Protect Bird Feed With Raccoon Proof Bird Feeders

The sound of chirping birds in the morning is certain to brighten up the backyard. And the sight of birds building nests and caring for their hatchlings is truly an experience to savor, not only for kids but for adults as well. Hence, people place mealworms, night crawlers, red worms, wax worms, super worms, dried crickets and bird pellets in their gardens, hoping to invite the neighborhood birds to the backyard.

But a common problem with laying treats for the birds is the likelihood of attracting other local wildlife. For instance, raccoons love these treats, and often manage to get to them first. As is usually the case, raccoons scare away the birds the homeowner is attempting to invite. A highly effective solution to protect the bird food is to install one of the raccoon proof bird feeders.

Raccoon proof feeders are simple but ingenious inventions. Basically, there are two kinds of these bird feeders:

1. Bird feeders with metal baffles at their bases. These baffles block the path of the raccoons so they won’t be able to climb up to the feed.

2. Weight-sensitive bird feeders. These are specially designed to accommodate only the weight of birds. Anything significantly heavier, such as a raccoon (and even squirrels and rats for that matter), will trigger the device and block the feeder from further intrusion.

Are rodent proof feeders the best solution?

A raccoon proofed bird feeder can be expensive. So it may help to consider the simpler alternatives like greasing up the pole of normal bird feeders so the raccoons can’t climb up, or creating a platform suspended in midair via ropes or threads that are attached to trees or similar areas which are unreachable for raccoons.

But the purpose made raccoon proof feeders are the most aesthetic option. The latest ones can appear very attractive and a great addition to any backyard. Additionally, a pest proof feeder is the more permanent and convenient solution. Your won’t have to maintain them as much as you would with, say, a regular feeder’s pole which you have to apply oil to at regular intervals.

Also, raccoon proof bird feeders are also meant to ward off the intrusion of other rodents, such as squirrels, mice, and rats. You won’t have to worry about these little mammals stealing feed meant for animals with wings. And you can enjoy a garden that will serve as a true paradise for local and migratory birds.

Get a lot more information on the best landscaping and lawn mowing Penshurst services to maintain the attractive appearance of the lawn and garden.

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What Is a Solar Bird Bath Fountain?

A solar bird bath is a type of water fountain that runs on the sun’s energy. The energy gathered is stored in a battery or used immediately to operate the filter and pump system and control the circulation of water. If there is enough direct sunlight, a solar bird bath fountain is easy to set-up and run.

Adding a water feature in the backyard can provide a variety of benefits for both the lawn and garden. Here are several of the most beneficial reasons to install this garden feature:

Easy to install: A major quality of the solar-powered systems is the ease of installation and use. This type of garden feature is entirely self-contained and does not rely on electrical wiring or other complicated installation methods.

Attracts more birds: Getting more birds into the garden is beneficial for several reasons, including helping with plant pollination, aerating the local soil, and attracting wasps or other key predators that will eat most destructive pests.

Learn about nature: Regular bird activity in the garden makes it possible to learn the quirky and wonderful habits that come with the many different species of birds.


A solar system is best placed in a location that receives a lot of sunlight throughout the course of the day. A solar bird bath fountain can operate at full capacity if the solar panels are able to collect enough energy. Unless the product comes with a battery to hold the excess energy supply, it isn’t able to operate on the cloudy days.

Also, it should be positioned in an open space that isn’t surrounded by overgrown grass, plants or trees. If the birds aren’t able to view the local area to detect signs of predators, they aren’t likely to make a visit to your garden.


These water features are available in several different styles and types. Most are designed with a shallow dish of water and a filter and pump to run the fountain. Certain models include a heating system to stop the water freezing on the colder nights. Plus, the material of the stand and dish can vary from ceramic, resin, and metal.

Low maintenance

This type of garden feature is low-cost and easy to maintain. The only upkeep involved in maintaining is routine cleaning and making sure the pump is kept submerged. Plus, the ability to run the unit without electricity means there are no ongoing costs to keep the water flowering in the fountain.

Ankway is one of the biggest solar birdbath fountain seller’s on Amazon and has been in this industry for more than 10 years.

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Interesting Tidbits About Birds

Bird lovers know that these inquisitive and social creatures make ideal pets that can provide plenty of entertainment and companionship. While all birds need basic housing, nutritious food and plenty of watchful care, it is important to understand the features that are unique to each species that may affect their health and happiness. Whether you are considering a pet bird or already have one of your own, check out these interesting tidbits about birds that can provide more insight into their behavior.

Birds Can Outlive Their Owner

Before choosing a bird as a pet, it is important for you to know that many birds have extremely long life spans. Canaries, budgies and lovebirds can all live eight years or more, and macaws and cockatoos can live well beyond 40 years. For this reason, many bird owners appoint a guardian for their bird to ensure continuous care in the event that it outlives them.

Mushrooms are Harmful to Birds

While you can watch as your pet bird happily gobbles up many of the fresh fruits and vegetables that you put on your plate, it may come as a surprise that certain foods are on the forbidden list. Mushrooms are one that can be especially dangerous because the stems and caps of certain types have led to liver failure in birds. They also cause digestive disorders in parrots.

Birds Use Body Language to Communicate

Most pet owners are familiar with common actions performed by dogs and cats to communicate with their companions, but birds also convey emotions through shifting their feathers and assuming a specific stance. For example, loose, ruffled feathers may mean that a bird is happy; however, flared wings or shoulders may mean that a bird is either getting ready to fight or interested in courting. Many people are also surprised to find that birds will sometimes wag their tails as a greeting to their owner.

Even Small Birds Eat a Lot

When observing birds, it is easy to notice that it seems they are always eating. Whether they are outdoors eating small insects or a pet consuming their nutritious feed, it is necessary for a bird to eat at least half their body weight each day to be able to survive. Pet owners should be conscious of this fact so that they can plan their bird’s feeding routine accordingly. Birds also prefer variety in their diet so include the occasional treat in your pet’s bowl.

Sensory Stimulation is Important for Happiness

Due to the social nature of birds, it is critical to provide them with constant stimulation that they can use to keep boredom at bay and find comfort. Colorful toys, jingly bells and climbing structures can all enhance a bird’s cage. Birds also notice change in their environment so you may want to trade out toys from time to time. If you must leave your bird alone during the day, use a radio or television to provide auditory stimulation that is similar to social conversations.

Interacting with your bird regularly has its share of rewards. Through chirps, mimicking and even repeating words, this pet can show happiness and forge a long lasting bond with its owner. Understanding and responding to the finer nuances that make birds unique will enhance your relationship with your favorite avian companion while safeguarding their health and longevity.

Are you thinking about getting a beautiful portrait of your pet? A professional artist’s paintings make a lasting keepsake of your furry or feathered friend. For more info, please visit Custom Pet Portraits by the Artist at

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Binoculars for First Time Bird Watchers

Binoculars are necessary when bird watching but there are some things that are important to know so you will choose the best ones to enhance your experience. One of the first things that you need to consider is the magnification specifications and size of the objective lens.

There are also some specific features you need to consider that include:

• If you are using the bird watching binoculars while wearing sunglasses or regular eyeglasses you should look for a pair that gives you fifteen millimeter or more of eye relief. This refers to the distance the images are projected from the ocular lens to what you are looking at. This measurement can range from ten millimeters to twenty-three millimeters.

• Close focus of three to six feet will help you observe dragonflies, wildflowers, and butterflies better but to watch birds you should have a close focus of at least ten feet or less.

• They should be fog proof and water proof so you can use them in any type of weather and around water

• Although these are more expensive you should look for ones that have high quality lens coatings, prism coatings, and glass to give you better resolution. This will allow you to have a cleaner, crisper image, vivid colors, and better contrast. The more you spend on your binoculars for bird watching the better the quality of the glass, which equals better images.

Magnification specifications

The size and power of the binoculars are defined by numbers with the most popular choice being a full-size eight x forty-two pair for watching birds. There are many different reasons why this size and power are so popular.

The first number, which is eight, means this is the magnification and will enable you to see something eight times closer than you would see with your naked eyes. Some prefer a ten magnification but the images they give you are not as bright and they are harder to hold steady. The magnification also affects your field of view, which is the distance that is seen from side to side. Generally the higher the magnification the more narrow the field of view. When trying to follow the movement or locate a bird it is beneficial to have a wide field of view.

Size of objective lens

This would be the second number listed, which in the example above is forty-two. This is the size of the front lens, also referred to as the objective lens. It is measured in millimeters. The objective lens is the one that gathers light so the bigger it is the brighter the image will be. With smaller lens there is less light gathered so it makes it difficult to see any details of the birds, especially if there are low light conditions. When bird watching many times it takes place under a canopy of trees or in the woods where there is not much sunlight. Birds are also more active during dusk and dawn so you should have a larger objective lens.

If youre looking for a good set of glasses, sites like ebay, amazon have amazing deals. Sometimes even just searching the Google homepage works like a charm.

Procular UK is the leading binoculars UK site. Whether it is hunting, marine or bird watching binoculars that are you are looking for is the one stop shop for all your needs. Select products after reading the website’s comprehensive guide.

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Attracting Mourning Doves to Bird Feeders – Which Feeder is Best?

Attracting Mourning Doves, sometimes called just Doves or Rock Pigeons, etc…, is an easy activity. Doves are year round residents throughout most of the US and summer in southern Canada as well. It is a popular bird found at most feeding stations, typically in small flocks. Getting doves to feed at a station is simple and they are regulars at most all. Getting them to feed FROM a feeder is another story though. Not that they won’t use a feeder but their size typically restricts them from landing on or even setting on one.

We are asked two questions here regarding doves. First is: “How do I deter doves from my yard?” I personal love the doves and cannot figure out why people don’t want them and that’s a whole different article. The other, and more popular question, is: “How do I attract the mourning dove?” Doves are a natural ground feeding bird. Watch them for a short while and you will see they are rather content milling around on the ground picking up whatever gets kicked from your feeders. After talking to a customer for a few minutes, we find that most people are actually asking us how to get doves ON a feeder or what is the best feeder for a dove? That’s a different story all together.

Doves are a large and clumsy bird. Having one land on your feeder is like having a jumbo jet land on a sea going aircraft carrier. Matter of fact, each scenario looks similar to one another in their landing patterns. Like an airplane, a dove tends to glide into a feeder wavering left and right, up and down. So, if you desire the idea of having doves ON your feeders, you will need large feeders. Our largest feeder is actually named the Mourning Dove Series and for good reason. It’s BIG in all ways. The extra room provided by a large hopper feeder or a medium to large fly-through will provide enough room for a dove to navigate its way onto one. We also offer what is known as a seed catcher tray. It’s a large flat platform feeder that is designed to set underneath pole mounted feeders and adds a great deal or “real estate” to any feeding station.

If you seriously want doves to feed from your feeder, I recommend setting up a medium to large fly-through feeder. It allows for a good quantity of seed and gives the doves plenty of landing room. If you desire a hopper style feeder, pick the largest one your budget will allow and look for a feeder with a base platform having extra room around the hopper. The more area you offer the dove, the more successful it will be in landing. Adding a seed catcher tray will positively contribute to your success rate due to its oversized “landing pad.” Once your doves are upon the feeder, they will be more than happy to hang around for long periods of time.

One other thing. When you set up a dove feeder, set up a pole or post mounted one. Hanging feeders tend to swing in the breeze and make a difficult landing situation for the bird, especially a hopper style feeder since the landing area is much smaller. A hanging feeder will also swing more wildly when the large and heavy bird makes its landing.

Feeding mourning doves will add a great deal of joy to your birding world. They typically stay around for long periods of time allowing you to enjoy them more than most other birds. They will still feed from the ground no matter what you do. So in effect, they will be acting as little house cleaners too. The less seed on the ground, the less you have to pick up. I highly recommend catering to this great bird and in doing so, you will be reward with countless hours of enjoyment from their subtle beauty and easy going, calm mannerisms.

Peter Hurley has been an active nature lover and wildlife enthusiast his entire life and is the owner of The Hurley-Byrd Bird Feeder Co. His vast experience with nature and wildlife has led his company to produce some of the finest bird, deer and wildlife feeders in the world.

Visit for more information regarding the Mourning Dove and the enjoyable way of feeding this calm and beautiful bird. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to visit Hurley-Byrd’s site and write Mr. Hurley directly. You are also welcome to view some beautiful photos of birds, deer and other creatures at

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Collaborating To Protect The Sage Grouse

Possibly because of its waffling on the high-profile Keystone XL pipeline issue, the Obama administration may not get as much credit as it deserves for a history of striking reasonable, if not flawless, balances between environmental protection and economic development.

Yet in areas ranging from offshore and Arctic oil exploration to wildlife conservation, the administration is, at least, not in the pocket of the more extreme Democratic constituencies whose knee-jerk response to any perceived environmental threat is to shout “no way!” rather than to try to find a way that works.

The latest example comes from a humble but surprisingly beloved bird.

The greater sage grouse is a chicken-sized species (though not to be confused with a prairie chicken, which is a different type of grouse) that has faced declining populations due to a combination of factors, such as expanded natural gas drilling and large wildfires destroying the sagebrush in which the grouse nest. Environmental groups have pushed for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. The sage grouse has been under consideration for listing since 2010.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced that it has decided not to list the greater sage grouse as an endangered species. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell visited Colorado to make the announcement, and said that Fish and Wildlife determined that the grouse “does not face the risk of extinction now or in the foreseeable future.” (1)

For many, the decision came as a relief. An endangered species listing for the sage grouse would have created significant restrictions on large expanses of federal land in the West. Inland of the Pacific Coast, the terrain is mostly mountain ranges with trees connected by large, open plains with sagebrush. In fact, most of the land in the intermountain West and the western Great Plains is sagebrush country. The greater sage grouse’s range spans 11 states; had the grouse been listed, it would have been a big deal.

For one thing, the federal government is by far the largest landowner in many western states – in some states, the government owns a huge proportion of the total. Nevada is an extreme case at 84.5 percent, but in Utah, Oregon and Idaho, federal land ownership also tops 50 percent. More than half of the land that makes up the sage grouse’s habitat, stretching from Washington state to New Mexico, is owned by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service. Restrictions on federally owned land alone would have had a huge impact.

But restrictions resulting from listing the grouse as endangered would have also affected private land throughout the bird’s range. Ranchers worried that restricted grazing lands would limit herd sizes, and energy industry representatives suggested increased oversight might make it difficult or impossible to operate in sagebrush areas. The bird is popular with hunters in eight states where it is a legal game bird, but hunting endangered species is prohibited, so listing it as endangered would have hurt the sporting goods and tourism industries. The overall economic impact of a listing would have been substantial in much of the West.

What happened instead was a public and private partnership, in which ranchers and other private landowners voluntarily adopted land use practices to protect the bird and promote its recovery. In her announcement, Jewell praised the cooperation, saying, “This is truly a historic effort,” which will “benefit Westerners and hundreds of species that call this iconic landscape home, while giving states, businesses and communities the certainty they need to plan for sustainable economic development.” (2)

State and local governments have worked in recent years to encourage recovery of sage grouse populations. The initiative is also backed by state recreation and tourism industries. Even in places, such as Washington, where hunting the grouse isn’t allowed, the bird is a fixture of the Western landscape and efforts to protect it have gained ground in recent years. The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies recently reported that the population has already begun its recovery.

The Interior Department is supporting and expanding that effort by offering incentives to state governments and private landowners who protect grouse habitats. Officials will also try to fight the invasive cheatgrass that competes with sagebrush for land and water, and worsens the potential for out-of-control wildfires. Still other efforts center on making sure grouse don’t injure themselves on ranchers’ wire fences or scatter when frightened by noises of human activity, making them more vulnerable to predators.

Some environmental groups are on board with this collaborative approach. National Audubon Society President and Chief Executive David Yarnold said, “Finding a shared path forward beats scaring all the stakeholders into their corners.” (2) Collin O’Mara, president of the National Wildlife Federation, also issued a statement of support. Other environmental organizations, which I would describe as single-issue constituencies incapable of considering problems in a wider context, will only be happy with the most intrusive restrictions possible (that is to say, an endangered designation). There is already talk of a potential legal challenge to the federal plan.

Some industry representatives and politicians have leveled criticism at the plan from the other direction, claiming it is still too onerous for those living and working in the states where sage grouse live. The Independent Petroleum Association of America claimed the plan will unfairly burden smaller oil companies. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert expressed “deep concern” and claimed that Interior’s “actions constitute the equivalent of a listing decision outside the normal process.” (2)

For a bird that doesn’t live in the trees, the sage grouse isn’t quite out of the woods yet.

Yet this administrative compromise offers a reasonable way forward. If sage grouse populations don’t recover as they should, or if they backslide, the government can always change its mind and list the bird as endangered in the future. But with some accommodation to the bird’s needs from governments and landowners alike, there is a decent chance this story will have a happy ending.


1)]Denver Business Journal, “‘Epic’ collaboration helping greater sage-grouse survive – for now (Video)”

2) []The Washington Post, “Decision not to list sage grouse as endangered is called life saver by some, death knell by others”

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Article Source: [] Collaborating To Protect The Sage Grouse