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Apartment Balcony Bird Feeding Experience

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Old Saturday 28th March 2009, 22:20   #1
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Apartment Balcony Bird Feeding Experience

For anyone considering setting up bird feeders on their balcony, please read this warning.

About a month ago I became interested in setting up some bird feeders on my apartment balcony. I live on the third floor, have a 30 foot balcony with two mature sycamore trees about 30 feet away. The branches come within 10 feet of the balcony. There's no road or sidewalk as I'm on the back side of the building. It seemed perfect.

It turned out to be too perfect. For the first two weeks, birds visited sporatically and it took 10 days for them to empty the first feeder I put up (a Droll Yankees Squirrel Buster with Cardinal Ring loaded with sunflower chips). At the end of the second week I added a suet feeder and a little window tray so I could see some of them up close. At the end of the third week I added a Droll Yankees Squirrel Buster finch feeder. The feeders were now being emptied in 3 days on average.

In the past week my balcony has become overwhelmed with birds and squirrels. Just yesterday I had 8 morning doves, 2 squirrels (eating scraps), and about 20 or 30 other birds (finches, juncos, sparrows, cardinals, chickadees, starlings, titmice, nut hatches, and a woodpecker) all squabbling for a turn at the feeders. The balcony is covered with poop and there are thistle hulls, bits of peanuts and sunflower seeds all over the place.

I looked at my neighbors balconies and got very concerned. The birds are making a mess everywhere. So unfortunately, I have decided to shut this down before it gets out of control. I doubt my neighbors will appreciate the mess if they use their balconies (right now none are).

It was fun when it first got started but I think an apartment balcony is not a good place for a bird feeder, even if it hangs over the side. Birds will perch on anything close by while waiting their turn and the mess grows very rapidly.
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Old Sunday 29th March 2009, 14:41   #2
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Welcome to the forum and thanks for taking the time to report your experience. I also have a balcony and had been considering whether to install a bird feeder. It did occur to me that debris from the bird feeder might pose a variety of problems, so I have been hesitating so far. If others have related experiences I would be interested.

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Old Sunday 29th March 2009, 15:11   #3
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Great post Scrapser ! i bet it is costing you as much as it costs me
But now you have started the birds wont be very happy if you stop
I find the more you put out the more birds you get
Maybe just top up your feeders at night and then its first come first served in the morning and dont put anymore out till the evening

Good luck what ever you do

Oh and welcome to the mad house !!!
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Old Sunday 29th March 2009, 15:13   #4
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Originally Posted by J. Moore View Post
It did occur to me that debris from the bird feeder might pose a variety of problems, so I have been hesitating so far. If others have related experiences I would be interested.

I used to live in a 7th floor flat without a tree in sight. I optimistically put up feeders and was surprised to find that birds started using it very quickly. I had 30-50 birds visiting daily, never noticed much mess and neighbours didn't seem too concerned. I guess some places, it could be an issue, other places not.
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Old Monday 30th March 2009, 12:05   #5
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You could always use no mess feed, that'll take care of the hulls. So you'll just have to live with the bird droppings.
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Old Saturday 16th May 2009, 15:32   #6
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I found this forum while searching a solution for a small, balcony bird bath and wanted to post my very similar problem... I live on the second floor with a new neighbor downstairs, who complained to the management about the spent hulls that littered her patio area.

I ended up moving my little feeder off of the balcony edge, to a inexpensive stool with a piece of carpeting underneath. using a patio type feed with hulled sunflower seed helps keep the mess manageable and I vacuum the rug once a week or sweep it off into a dustpan.

not feeding the birds isn't an option for me, they provide my cats with endless entertainment while I'm at work and for myself when I'm home.
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Old Wednesday 26th October 2011, 20:51   #7
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Any Updates Here?

I also live in an apartment and have a third floor balcony. I put out a feeder just this past summer. While I see no where in our rules that bird feeders are not allowed, the neighbor downstairs has complained about the seed residue falling onto her balcony through the cracks in the wood. Oddly enough, we are not allowed to have rugs on our balconies, but I put some mats under the feeder to try to cut down the mess.

Right now I'm just putting out cracked corn since all I get are mourning doves and sparrows anyway, and I'm not trying to attract more birds lest I get in more trouble. I don't want to stop feeding the birds that already come, but I need ways to keep the mess down. I've moved the food to a shallow bowl on top of my gardener container, but still the birds like to carry the food off to the floor of the balcony and eat it there where the residue falls through the cracks.

I don't want to be cited as a "nuisance" with this so any ideas would help. Thanks.
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Old Tuesday 22nd November 2011, 01:21   #8
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Hmm. I was planning on planting a bird/butterfly garden this upcoming spring. I may put out some feeders now and test out the waters. I don't want to become a menace. Thank you for sharing this!
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