Attracting Birds

Q. How do I keep the mosquitoes from laying eggs in my water feature?

The keys to keeping mosquitos from using your water features as a breeding ground is moving water. Our best selling device is the Water Wiggler. It is very simple and works great in most bird baths. Two D cell batteries make two “aggitators” run for weeks. The water surface constantly ripples so mosquito eggs will fall to the bottom of the bird bath.

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Q. When will the grackle be leaving?

People who are overrun by grackle can’t wait till they leave. Typically, they leave the feeders in August and move out into the farm country. They will head to the southern states in September/October. Until then, use Safflower, Nyjer and cage feeders to keep them in check.

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Q. Where do the yellow finches go in the fall?

American Goldfinches never leave our area. In the late summer early fall season, they primarily retreat to weedy fields to feast on Mother’s Nature’bounty. Seeds from many weeds such as Giant Ragweed are just too plentiful to resist. By late November, those seeds are starting to drop to the ground and become harder to find, thus the return of the finches (in their winter plumage) to our feeders. Our number of our goldfinches can grow heavily in the winter as birds from Iowa, Minnesota and points even further north come here to overwinter.

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Q. Do birds really need bird seed now? (SPRING 2012)

If you think about what is happening in the plant world during the spring, you quickly realize this is probably the most important time to provide seed for birds. The natural seeds and berries that birds have been feeding on all winter are gone and freshly growing plants will not be producing any seed for quite a while. When you factor in the number of returning species like Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Indigo Buntings, there is a good reason to feed birds for them and for us.

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Q. Can I use raw (turbinado) sugar for my hummingbird nectar?

I know the hummers are pretty much gone now but I thought I should address this. According to hummingbird “experts” , it is not good to use raw sugar. I understand this is a growing trend among many for human consumption but the fear is that there are more impurities in the raw sugar that could be harmful to the hummingbirds.

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Q. I have so many trees in my yard that baffles really don’t help against the squirrels. What can I do?

First, I am jealous of all the trees. You have great habitat for the birds and shouldn’t have to worry about furry creatures. One of the best performing products we have gotten in lately is Flaming Squirrel from Cole’s. Nothing is 100% effective for everybody, but this product has received extremely high reviews from our customers. It is a habenero oil that you mix in with your seed. Birds are not affected but most mammals can’t take the heat.

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Q. The Squirrels keep chewing the hole of my nest boxes so they can get their heads in. What can I do?

This is actually a very common problem and a simple fix. We have portal protectors from 3 different companies in stock. They come in 3 different sizes and easily drill into your box. If the hole is too big now, it is best to cut a new square of wood that will fit over the old hole, drill a new hole and attach the protecter to the new piece of wood.

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Q. Spring rains can cause my seed to get “mushy”. Should I throw it out when this happens.

The short answer is Yes. Wet seed leads to mold and promotes bacteria growth. The exception to the rule is if the seed is in a feeder that provides good protection and rain is followed by good sunlight and wind, the seed can dry quickly and your fine. If it is an extended period of rain and grey, overcast conditions, the seed will need to be thrown out. Adding a good hood to feeders that have hulless seed is especially helpful.

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