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Squirrel Proof ?

 There are some words I read from DUNCRAGT for the Squirrel Proof bird feeder: 

To be honest,with over 50 years in bird feeding,we have not yet found a feeder that offer 100% protection from squirrels,gray or red,eating form the feeder.99% yes,100% no.

Same words also appears in BIRD CARE STANDARDS ASSOCIATION:

"Squirrel resistant" is a difficult term to define and should be avoided unless explanied in detail ie "this feeder will resist destruction by squirrels teeth but will not stop a squirrel taking food" or similar. Under no circumstances can a feeder manufactured primarily of plastic,wood or a similar material be called "squirrel resistant" or "squirrel proof".

I also remember there was a story,which said I man who feed wild bird with a bird feeder,asked an expert who made bird feeders "do you have a bird feeder that can entirely resist squirrel?" The answer was "no, we take a little time to make the feeder and feed the bird, but squrriels search food with 90% of their whole life time."

Gabriel from bird-care.org

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Baby Bird Care - Information from PROJECT WILDLIFE.

If the bird is uninjured and has some feathers, put it in the nearest tree. The parents have no sense of smell and will not know it's been touched. If it can't perch and has fallen out of the nest, put it up in the tree in a berry basket or a woven basket so water will drain out. Parents WILL feed it after people leave. 

If the bird runs around, is chick-like (covered with short, fuzzy down), it may be a baby quail or killdeer. These birds nest on the ground, and the parents' fly off when people come near. Leave the immediate area and watch to see if a parent will come back (you may have to wait up to an hour). 

The bird needs help and should be picked up if: the parents are dead; the bird is newly hatched and the nest and nest mates are out of reach; the bird fell from a palm tree; it has an injury; a cat or a child has brought it in from places unknown. 

If the bird is injured, or has no feathers, it is most important to get it warm. Use a heating pad on low or a light source (low wattage). Fractures need to be set within 48 hours or they heal incorrectly and get infected. 

Raising an orphaned songbird takes from four to eight weeks and a lot of daytime commitment. They need feeding about every 45 minutes from 6AM to 8PM for four to six weeks. No trips to the beach while you're a bird mother! When they become self-feeding (which may not be until six weeks old), they need to be exposed to their natural foods (grains, etc. for seed eaters, mealworms, fruit and berries for the insect and fruit eaters). After being completely self-feeding for one week, they need two weeks in an outdoor aviary to fly and compete with others. 

Hummingbirds, pigeons, doves, hawks, owls, killdeer and quail need special formulas or feeding techniques. Note: Hummingbird babies fed sugar water or "hummingbird nectar and hawks/owls fed hamburger, etc. for more than 24 hours may develop crippling deformities. 


What to feed: Soaked dry cat food (Science Diet, Iams) or soaked dry dog food or hard-boiled egg mashed with water.

To prepare: Add two parts boiling water to one part dry food and soak for one hour. Drain excess water. Mash well with a fork, ricer or blender. Use canned foods as is, or add water if necessary. Consistency should be like thick applesauce.

How to feed: Use a coffee stirrer, straw or paintbrush to put a mouthful of moist food into the back of the bird's throat. Feed until the bird stops gaping (opening it's mouth).

If the bird won't gape (open the mouth wide): Tap the side of the beak, shake the "nest" gently.

Additional Tips for Wild Birds:

1.Warm the bird in your hands. 
2.Get some MEALWORMS and cut them into small pieces and place them down its throat. 
3.Normally sold at convenience stores, hardware and sporting good stores that sell fishing supplies. 
4.You can also use MOIST CAT FOOD as a substitute. 
5.Keep bird warm (85 degrees unfeathered) or (75 degrees feathered). 
6.Depending upon the age - 4 to 5 feedings a day. 
7.Use fish tank or plastic Tupperware container, put towel inside and place bird on towel. 
8.Cover container with screen or cover container ?to keep heat inside with another towel. 
9.Place heating pad under container for warmth. 

DO: Keep the bird CLEAN (no food on face or feathers), QUIET (no children or pets in sight of bird), CONTAINED (a box with screen or cover on top).

DON'T: NEVER GIVE LIQUID OF ANY KIND including milk (causes diarrhea) or any liquid (the entrance to the lungs is on the tongue and the bird may drown).

Good Luck!

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How to Help Wild Birds in Cold Winter Weather?

The extreme and cold winter weather can be detrimental for wild birds. With freezing temperatures, high winds, snow, ice, and decreased food, birds have a much harder time surviving than in the warmer months. As insect eating birds migrate south, you will see the devoted seed eaters filling themselves up to make the best attempt they can at living through to another spring. Here are ways you can help them.

This is maybe the most important of all things for wildlife other than oxygen. When the temperature reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, shallow water freezes and wild birds may not be able to get water when they need it. This is where you can step in and be a real hero for them. Place a shallow dish outside that is only big enough to get a drink out of, not take a bath in. You will want to fill it with warm water as often as possible. Never hot water though, because the birds may come to it immediately. This is a great job for the whole family, after all, if all of the adults and children are keeping an eye on the water, there should nearly always be unfrozen water available.

Make available a variety of wild bird seed in different places. You may use small standard feeders for the smaller birds, larger feeders for the larger birds, and open flat feeders or sprinkling on the ground for the ground birds. At most pet, feed, and even some grocery stores, Wal-mart and outdoor stores, you will find something called suet. It comes in a variety of flavors, shapes, and mounts. Suet is high in fats and oils and will also help the birds hold calories in extreme winter weather. Another ideas is to coat pine cones in peanut butter, roll in bird seed, tie to strings, and hang around your yard.

In the spring plant conifers or "evergreens", or if you already have them, leave them. These include most pine trees, firs, spruces, and a few others. These will help block the wind and wet weather so the birds can rest and sleep dry. If you have the money and time, buying or building bird houses will also help. You can research dimensions that are appropriate for different birds. Please... when you see residence being taken on your porch, deck, wreath, window, or any other place, have a heart and leave it. You may even greatly enjoy your little house mates. Provide them with piles of short pet hair, hay and straw to make it warm and cozy.

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Keeping your garden birds happy and healthy

We all enjoy feeding the wild birds in our gardens, but it is important to follow a few simple hygiene procedures to ensure that your garden is a safe place for them.

Outbreaks of diseases such as Salmonella and E.coli are a constant threat and can quickly spread from infected birds to healthy birds sharing the same feeding areas.

These guidelines should ensure that your garden visitors remain both happy and healthy.


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Window Strikes

We are often asked about birds and windows. They either attempt to fly through them, or they are confused by their own reflection. The latter case is usually no more than an inconvenience, but birds that collide with glass, so called "window strikes", may suffer death or serious injury.

The first thing that you should do if you hear a loud thud on a window is to go outside and look for a bird that is clearly stunned or injured. Injured birds need specialist attention and should be handled very gently. A stunned bird, even if it appears to be dead, should be kept in something like a shoebox, preferably lined with kitchen roll or an old towel, and left somewhere warm, dark and quiet for at least 20 minutes. Take the box outside BEFORE you open it, as birds that appeared to be beyond hope will often fly past your shoulders before the lid is fully open!

Having dealt with the immediate problem the next job is to look at the window that has just been hit, and try to work out what has made the bird fly into it. Does the window show a reflection of the surroundings, or does it appear to be possible to fly through to the other side of the building? The best way to reduce the likelihood of further tragedies is to draw attention to the presence of the glass, and one of the best ways to do this is to use the Sentinel or Window Web stickers. More than one sticker may be required for large panes. Both stickers work best if applied to the outer surface of glass, particularly in the case of double glazed windows.

Any shape is likely to work, but for maximum effect we have used silhouettes of birds of prey or a spider's web - in both cases images that birds are keen to avoid. For best results they should be sited in the middle of the pane, unless the majority of impacts occur in one place, in which case the sticker should be placed there.

Window strikes happen throughout the year, but usually peak at the end of the breeding season when numbers of young, inexperienced birds are at their greatest.

In spring it is not uncommon for birds to mistake their reflection in the glass for a potential mate or rival.This usually results in the bird continually pecking at the window and fouling the windowsill with droppings. More agile species such as Great Tits will even attack door mirrors on cars! Although these cases usually only last for 2 or 3 weeks, conventional window stickers are unlikely to solve the problem. However, house windows can have a strip of newspaper, bin bag material or similar at least 10cm (4ins) high secured along the bottom of the window, while simply putting a paper bag over the car door mirror will often suffice. Don't forget to remove it before driving off!

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How to care for an injured wild bird?

 I'm asking this for a friend; he rescued a swallow hit by a car. The bird acts brain damaged. It can't fly or orient itself, but will drink sugar water. Its wings work fine. 

There are no animal rescue groups nearby that he knows of. He's wondering if he should even keep trying to keep it alive, and is worried that it's suffering. Any experience or advice?

Additional Details
BTW, I did do a search for similar questions, but most were about caring for baby birds or broken wings, and this is a bit different.

Update: my friend just spoke to a rehabber who said he might as well give up. ??? If the rehabber won't take it and he doesn't want to kill it, but it's illegal for him to keep it, what other options are available?

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker

Yes, it should be kept alive! I have rehabilitated many birds successfully, when I was a volunteer with the Avian Rehabilitation Center, and some seemed almost dead when we received them.

Tell your friend not attempt to feed the swallow - they have specialized dietary needs. Do not give it sugar water, or even regular water, as it could aspirate and die.

Your friend needs to get the bird professional help immediately. Contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. You should be able to find one here:http://www.tc.umn.edu/~devo0028/contact.…

Licensed wildlife rehabilitators have the specialized training to care for sick, injured and orphaned wild animals, and they have the required state and federal licenses that allow them to keep the wild animals until they are healthy enough to be released.

Do not take the animal to a vet - vets are for pets, and most vets do not have the expertise to care for wild animals; nor do most vets have the proper licenses that would allow them to keep a recuperating wild animal.

Your friend should not be attempting to care for this bird yourself. Not only does your friend lack the training and experience, it is illegal. In the US, all native migratory birds are protected under federal law (Migratory Bird Treaty Act), and it is illegal to keep any protected bird unless you have the required permits. Penalties for violating this law include up to $500 and/or up to 6 months in jail for each offense. http://ipl.unm.edu/cwl/fedbook/mbta.html

Many other countries have similar laws pursuant to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which is an international treaty, protecting their native species.

Please get him to a rehabber immediately!!!

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If too many large birds or House Sparrows at your feeder become a problem, you can control their numbers by using specialty seeds or restrictive feeders that will attract only certain species. You can encourage small birds and discourage large birds with feeders that restrict access. Tube feeders without trays restrict access to only small birds. If you remove the perches you’ve further restricted the feeder to only those birds that can easily cling such as finches, chickadees, titmice and woodpeckers. Specialty feeders are made for these birds which serve specialty seeds. Black oil sunflower and Nyjer thistle seed are both popular with the gregarious and active small birds which many people like to invite to their yards. Specialty feeders are available for both the sunflower and thistle seeds. 

Thistle seeds attract a limited number of bird species, but they include a number of the most popular backyard birds such as include the American Goldfinch (often called the wild canary), Lesser Goldfinch, Lawrence’s Goldfinch, Pine Siskin, Common Redpoll, Hoary Redpoll, House Finch, Cassin’s Finch, and Purple Finch. 

A tube feeder with black oil sunflower seeds will attract the goldfinches, chickadees, pine siskins, woodpeckers, nuthatches, titmice, and redpolls. By adding a tray to the bottom of the tube feeder you can also attract House Finches, White-crowned Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, cardinals, crossbills and Purple Finches. 

These feeders and feeds will go a long way toward eliminating some of the problem birds in your backyard.


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Top 10 Foods for Winter Bird Feeding

Winter: 'tis the season for feeding birds all across North America, especially in those regions where it gets mighty cold and snowy. If you are a veteran bird feeder, you've probably gained lots of insight into the foods your backyard birds prefer. Perhaps you've learned through trial and error, or perhaps you did your homework and read up on the subject.

If you are just getting started in bird feeding, or if you are frustrated by a lack of success in attracting winter birds to your feeders, the first thing you need to determine is whether you are feeding the right foods. If you are not giving the birds what they want, you might not have many birds.

The following 10 foods are extremely popular with backyard birds all across North America.

If your favorite bird food is not on this list, please let me know. After all, I am not omniscient. I'm just a guy living in Ohio who likes to feed birds.

10. Black-oil sunflower seed. This seed is the hamburger of the bird world. Almost any bird that will visit a bird feeder will eat black-oil sunflower. Birds that can't crack the seeds themselves will scour the ground under the feeders, picking up bits and pieces. Bird feeding in North America took a major leap forward when black-oil sunflower became widely available in the early 1980s. Why do birds prefer it? The outer shell of a black-oil sunflower seed is thinner and easier to crack. The kernel inside the shell is larger than the kernel inside a white-or gray-striped sunflower seed, so birds get more food per seed from black-oil. This last fact also makes black-oil a better value for you, the seed buyer. Striped sunflower is still fine (evening grosbeaks may even prefer it slightly), but black-oil is better.

9. Peanuts. Peanuts--de-shelled, dry-roasted, and unsalted--are a fairly recent trend in bird feeding, at least in North America. In Europe, feeding peanuts has been popular for a long time. Peanut manufacturers and processors have now identified the bird-feeding market as a good place to get rid of the peanuts that are broken or otherwise unfit for human consumption. Ask your feed/seed retailer about peanut bits or rejects. Several major feeder manufacturers now produce sturdy, efficient tube-shaped peanut feeders. Woodpeckers, jays, nuthatches, chickadees, and titmice will readily visit a feeder for this high-protein, high-energy food. Even cardinals and finches will eat peanuts.

8. Suet. Most humans don't want a lot of fat in their diet, but for birds in winter, fat is an excellent source of energy. Ask at your grocery store butcher counter if you don't see packages of suet on display. No suet feeder? No problem--just use an old mesh onion bag. If you want to get fancy with your suet, you can render it. That is, melt it down to liquid, remove the unmeltable bits, and then allow it to harden; this is best accomplished in a microwave oven. Rendered suet lasts longer in hot weather, and while it's melted, you can add other ingredients to it (see "bird treats," #1, below).

7. Good mixed seed. Is there such a thing as BAD mixed seed? You bet! Bad mixed seed has lots of filler in it--junk seeds that most birds won't eat. Bad mixed seed can include dyed seed meant for pet birds, wheat, and some forms of red milo that only birds in the Desert Southwest seem to eat. Good mixed seed has a large amount of sunflower seed, cracked corn, white proso millet, and perhaps some peanut hearts. The really cheap bags of mixed seed sold at grocery stores can contain the least useful seeds. Smart feeder operators buy mixed seed from a specialty bird store or a hardware/feed store operation. You can even buy the ingredients separately and create your own specialty mix.

6. Nyjer/thistle seed. Although it can be expensive, Nyjer, or thistle, seed is eagerly consumed by all the small finches--goldfinches, house, purple, and Cassin's finches, pine siskins, and redpolls. You need to feed thistle in a thistle feeder of some kind--the two most commonly used types of thistle feeder are a tube feeder with small thistle-seed-sized holes, and a thistle sock. A thistle sock is a sock-shaped, fine-mesh, synthetic bag that is filled with thistle seed. Small finches can cling to this bag and pull seeds out through the bag's mesh. Two potential problems with thistle: it can go rancid or moldy quickly in wet weather and uneaten seeds can germinate in your yard, creating a patch of thistle (Guizotia abyssinica) plants that you may not want. Fortunately, this problem does not seem to be widespread. All thistle seed is imported to North America, and it is all supposed to be sterilized prior to entry into the United States and Canada.

5. Safflower. This white, thin-shelled, conical seed is eaten by many birds and has the reputation for being the favorite food of the northern cardinal. Some feeder operators claim that safflower seed is not as readily eaten by squirrels and blackbirds (caveat: your results may vary). Feed safflower in any feeder that can accommodate sunflower seed. Avoid feeding safflower on the ground in wet weather; it can quickly become soggy and inedible. You can buy safflower in bulk at seed and feed stores.

4. Cracked corn. Sparrows, blackbirds, jays, doves, quail, and squirrels are just a few of the creatures you can expect at your feeders if you feed cracked corn. Depending on where you live you may also get turkeys, deer, elk, moose, and caribou. Fed in moderation, cracked corn will attract almost any feeder species. Some feeder operators only use this food to lure the squirrels away from the bird feeders. Squirrels love corn--cracked or otherwise--best of all. Whole corn that is still on the cob is not a good bird food because the kernels are too big and hard for most small birds to digest. Cracked corn is broken up into smaller, more manageable bits.

3. Mealworms. We fed mealworms to a pair of nesting bluebirds all this past summer. They rewarded us with four healthy broods of young bluebirds. Eighteen fledglings in one summer should land our bluebirds in the Guinness Book of World Records. Most feeder birds, except goldfinches, will eat mealworms if you offer them. Mealworms are available in bait stores, or by mail order. Don't worry, they aren't slimy and gross. In fact, they aren't even worms; they are larval stage of a beetle (Tenebrio molitor), if that makes you feel better. We keep 1,000 mealworms in a tub of old-fashioned rolled oats and feed them to the birds in a shallow ceramic dish. The dish has slippery sides so the worms can't crawl out.

2. Fruit. Humans are supposed to eat at least three servings of fruit every day. Fruit is also an important dietary element for birds, but it can be hard to find in many areas in midwinter. Set out grapes, slices of citrus fruits, apple or banana slices, and even melon rinds, and watch your birds chow down. If you want to feed raisins, chop them up and soak them in warm water first to soften them up a bit. Offering fruit to tanagers and orioles is a traditional spring and summer feeding strategy, but many winter feeder birds will eat fruit, too.

1. Homemade bird treats. You can come up with your own recipes for winter bird treats. Smear peanut butter on a tree trunk, and poke some peanut bits into it. Melt suet in your microwave, and pour it into an ice-cube tray to harden. Before it solidifies, add peanut bits, raisins, apple bits, or other bird foods. Put the tray in your freezer to harden. Once it does, you've got cubed bird treats--easy to make and easy to use!

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