part.

    When I lived in the country, I fed birds on top of an old stump just outside the kitchen window. I could sit and watch them eat without disturbing them. There were so many varieties I couldn't even name them all now, so I get a little bored with the sparrows and finches.

    Community Facilitator

    Printable Coupons!

    Smartsource and MySavings
  • Mon, Mar 8 2010 11:40 AM In reply to

    Re: Please feed the birds

    The birds in my yard dine on pecans, Holly berries (yellow, black, and red berries), figs, and Dogwood berries. The pecan trees were here when we moved in. They are around 100 years old. Mom planted the other stuff.

    I'll probably plant geraniums to attract the hummingbirds.

    We have a wide assortment of birds in my yard including a hawk. I did have an owl but it may have moved.

    I have a sassy male Cardinal that I've named Junior. He taps on the kitchen windows. He also taps on a window in the living room. He drives Aurora crazy. He's even flown up and tapped on the window in front of my computer. I'm not sure if Junior is the same bird I saw in 2004 or if he's a relative of that bird. I enjoy watching Junior. Aurora makes neat little sounds at him.

    I think I'll attract butterflies with the geraniums in the 5 planters by the walk way to the side porch.

    I decided to do geraniums instead of herbs in the planters this year.

    I have lots of wildlife in and around my yard including deer, oppossums, racoons, wild turkeys, rabbits, skunks, and lots of birds. I also have Canada geese and swans in the back fields during the winter.

  • Mon, Mar 8 2010 12:17 PM In reply to

    • Edey
    • Top 25 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Mon, Sep 10 2007
    • Los Angeles County, CA
    • Posts 3,869

    Re: Please feed the birds

     I put out a measured amount once a day; they're on their own beyond that. My feeder is simple; a paper plate with a chunk of brick to hold it down, placed on a stepping stone under the grapefruit tree. There is a mixture of seeds, corn and nuts so that it is attractive to both squirrels and birds. I figure it as cheap entertainment to buy the seed; how much would you pay to see a movie? That is how I judge my fun expenditures, against the cost of seeing a movie. The only birds I've seen at the plate are doves, finches and 2 different types of sparrows. However, once while watching them they instantly scattered and a small hawk swooped down, made a U turn and disappeared. It all happened in an instant - all very interesting. 

    I've seen the squirrels tease the neighbor's cat by getting just within inches of the cat while up in a bush, yet dash away when the cat tries to climb up the slick bark of the bush. He's a very clumsy cat, by the way.  

    I've watched the doves flare their wings when the squirrel gets near them. Neither one moves away from the plate, though.  It's pretty to see the doves with their wings flared. 

    There are also hummingbird feeders. One very tiny hummingbird aggressively defends the feeders against the larger and more numerous birds, yet when it comes sundown each port on the feeder has a bird drinking it's fill. In the Spring and Summer the Hooded Orioles also like the hummingbird feeders; we had to hang them on heavier fishing line because of these much larger birds. 

    It's a joy to watch the wild animals of the backyard. 

    Edey

    Edey's Vintage and Current Needlework Blog

    Life is like a quilt - it is made beautiful from all the little pieces stitched together.

    Use a HandCranked tool, it doesn't need to be plugged in or charged up!

    Treadle sewing machines. Get a workout and save electricity all at the same time. Plus it can go anywhere, even outdoors!

    READ THE ARCHIVES! It'll do you good.
  • Mon, Mar 8 2010 12:22 PM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,463

    Re: Please feed the birds

    Edey:
     I put out a measured amount once a day; they're on their own beyond that. My feeder is simple; a paper plate with a chunk of brick to hold it down, placed on a stepping stone under the grapefruit tree. There is a mixture of seeds, corn and nuts so that it is attractive to both squirrels and birds. I figure it as cheap entertainment to buy the seed; how much would you pay to see a movie?

     I tried that, but the birds quit coming because the squirrels would eat it all. How much would I spend to watch a movie? Nothing. I don't go to the movies and hardly ever watch one and never pay for one. Big Smile At $8 for a bag of bird seed that lasts a week, that's just too much. With the squirrel proof feeder, a bag lasts two weeks or longer, but, as I said, some birds can't use it. I'm not going to feed the squirrels, though.
    Community Facilitator

    Printable Coupons!

    Smartsource and MySavings
  • Mon, Mar 8 2010 12:29 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Please feed the birds

     

    Pat:
    The most expensive part is the seed.

    That is very true. 

    I watch for sales on seed.

    I also will put out a litle bread every so often. Note there is some discussion on whether bread is good for birds, I have found no real evidence on home baked whole  wheat crumbs but I suspect white is not the best option.

    I have also put out grain cereals and crackers. The crumbs left at the bottom of the bags or the broken bits from packages works for this.

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Mon, Mar 8 2010 12:33 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Please feed the birds

     

    Pat:
     I tried that, but the birds quit coming because the squirrels would eat it all.

    I have both in my yard and the squirrels do try to get at the bird food. They have a harder time getting to the feeders on the hooks. I have seen one wily and brave squirrel manage to get up one. I watched and can't begin to describe how the fuzzy little acrobat did it.

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Mon, Mar 8 2010 12:41 PM In reply to

    • Toni B.
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Apr 5 2008
    • Seneca Falls NY
    • Posts 3,826

    Re: Please feed the birds

    We have squirrel issues in our area too. I did have a cat who used to chase them down and deposit them on the porch. The other way to thin out the squirrel population is by car. However we still feed our birds and have even had hawks in our yard.
    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Stages of Life
  • Mon, Mar 8 2010 12:54 PM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,463

    Re: Please feed the birds

    Brandy:
    I also will put out a litle bread every so often. Note there is some discussion on whether bread is good for birds, I have found no real evidence on home baked whole  wheat crumbs but I suspect white is not the best option.

    I put out crumbs sometimes, too, but I think the problem is with the salt, sugar and fat that's in most breads and crackers and cereal. My feeder won't hold the larger pieces so I put them in another, open one, but that invites the squirrels again. Other things that can be used include apple seeds, popcorn that hasn't been salted or flavored and a lot of seeds from "weeds" like wild sunflowers and grasses.
    Community Facilitator

    Printable Coupons!

    Smartsource and MySavings
  • Mon, Mar 8 2010 12:56 PM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,463

    Re: Please feed the birds

    Toni B.:
    However we still feed our birds and have even had hawks in our yard.

    There's a sparrow hawk that comes around here now and then. One time he flew into the picture window and stunned himself. He sat in the bush below the window for a while, then took off again. I can always tell when he's been around or is near, because the birds will not come to the feeder at all. If a day goes by and no seed has been  eaten, I can usually look around and find him somewhere with my binoculars. I'm sure the neighbors think I'm spying on them!Big Smile
    Community Facilitator

    Printable Coupons!

    Smartsource and MySavings
Page 1 of 4 (39 items) 1 2 3 4 Next >

The Dollar Stretcher has a new community!

Feel free to read the great frugal living tips, ideas and discussions readers and community members have posted here. But if you'd like to post something or start a discussion, please click here to go over to our new community site and create an account.

About Us    Privacy Policy    Writers' Guidelines     Sponsorship     Media    Contact Us



Powered by Community Server (Commercial Edition), by Telligent Systems