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  1. M

    How susceptible are downy woodpeckers to salmonella?

    I've found many websites talking about salmonella, listing birds that are very susceptible, and those that are somewhat susceptible. Downy woodpeckers are never mentioned at all. Does anyone know for sure? Thanks
  2. M

    Salmonella outbreak

    I found a pine siskin on one of my feeders, showing all the symptoms of salmonella. After taking all feeders down, I did some Googling and came up with https://www.texasstandard.org/stories/why-you-should-temporarily-take-down-your-bird-feeder/...
  3. M

    Sanitizing unfinished terra cotta bath

    I use a 24" finished terra cotta garden saucer for a birdbath, just lay it on the ground and the birds love it...both drinking and bathing. I change the water every couple days, and scrub it with a brush periodically. What's the best way to sanitize it? I've been hesitant to use anything...
  4. M

    Squirrel Buster Nut Feeder?

    Has anyone used THIS nut feeder? If so, what are your thoughts on it? Looking to attract wider variety of birds beyond those coming now for sunflower seeds, suet, and thistle. Thanks...
  5. M

    Bluebirds in Dallas area?

    Is there any real chance of attracting bluebirds to a backyard in the DFW area, Plano in particular? Would love to give it a try, but am wondering if it's worth the effort. If so, would dried mealworms be a good way to go? Any other suggestions? Thanks!
  6. M

    Mealworm Feeder?

    Id like to put mealworms out, wondering what feeder to use. If possible, would prefer a feeder as opposed to a tray. Any suggestions? Thanks!
  7. M

    Best color bird bath to attract birds?

    I'm going to put a ceramic saucer on the ground as a bird bath; it'll ll have a battery operated wiggler in it. Is there a color that will make it more attractive than others? If no particular color, then what about dark vs light?
  8. M

    Royal Wing suet (from Tractor Supply Company)

    I've used C&S suet in the past (Woodpecker Treat) and the birds loved it. But these days it's hard to find it at anything close to a decent price. The local tractor Supply Company has their own "Royal Wing" brand...any thoughts? Besides general opinion, how does their regular suet (not the 'no...
  9. M

    When to clean nest out of nextbox?

    Young chickadees fledged and left the nest; it's been four days and the box has been empty the full time. Should I clean out the old nest/bedding? Thanks
  10. M

    Sawdust/shavings Filling for nestbox?

    In another post I asked about a downy woodpecker that drums on a nest box. Well, he still does that but I haven't seen him go in. But....Ive seen a chickadee hanging around the same box, and he(?) has actually gone in a few times. What sort of filling do they prefer...shavings or dust? And will...
  11. M

    Downy woodpecker drumming on nestbox

    Last year I put up a downy woodpeckers nestbox that I built from plans and mounted it in an ok tree about 10' off the ground. Although the tree frequently had downies in it, none gave the box second look; I thought maybe because it was too close to busy feeder. But now, for a couple days, a...
  12. M

    Goldfinches disappeard all at once in Dallas-area backyard

    We had many goldfinches in our backyard this winter; nyjer feeder frequently had all six perches occupied, with more on a feeder with sunflower hearts. Then, a week or so ago, they were all gone. The food is fresh, the feeders clean. Dark eyed juncos have been on both feeders, but they had been...
  13. M

    Blue jays hogging the suet feeder

    We've always had a few blue jays visiting the back yard, picking up seed on the ground under the feeder (they can't get on the feeder itself). No worries so far. But over the last month or so they've discovered the hanging suet feeder and are on it or its shepherd's hook all the time. They...
  14. M

    How often do you clean/sanitize feeders?

    In the summer I do it once a week; in the winter, I've been doing it every two weeks. In either case, everything gets an hour soak in 20% vinegar solution. Is that more often than needed? What do you do?
  15. M

    Raptor, Dallas Texas, Feb 7

    This guy has been in my back yard a few times. Finally got a picture today. What is it?
  16. M

    Birds that birds prefer safflower over sunflower?

    Are there any birds that - as a rule - prefer safflower seeds to sunflower seeds?
  17. M

    Cleaning inside of of tube feeder's tube

    Is it usually necessary to fully sanitize the inside of the tube? I'm thinking a good wipe with water/vinegar solution would be enough, since birds never touch the inside or the holes (it has metal perches etc around the holes). What do you think?
  18. M

    Two nestbox questions

    Trying to decide on top access (for cleaning etc) or side access. Based on your experience, what are the pros and cons of each? How to attach to the trunk of a tree? Strongly prefer not to use nails or screws. Maybe bungees...but would they lose elasticity and slip? Maybe hang from a limb, and...
  19. M

    Goldfinches breed in Dallas area?

    Has anyone heard of a case where Goldfinches were attracted to a feeder in the winter, and stayed through spring/summer -- rather than migrate back north? According to THIS MAP, Dallas is just outside of Goldfinches' year-round breeding territory. I'm seeing a handful at this time, wondering if...
  20. M

    Ever mount a nestbox to a fence?

    If so, how'd it go? I have a an 8' board-on-board fence in my backyard, thinking about roosting box now, and nestbox in spring/summer.
  21. M

    Exterior preservative on cedar nest boxes and roosting boxes?

    I'm going to build some nest boxes and roosting boxes out of cedar. I know the insides should be left unfinished, but what about the exteriors? I'm thinking about some sort of light preservative to keep the wood looking new-ish. Or...will birds find them more inviting if they take on that grey...
  22. M

    Vortex Viper HD vs Nikon Monarch 7 vs Monarch 5

    It's Christmas time and my lovely wife wants to give me a set of good binoculars. Regardless of the specific set, they'll be 8x42, primarily for birding. Based on "historical" reviews, the Vortex Viper would seem to beat the Monarchs. But with their recent move to China, there seems to be some...
  23. M

    Nice variety -- seems to be growig

    In the last week and a half, in my backyard I've seen a few goldfinches, two yellow-rumped warblers (sometimes together and sometimes separate), couple of Carolina wrens, and a norther flicker (that was pretty cool!). All of that's in addition to the resident pair of cardinals, some house...
  24. M

    Unglazed terra cotta for bird bath?

    I'm getting ready to put out an unglazed terra cotta planter saucer, with water. Are there any issues regarding cleaning, or anything else, that I should be aware of?
  25. M

    Do water wigglers really work?

    Thinking about getting one of THESE, or something like it. Do they really help to attract birds? If so, any recommendation on specific product? Thanks!