Bird Feeders and Purple Martins

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BumBee
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:47 am
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

After 2006 PM season, I had to find something to entertain myself on my low times.
My two Jack Russell Terriers, my ukulele can only go so far and I needed something
else to do. I realized I was having PM withdrawal, so I started to make bird feeders and start experimenting on how to make them more efficient and dry. I used materials that was available to me. I found that I could use any empty plastic containers to gutter down spouts and plastic flower pot base (to catch expelled water).

All during winter months (spring time to northerners) I had three (half gallon orange juice) feeders going. This attracted four different dove species, cardinals, sparrows,
blue jay and more. This entertained me watching them. There were times that there
would be as many 20 plus doves feeding at my back yard. This in turn attracted a couple of hawks. This two hawks was successful a least once. I saw feathers and skin where the doves would congregate.

Now I’m seeing these two hawks fly by just about every day when I get home from work.
I do see them fly by early mornings on weekend and perch on nearby trees 50 to 100 feet away. I have tried to discourage them from being around by back yard but to no avail.

I’ve stopped all feeders but I still have caged house sparrows and birds have found that
there are seeds on the ground under this cage. Now I’ll have figure out how make the feeder inside the cage spill proof while the PMs are here.
Guest

I guess I'm not seeing something here,,,,,,,,,,,why spill proof?????


dick
CraigMo.
Posts: 1480
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 12:30 pm
Location: Missouri/Lone Jack
Martin Colony History: Active since 2003

Well Matam, quiting feeding might help deter the hawks after awhile. But it sounds like you enjoy it. If it was me I would feed the birds still, maybe farther away from your pm house and around some bushes for cover for the feeding birds. The hawks will probably go for the birds on the ground first. IMO probably easier to catch them than a martin. I have had feeders throughout my landlording but kept them at a distance of my pm setups. Another thing the more eyes from the birds will help with their alarming calls. Maybe quit feeding them til after the martins settle in and start up after that, then maybe the martins will chase the hawks away. Birds are messy eaters and they will probably throw your seed around anyways. Good Luck with the hawks, maybe someone with experience will help ya
BumBee
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:47 am
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

Spill proof? This will minimize the doves that come to feed under my sparrow cage.

The sparrows spill at least a fourth of the seeds from the feeder inside the cage. All
I have to (I think) is place a pan the size of the bottom of the cage and recycle the
bird seeds.

I placed those feeders under the sago palms trees that is in my back yard. It worked for
A while but doves just came in abundance. I can put the feeders a 100 feet away from my
PM housing, I don’t think it will help keep the hawks away. The 100 feet is nothing to the
Avian predators.
Guest

I agree with Craig that the more eyes around, the better. I have watched birds around our house and feeders. They all seem to realize when a hawl enters the area. Sure, the hawk gets a few birds, but overall, I think the birds do a good job of keeping track of them. As you may be aware, some small birds actually chase the hawls and owls. They can't directly harm the raptors, but they sure make it just about impossible to surprise other birds.

Jeff
BumBee
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:47 am
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

The raptors are more likely to succeed taking a PM if they’re around.
I know and seen the prey chasing and bouncing on the raptor in flight.

This is the first year I’ve had feeders in my backyard since I started
providing housing for the Purple Martins. This is also the first year
that raptors are hanging around my PM housing.

I just do not want them in my immediate area. I want to see the alarm sounded
not from my immediate area but from the perimeter of 200 feet.
Guest

Which hawk is it thats considered "the bird feeder hawk"?
Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4342
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

Mr Lodi,

There are two "bird feeder hawks": Cooper's hawk and sharp-shinned hawk. These are Accipiters and feed primarily on birds, including purple martins. Right now, there is a beautiful mature male Cooper's hawk with a blue/gray back, barred chest and black crown that is hunting various birds at my neighbor's bird feeders. This morning he tried to capture some birds and I chased him out of the yard. He may start trying for our martins when more arrive.

Steve
BumBee
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:47 am
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

I stopped all three bird seed feeders the weekend before last. The result is just awesome.
I only saw two to six birds that came to feed under the sparrow cage at a time. With three
feeders going aside form what is in the sparrow cage, I would see twenty to thirty birds
on the ground feeding. This are mostly doves, white wing, mourning, Inca and sometime an
occasional Eurasian (black ring neck) doves.

I only saw one hawk flying by while I sat on my usual spot Saturday and Sunday.

I made a better bird seed feeder for the sparrow cage. I think this will cut
seventy five per cent of the birds seeds hitting the ground.
BumBee
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:47 am
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

“Spill proof” works better than I expected. Hardly any bird seed hits the
ground. This feeder is three times more efficient than that of the previous one.
I made this feeder out of a Margarita Mix plastic bottle, a Progresso Soup
Cup, a 12 inch plastic Flower Pot Base and chicken wire.

I enjoyed feeding and watching birds in my back yard all year, but for the
purple martin’s sake, I will stop for now. I think I will start the feeders as soon
as the purple martins leave my back yard and stop two months before they get
back to my back yard.

There are six purple martins spending the night at my sight. I think they’re
here to stay for the season.
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CraigMo.
Posts: 1480
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 12:30 pm
Location: Missouri/Lone Jack
Martin Colony History: Active since 2003

Looks like it is spill proof. Good job on your martins
BumBee
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:47 am
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

Since the Purple Martins arrived at my backyard, I quit feeding birds for I noticed
the frequent visit of a pair of hawks. Since then the Purple Martins have behaved
differently from the past seasons. They tend to be airborne for most of the time instead
perched, the fly around my site and when they do come in, they land onto the porch and
disappears into their chosen rooms. They used to perch a lot in the past.

Since I stopped all of the feeders and made modification to the feeder (spill proof) inside
my sparrow cage, I have not seen the pair of hawks, not even their afternoon fly over.
Another good thing about my spill proof feeder is the amount of birds consumed. I used
To fill a one gallon container every week, now I fill up a half gallon in three weeks.

It is awfully quite though, except for an occasional dove and a cardinal that comes to
visit.
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