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Apartment Balcony Bird Feeding Experience (1 Viewer)

scrapser

New member
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.
 

Jim M.

Choose Civility
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.

Best,
Jim
 

Birdbrain

"Mostly Out Birding"
United Kingdom
Great post Scrapser ! i bet it is costing you as much as it costs me :-O
But now you have started the birds wont be very happy if you stop :-O
I find the more you put out the more birds you get :eek!:
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 :t:

Oh and welcome to the mad house !!!
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
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.
 

lailoken

New member
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.
 

AngelaBriggs

New member
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.
 

AdAstra09

Well-known member
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!
 

FifiNarna

New member
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.

Hi Jos,
What birds do you get visiting at this height?
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
Hi Jos,
What birds do you get visiting at this height?

That post was ten years ago and even then I wrote 'used to live’ 🙂

I have long since ceased to live there, but the three most abundant species were Great Tit, Blue Tit and Tree Sparrow, with sometimes Greenfinch. Other species were unusual.
 

Blessed

New member
United States
I live in South Florida. I've been feeding the birds on my 3rd floor balcony for years. But today I got a letter from my condominium association to take it down, because it is causing the cars parked below to get paint ruined by bird droppings. I did not realize this was happening. So, I just took it down today. It was so sad to look into my blue jay's eyes who immediately flew in for food the moment I took it down. It's hard, because they know there is always food here for them, and now they will go away in hunger. :cry: I have let them down. It's like losing a pet. I know this post that I am writing is too late for me to write, because I realize the original post was from over 10 years ago. But I did not know where else to go share this today about my feelings with someone else that may understand.
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
I feel so sorry for you Blessed and for your birds as well. Do you by any chance have another part of your condo that has no cars under it?

Hi there and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum (y)
We're glad you found us and thanks for taking a moment to say hello. Please join in wherever you like ;)
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Hi Blessed and a warm welcome to you from me too.

I'm really sorry to hear about this, I'm not sure if there's anything I can suggest to help really.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I look forward to hearing your news.
 

Kits

Picture Picker
Welcome to Birdforum.

Would it be possible to have some feeders elsewhere? Is there a communal garden?
 

rhickman

New member
United States
I've been feeding the locals from my second floor balcony since I moved in during February. It took two weeks before any birds would visit even though I would see them flying around and I live next to a small wetland area. Now, I have daily visits mostly from a variety of finches, and sparrows. The magpies try to visit but my dog is the bird bullier and chases them off. Tonight was the first time that I had a visit from a red winged black bird and doves. I love all my new neighbors!
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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