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second floor balcony bird feeding manners

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Old Tuesday 25th July 2006, 21:44   #1
greenmay
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Question second floor balcony bird feeding manners

I just got home and I see that on the second day of my first bird feeder, it really has become popular- the seed is almost gone. The problem is they made so much of a mess that I'm afraid my downstairs neighbor is going to complain about all of the sunflower shells and spilled seed on his patio. There really is no other place to hang it and I really don't want to be rude. Is there a way to reduce the mess? Are platform feeders cleaner? Is there an easy way to attach some sort of basin under the feeder? Would it scare the birds away? I just can't see a way around this other than just sweeping up my neighbor's porch every night.....

Kimberly
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Old Tuesday 25th July 2006, 21:52   #2
colonelboris
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Well, maybe attaching a 12-15" dish by some wire or glue to the bottom of the feeder - this may catch a fair bit of the mess. If your birds are anything like our blue tits, then you'd have to have something about 48" across...
If you have a dish hanging below the feeder, this might attract different birds that go more for open seed containers.
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Old Tuesday 25th July 2006, 21:53   #3
KC Foggin
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Hi Kimberly

Yeah, it is a bit of a dilemma. You might try looking for a feeder that has a tray underneath it or if not, perhaps concoct your own by drilling a metal plate or pie tin under it? One other good change would be to go over to sunflower hearts. There are no shells and eliminates a whole lot of mess. A bit more pricey but all the birds love it except for the house sparrows.
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Old Tuesday 25th July 2006, 22:05   #4
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Got to second that sunflower hearts comment. They are by far the most popular food and leave next to no mess. Any small shreads they do leave are captured on a small tray beneath the feeder and then are simply blown away.

Good luck

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Old Tuesday 25th July 2006, 23:26   #5
greenmay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCFoggin
A bit more pricey but all the birds love it except for the house sparrows.
Yeah, all I get so far are house sparrows and finches. I wouldn't want to drive away my best customer...
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Old Tuesday 25th July 2006, 23:52   #6
steveo
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Dont worry about loosing the house sparrows, the finches will spread the word and before you know it you will have other species, keep it going into the winter and your probably gonna get even more.
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Old Tuesday 25th July 2006, 23:58   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmay
Yeah, all I get so far are house sparrows and finches. I wouldn't want to drive away my best customer...
Lots of good advice - I too would try hanging a bowl or large
plastic plate under the feeder which would attract all those birds that like to feed standing up.
If your feeder has mesh sides you could poke stcks through to make larger perches.
Some of my ground feeders have learned to crash into the feeder tubes freeing enough food for a meal.
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Old Wednesday 26th July 2006, 00:20   #8
Evanji Axu
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I wouldn't be so worried about the seed hulls, if you know what I mean.
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Old Wednesday 26th July 2006, 07:51   #9
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Inevitably you'll have a big mess

We keep a small seed feeder and a couple of fat/seed-mixed balls ('talgboll' in Swedish) on our second floor balcony in the wintertime. I attached a picture of a Coal Tit eating from the kind of ball that I mean.

Seed hulls, excremets, feathers... it quickly becomes a mess. We try to place the feeders in such a manner that the balcony below will be mostly spared and we try to buy seeds without hulls. In the end you will have a mess though.

Furthermore, on the topic of flat dish seeder style - try to avoid it, as disease spread quickly when the birds have to eat from the same tray as they shit on. (sorry for strange english there).

I guess my final conclusion would be - prepare for regular cleaning sessions. You will have a mess. The birds got no manners at all! :-)

//Anders
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Old Wednesday 26th July 2006, 08:48   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anders
Furthermore, on the topic of flat dish seeder style - try to avoid it, as disease spread quickly when the birds have to eat from the same tray as they shit on. (sorry for strange english there).

I guess my final conclusion would be - prepare for regular cleaning sessions. You will have a mess. The birds got no manners at all! :-)

//Anders
That's a very good point that completely escaped me...
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Old Wednesday 26th July 2006, 10:01   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anders
Furthermore, on the topic of flat dish seeder style - try to avoid it, as disease spread quickly when the birds have to eat from the same tray as they shit on. (sorry for strange english there).
Not sure I entirely agree here - it's just a question of cleaning the dish regularly, but as you should be cleaning all your feeders regularly to avoid disease, it shouldn't be a problem.
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Old Wednesday 26th July 2006, 13:07   #12
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At the beginning of the spring one of our our downstairs neighbours rang the doorbell and asked when we were thinking of removing our feeders as she wanted to wash the windows on her glass-enclosed balcony. We were going to take them down anyway as my wife likes to sit on the balcony during the summer but to keep on good terms with our neighbours we removed them immediately.
I had also been worried about seed husks etc dropping down but what she was unhappy about was that our visitors were crapping on her balcony glass on their way to and from the feeders. We bought some flowers to make amends but our neighbours weren't at home when we delivered them so we kept them ourselves instead. Hope they don't complain when we put out the feeders next winter!
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