[Tweeters] Finch seed

Diane B. dibirsner at gmail.com
Sun Dec 13 16:58:55 PST 2020

Dear Steven and Tweeters,

I laughed so hard at Gary B's story about making his own suet that it
inspired me to share my bird feeding experiences.
I've been feeding birds for about 30 years and have used a variety of seed
and feeders in different states. (Sorry if this reads like a cautionary
tale.) First lesson I learned was, if you live in a townhome or condo
complex, check with the homeowner's association's (HOA) bylaws before
putting up a feeder. I was living in Texas back then and it greatly
saddened me when I received a rather nasty and threatening letter from my
HOA, ordering me to immediately take down my very expensive squirrel-proof
feeder full of lovely black sunflower seeds (shelled) because the woman,
whose townhome faced mine across the common area, complained that it
brought rats into her *back* patio. She had failed to mention to the HOA
that she fed her dog on her back patio. Ironically, her last name was Byrd.
I learned my 2nd big lesson, also the hard way, when I moved up here and
gleefully put up my squirrel-proof feeder, again filling it with lucious
black sunflower seeds, this time with shells because it was cheaper. I was
pretty good about sweeping up the shells, but apparently not diligent
enough because my house, which sat on the edge of a forest, developed a
pretty severe rat infestation. The house that, at the time, was listed for
sale. Besides what it did to my nerves, it caused great damage to my attic
and crawl space, and was *way* more costly than shelled black sunflower
seeds! Now I live in a different house, and my partner and I have just a
couple of suet feeders; one is attached to the siding and the other hangs
under the eaves, both are at the 2nd floor level. We get quite the variety
of bird species, which gives me great joy especially in these COVID times.
We also get the occasional squirrel and a rat, but we've used the hot
pepper flavored suet for the squirrel that would hang from its little toes
to get to the feeder under the eaves. And we bought a caged double-suet
cake feeder to keep the squirrel from shimmying up the side of the house to
reach that one. It didn't deter the nocturnal rat, however, because he's
Hoodini in a rodent costume. Now I bring that feeder inside each night.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to offer up my two cents, and may
your bird feeding endeavors bring you tremendous pleasure, Steven!
Holiday cheers to all,
Diane Birsner
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