[Tweeters] Finch seed

Debbie Mcleod skepsou at icloud.com
Sun Dec 13 17:42:21 PST 2020

I live in a "suburban" townhouse with a paved patio and a very small patch of grass and dirt. I also have to be very careful in my bird feeding. The HOA is concerned about rats, so I only feed sunflower chips (keeps things tidy). The HOA is concerned about peanut shells clogging the gutters, so I switched to shelled peanuts (not as much fun as tossing out whole peanuts to the Jays that tap politely on my patio door).
If they changed the rules to prohibit feeding birds, I would just have to move!
Another challenge of townhouse life is creating a bird-friendly habitat. A landscaping company comes regularly with their mowers, blowers and trimmers. And every so often, pruners. We are allowed to plant in our dirt, but anything that we plant is eventually mutilated or destroyed. So I do my best with small shrubs and bird-friendly perennials in pots for some protection. I let the plants do their natural thing over the winter - I do love to watch the birds perch and forage in and around the pots.
And, thanks to Dennis for the post about brush piles. My HOA would never allow such a thing - but when the new year comes, I will do my best approximation by piling some clippings of holiday greenery to the larger pots.

Debbie in Kirklandia

Sent from my iPhone

> On Dec 13, 2020, at 5:00 PM, Diane B. <dibirsner at gmail.com> wrote:


> 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

> Bellingham




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