Bringing the outside inside is an important tiny house idea. Living small means finding innovative ways to create the illusion of space, color, sound, and movement. Birds like the cardinal above attempting to speak to the decorative bird on top of our feeders will help make your tiny house feel as big as the great outdoors. Birds, like anything else, require knowledge, support, and care.
Since birds aren’t the way we make a living, expediency and paying for knowledge we don’t plan to gain is the only strategy. Your life may be different. Birds, also like anything else, are a black hole. You can spend hours, days, and lots of money to do the wrong things. There is no free lunch. We decided to ask Wild Birds Unlimited how to buy, set up, and care for a bird feeder.
We purchased the “basic kit” and two feeders. The “kit” is the dual hooked iron thing in the image above.
Basic Bird Feeder Starter Kit
The “basic kit” includes a spiked footing to drill into the ground. It’s easy to drill the spike into the ground and secure with a “stabilizer”. Since my lot has more squirrels than people I purchased a baffle. The baffle sits about halfway up the pole and I’ve seen squirrels go into it without being able to the feeders. That said, there was a mysterious day when half my bird feed cylinder disappeared from the open feeder.
Frustration set in when, after spending more than two hundred dollars, few birds came to my feeder. Returning to Wild Birds Unlimited in the Woodcroft shopping center in Chapel Hill/Durham I asked for advice. I let the owner know his gourmet bird feed wasn’t working. He laughed and asked more questions. “I suggest sunflower chips,” the owner said telling me how to mix in with his nut based blend. He was right. Birds line up now. I may buy another “starter kit”.
Open Vs Perch Feeders
My open feeder gets twice the traffic as the cylinder feeder (on the right in the photo above). Since the night my birdseed cylinder was mysteriously disappeared, I’ve been scoping and adding seed manually. I’m headed back to Wild Birds soon because the Cylinder received more visits. It may be easier for birds to see the feeder with the cylinder.
When the cylinders were in the open feeder three birds would visit it to every bird ducking into the cylinder. The cylinder has an anti-squirrel baffle – anything too heavy sitting on the perch shuts the portals. I don’t think the baffle is needed and heavier birds such as Bluejays or Woodpeckers can’t use the cylinder. Their weight would close the openings unless the factory settings change. The cylinder is better for smaller birds.
Cardinals, nuthatches and tufted titmouse birds dominate my backyard bird feeder.