Winter Is Coming
During the summer months it’s really not that big a deal managing your sunflower seed usage. Your backyard birds are not as worried about your feeders and you may even take them down. It’s not until the first leaves start to fall that you see feeder activity pick up. That’s the time for deciding if you’re happy with your bird feeding method. If you have spent the last winter watching your feeders get attacked by grackles and cleaned out then fall is the time to make changes.
It was almost nine years ago when I brought home my first hopper feeder. I’m assuming the store clerk who sold it to me thought it would have been a good start for somebody not too familiar with birdfeeding. They couldn’t have been further from the truth. Before two weeks had passed, all I had was a flock of grackles completely taking over that feeder. Worse, because they are aggressive, the birds like cardinals, titmice and chickadees couldn’t get near the thing. I had had enough and decided to take action.
I spent the next week researching different feeder solutions until I found what is still my feeder mainstay today, a Heritage Farms Absolute 2. It had plenty of seed holes in the front, large capacity, could be adjusted for the weight of the bird you wanted to exclude, mounted nicely atop my primary feeder pole and looked great. Within one week, the grackles had moved on and I began to see the diversity of bird species make themselves at home in my backyard. Other than a failed attempt to switch to safflower seed which had the same feeder taken over by mourning doves, I’ve not used anything else in it.
If you find your feeders being emptied daily I would suggest spending a little time to see what’s eating that much. Chances are you have grackles. Grackles will keep your other birds away, make a complete mess of your feeder, throw all kinds of seed all over the place and make keeping your feeders full and clean nearly impossible. If you want to take a positive step towards relocating them I would seriously consider getting a Heritage Farms Absolute 2. Even if you don’t have grackles this feeder is a breeze to fill and maintain and will really look great in your backyard.