When we go into ornithology, it is often in the wonder of the birds that we see, or we see someone who has inspired us.
But… don’t forget. As in everything you start, you have to put passion into it… envy! Do not start and stop on the second or third day.
But why stop? Because often, we can embark on a project, thinking of all the good things… and sometimes, we forget that there may be some difficulties. But in ornithology… there are difficulties? Believe it or not, there really are.
These little animals… they are cute, adorable and we loved when we were children to see them feed in our hands during walks in the forest. But behind this cute little face, there is a real demon.
When you set up your feeder, you can start seeing birds coming and you’ll be happy. But a few days later, you will arrive to observe the birds and…surprise! You come face to face with a squirrel that is gorging itself in your manger. First of all, you might be glad you can feed this adorable animal. But… your smile will fade very quickly when you see the birds coming less and less, being frightened by the squirrel and even seeing the feeder being emptied in two hours.
Even, some squirrels will be so big that they will demolish the feeder!
If you want to have several feeders of all kinds and also want to feed large birds, I highly suggest installing squirrel traps. When the animal is stuck, you will simply have to go free it miles from home and you will be rid of it.
If you want to have only one or two feeders and only see small birds, I recommend squirrel-proof feeders. It is an ideal and practical means that has proven itself against the chipmunks in my field.
The ideal food and feeder
If you start without informing yourself, you may think that birds like all seeds. You will go to a store and you will see gigantic bags of bird food for only $10. But… in fact, these bags are the real rip-off.
Birds mainly like sunflower seeds, suet, thistle, white millet and many other seeds. But… they don’t like red millet.
In the bags of food that you can see in stores, it is often mixed food. But… take a good look at the ingredients. You will surely see sunflower seeds, often even corn. But… if there’s one kind of seed you’ll see on every bag, it’s red millet.
What’s wrong with red milet? Already, you will see far fewer birds. If some come, you may feel like they quickly empty the feeder and eat all the seeds, but in fact, often they throw the red millet to the ground.
I advise you instead to take other seeds and, above all, sunflower seeds. All stores that sell bird food must supply it, and all birds love this food. This will attract a large number of birds very quickly!
After attracting birds, you can continue to put more and more feeders and more and more kinds of food like suet and thistle, for even more birds.
Food and feeder brands
You are probably familiar with the major store brands. These are store-owned brands that specialize in selling absolutely everything. Clothes, garden tools, vegetables… and lots of other things.
Often these brands are known to sell things at very inexpensive prices. And… what else do they sell? Bird food and feeders.
You may want to save more, buy your feeder and your food from these brands. I advise against it.
One day I had purchased a feeder and food from two different big name stores and…had trouble with the feeder and the food.
The feeder had holes that were too small, the birds could never pass their beaks through it and I never saw any birds go there.
And the food ? It was nyjer and, I don’t know what it problem was, but no matter how many times I tested it in two feeders, it never attracted any birds.
Buy your food from companies specialized only for birds, you will see, the food will be much more attractive and the feeders will be more likely to be of better quality!
Daily things to do
When you go into ornithology, you think it’s something easy to do, you fill the feeders and voila, you have birds, you’re officially an ornithologist… well, no.
Remember to clean the feeders often, and the bird bath too.
Would a feeder where the seeds have rotted in the bottom and is all dirty be attractive?
What about a birdbath with water full of droppings?
It is also necessary to remember to often fill the feeders. If your feeder often has birds, but it ends up empty… you have to go fill it! If the birds are left without food for too long, they could leave your land… and then it may take a while before they get back.
You understand ? Being an ornithologist consists of being daily in your routines.
Do you have an outdoor cat? So if this is the case, ornithologist is perhaps not a passion to take. Even if birds fly, be aware that they often stand on the ground to peck seeds that have fallen to the ground and that is when predators might want to attack them.
The predators ? They are numerous ! Cats, dogs and even birds of prey. Some of these animals might enter your yard and see the birds flying around your feeder and…they will probably try to attack them.
If you are an ornithologist, you undoubtedly love the birds of your land. So, it is essential that, if you see an undesirable prowling near your feeder, to scare it away.
I myself have a lot of trouble with feral cats around my house and it has become that every day, I have to scare them away. We must be patient and be ready to act before they attack our feathered friends.
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