My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

My Bird Feeders [videos]

squirrel proof feeder

I was asked by Nature Shutterbug to do post on the bird feeders in my backyard. Instead of making this post simple (sorry dial-up friends), I decided to get into this post multiple videos. I do feed the birds year-round but during the Spring-Summer-Fall months I bring the feeders inside at dusk due to the critters getting into them. The suet feeder comes inside at dusk during the winter months but I will fill the other feeders with a limited amount of seeds for when the critters find them.

Stump Feeder (1:40)

The choice seed I use is the pure sunflower seeds and I will always purchase my seeds from a store that doesn’t carry old or spoiled seeds. Fresh quality seeds will guarantee that there will be a very limited amount of wasted seeds found on the ground (which will attract unwanted critters). You must purchase non melt suet or make sure you bring your home-made suet inside when temperatures get above freezing (don’t want to injure our friends).

Sheppard’s Hook Feeders (1:03)

The stump feeder is a great way to feed your birds in a natural setting. I love my stump feeder but it does not hold the seeds like my other feeders do. The Squirrel Proof feeder works so well that the Squirrels have stopped trying to get into it. It is also very easy to take off the tree and fill up with seeds (purchased at Home Depot). The cedar gazebo (thanks Grace) is wonderful because the sides make it impossible for the deer to get into the seeds. But the birdies have no problems in finding the seeds.

Squirrel Proof Feeder (0:45)

I don’t always put thistle out because it is soo darn expensive.  But when the goldfinch are around, I put the thistle bag or thistle feeder out. This year with the Common Redpoll and Pine Siskin in the area, I have put an extra effort in keeping the thistle feeders full.

Thistle Feeders (0:38)

It is also important to have some natural habitat around your feeders that will give shelter to your birds! Place your feeders (or stump feeder in my case) around shrubs or smaller trees that will allow birds like your Chickadees and Titmouse to eat their seeds that they just collected. In years past I have taken a broken branch that has fallen and stuck it into the ground so the birdies have an additional place to perch. Christmas is over and by placing your old Christmas tree near you feeders is another excellent way of allowing birds to find some shelter. When the weather is bad, I will throw a handful of seeds under the picnic table which will allows the birds to say out of the elements of the weather.  If the birds feel safe around your feeders . . . the are more likely to spend time in your back yard.

Natural Habitat next to the Stump Feeder (0:41)

Good luck in feeding your birds and I hope this was helpful to everyone!

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28 responses

  1. Wow, That was interesting! I did not know that you got a new wooden bird feeder. It is very purrrty. I am not sure that I remember the bear coming to the feeder but that picture is to cute!

    29 December 2007 at 8:00 pm

  2. J – ya Grace got me that for Christmas! Isn’t it nice!! The Bear post was one of my first ones I have ever done! You can see it at:

    29 December 2007 at 8:16 pm

  3. Great videos, even if no funny squirrels!

    How come you aren’t overrun with starlings like I am?

    29 December 2007 at 8:55 pm

  4. NatureShutterbug

    Wow – a great post. Very interesting and informative – thanks – a lot of “food” for thought.

    With respect to the stump feeder – do you have to hose it off because of droppings – or do the birds not use it that way?

    29 December 2007 at 9:50 pm

  5. Grace

    Glad the birdies like the new gazebo.

    29 December 2007 at 10:16 pm

  6. @ Wren – same reason I don’t get house sparrows or house finch!! When you are surrounded by forest they are not able to find their way to the feeders.
    @ NatureSutterbug – thanks and glad you enjoyed it! I don’t but I can see how at times you might have to!
    @ Grace – thanks again and they sure do! Did you download that clip?

    29 December 2007 at 11:05 pm

  7. Great videos. That white-breasted nuthatch was sure scattering seeds on the stump! I am so sick of being over-run by house sparrows at our home. But the feeders I look after at the hospital have none, and there are far more trees there.

    29 December 2007 at 11:26 pm

  8. These were great videos. I am over run with Bluejays but they are so pretty I buy the trail mix block just for them and the woodpeckers. I had a Starling the other day. It was surprising as it was the only one I’ve seen since the weather turned cold. I thought that they would migrate south. I have seen Robins here in the winter huddled together on the bare branches in a snowstorm. That’s what happens when they dilly dally around. I loved the bear picture. I can see why you bring in the feeders.

    30 December 2007 at 12:50 am

  9. Lisa at Greenbow

    I thought it quite funny when I watched the first video expecting to see a squirrel and saw a BEAR instead. You are always full of surprises which is one of the many reasons I like to read your blog.

    30 December 2007 at 7:25 am

  10. I envy the red polls and siskins. Still not a one around here. Your videos are excellent and I am so glad we finally got broadband so I can watch them. Great camera work

    30 December 2007 at 7:40 am

  11. Great videos! Love your stump feeder. People often ask me why my feeder station isn’t closer to the house, and I tell them exactly what you said… if the birds have safe cover nearby, they will visit more often. I know I would not have near the activity I do if the feeders weren’t so close to the tree line. No bears or critters here yet. (Knocking on wood…lol.)

    30 December 2007 at 8:09 am

  12. Thanks for the great advice, Tom! I love your new feeder, and it’s deer proof too! Yay since that’s my problem here!
    Your videos are wonderful, too!

    30 December 2007 at 10:11 am

  13. Love the video! It’s great to see such close-ups. The stump feeder is a wonderful idea, too!

    Happy birding in the new year …

    30 December 2007 at 10:30 am

  14. naturespalette

    I love when you post video! May I ask, what editing software do you use?

    30 December 2007 at 12:26 pm

  15. Thanks for sharing your feeders. Best to you & yours for 2008!

    30 December 2007 at 3:16 pm

  16. @ Ruth – thanks and those WBNU’s are very picky! The Dark-eyed Junco’s can really scatter the seeds!
    @ Erie – thanks and the Bluejays come earlier in the morning! I think they wait for me to put the seeds out! Do have to be careful with the bear . . . . they cause all kinds of problems!
    @ Lisa – I try to keep things entertaining!
    @ threecollie – wish one will show up for you! Thanks and wish I could get broadband! But the Satellite is great but expensive.
    @ Jayne – Thanks and wish I had some more cover for them!
    @ Pam – I probably should say it is deer proof but just harder for them to get the seeds! Thanks
    @ Laura – thanks and isn’t that the only way to see them is up close?
    @ Naturepalette – Thanks and I am using the free program that comes with Microsoft! I do like the Vista version better than the XP version though!
    @ Lana – Thanks and love you enjoyed them!

    30 December 2007 at 4:56 pm

  17. Great videos and information, Tom. That white-breasted nuthatch was looking for something else. The chickadees are feeder lovers, aren’t they?

    You must have just cleaned your feeders. Or they are new. I can tell! Mine need a good cleaning.

    I’m glad I don’t have critters to worry about…yet!

    30 December 2007 at 9:17 pm

  18. @ Mary – thanks and the WBNU probably was looking for something else! I have many birds that use my feeders that fly away after taking their seed! But thanks!

    30 December 2007 at 10:15 pm

  19. Marg

    Oh it was fun watching all those! I love watching birdies eating 😀

    30 December 2007 at 10:42 pm

  20. I never thought I would want a video cam but after seeing your’s and Linda’s video’s I might have to look into it down the road.

    I never thought about bringing in my feeders at night. I will have to try this come spring.

    31 December 2007 at 6:26 am

  21. @ Marg – thanks!
    @ Toni – actually this was all done with my point-and-shoot camera! But I am looking into maybe getting a real video camera! We will see if I get it or not!

    31 December 2007 at 7:45 am

  22. We have a ton of feeders up (I think the current count is 19 + a squirrel feeder), with our situation complicated by both squirrels AND pigeons (aka ‘flying rats’). Unfortunately, our platform feeders become havens for the pigeons so we often have to keep them empty, much to the dismay of the blue jays, cardinals, chickadees, etc.

    A suggestion for a good suet feeder that we’ve found the birds love: a drilled log. I got the idea from somewhere years ago, and it has always been one of our best feeders, and it’s simple to make.

    1. Find a good log or broken branch about 4″ in diameter which is pretty solid. Having some bark and other aesthetic features is nice but not required. Find one you like, basically.
    2. Use a drill with a fairly large bit (as close to 1″ as you can get) and start drilling holes at various angles about half the thickness of the log. Make some holes straight in and others larger by either drilling 2nd holes right next to them or moving the drill around.
    3. If you want to, drill a hole or two at a downward angle – nuthatches prefer to eat face down, after all.
    4. Hang the log from a branch with rope or fishing line – I found that fishing line is less visible and the squirrels don’t chew through it. Choose a branch that is thin enough to keep squirrels from raiding your log, and high enough to be away from critters.
    5. We use home-made gorp (rendered suet in which we put fruit, seeds, peanut butter) and fill the holes with our hands or a spatula.
    6. Enjoy.

    The woodpeckers and nuthatches love this log – we actually get yelled at by our downy woodpeckers when it’s empty – but I’ve also seen chickadees, titmice and even wrens enjoy it.

    31 December 2007 at 12:28 pm

  23. It is such a treat to watch your videos. I especially love the close ups. You have many banded birdies pay you a visit. Keep up the great work!

    31 December 2007 at 4:23 pm

  24. Hi Tom,
    I just loved all of your birdfeeder videos! Especially thank you for the inspiration of the stump feeder. I’ve got a stump that has a birdbath basin on it for the summer and I’ve just turned the basin over and it’s sitting there useless. Your pictures inspired me to take the basin off and put some seed on the stump. The Bluejay discovered it today. Thanks for the tip (sometimes the most obvious things just escape me!)

    1 January 2008 at 8:44 pm

  25. @ Marty – thanks and all great stuff with the log! I really need to do this at my house!
    @ Chicago – thanks and I think you are the only one who noted on all the banded birds! Ya, good majority of my birds are banded! LOL well except those redpolls!
    @ Ruthie – thanks and glad I inspired you and you gave it a try! Makes me feel good!

    1 January 2008 at 10:14 pm

  26. Happy New Year Mon@rch. I hope this is a prosperous year for you and your backyard birds.

    2 January 2008 at 11:31 pm

  27. great video – the finch feeder one didn’t work. My computer or is the link broken?
    Glad I found your site – wonderful pictures and content.

    4 January 2008 at 11:25 am

  28. @ Barb, thanks!
    @ AnnBB – Just checked and they all worked! Maybe the site was down for that one second you tried using it?

    4 January 2008 at 12:07 pm

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