Monday, 20 June 2016

#30DaysWild Day 20 - Feeder port drop solved

Inspector Clouseau I’m not. I didn’t even know a crime was even being committed at my 12-port bird feeder. Perhaps ‘a crime’ is a bit strong - an act of vandalism is more accurate. Accidental damage would be the plea from the suspect.

Evidence of a feeder port and a perching loop has been recovered from the lawn area and garden border below this giant seed feeder on more than one occasion. The garden owner was the prime suspect here, not fitting it together correctly after refilling with seed.

Port and perch were stored in potting shed for cleaning and re fitting – an easy twist to secure again. The gardener at work on Saturday discovered a second port and perch on the ground, before the most recently dropped one was refitted. Was there a problem with this feeder design?

Starlings, clumsily feeding and knocking the perches was possible, but the garden owner was still top of the list. However, breakfast by the window this morning revealed incriminating evidence of a master at work. Let’s look at this morning's photographic evidence…


Goldfinch demonstrates how to use the perching loop.
Note the slightly twisted angle of the loop opposite and the one below.
If the loop goes all the way to a vertical position it releases the feeding port.


The master of the feeder at work - a Magpie.
Note how one foot holds on to the middle port and the other the bottom one.
It’s very easy to see how it is twisting that middle perching loop as it lands.


Safely landed, let’s take a look at what we have here – sunflower hearts, yum!


Steady, hold steady – these perching loops are a very useful safety feature.


Did someone accuse me of vandalism? Honestly judge, not guilty!


The Jackdaw jury acknowledge no crime was committed and call for a
peanut break. The garden owner concurs and refreshes her breakfast tea.


The Magpie strikes an innocent pose for the garden owner prior to landing
on the feeder port. Perhaps it wanted to reveal his feeder technique today.


Finally, on a slightly serious note, looking through reviews of this feeder for descriptions of the terms used to describe the port parts, I discovered a couple of things I’d like to pass on. I should make it very clear, I have never seen this with my feeder, but it seems when the feeder is low, there have been occasions where small birds stretching to get at seed have been trapped inside. The one mentioned was released but did have superficial wing damage. I should add, I’ve heard of this on other makes of smaller feeders too.

One review I can agree with is on seed going damp and mouldy, especially during times of prolonged rain when birds aren’t feeding in large numbers. However, again, I have found that issue with all my feeders, but the waste on this larger feeder is greater. I purchased this particular giant seed feeder over a prolonged cold spell during winter months a few years ago. It served its purpose very well indeed, especially through snow periods when my garden saw many, many hungry birds. I don’t usually use it over summer months but as parent birds are arriving with their newly fledged young at the moment I have it up. Next month, it will be cleaned and returned to my potting shed ready for winter. Winter? We won't think of that now. Enjoy your garden when you can :-)



This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in June 2016.

5 comments:

Sue Garrett said...

I have never come across this perches shaped like a loop before.
We did once have a mouse trapped inside one of our bird feeders it and obviously squeezed in and either couldn't turn round once inside or had eaten so much seed that he Put on too much weight to escape. It was safely released.

Midmarsh John said...

An excellent and informative piece of detective work Shirl.

Shirley said...

Hello again , to you both and thanks again for popping by and leaving your comments :-)

Sue, neither had I. They are plastic so I suspect they have the potential to snap but mine is in partial shade when out in the summer. I do believe I remember something on your blog about your stuck mouse. Good job you were paying attention, this is not the only time I’ve heard of this happen.

John, thank-you, I did get a surprise to see what was happening. I did however, read a review saying collared doves have been seen using these perches too. I wonder if the use the magpie’s two perch technique ;-)

Lisa Greenbow said...

Cute post. We have marauding black birds too. Grackles, redwings etc. Grrrrr

Shirley said...

Hello again Lisa, Thanks, I enjoy mixing it up as you know. Yes, marauding they are – I can imagine your grrrr ;-)