Whole Peanut Wreath Feeder Tips, Review and Squirrels

Filed in Birdfeeding Comments Off

wreath_peanut Always looking to add new treats for our bird friends, I thought introducing whole Peanuts would be a great idea and surely a treat they would love.  After a bit of Amazon browsing, I though the  whole peanut wreath feeder looked like a great one to try. I then set out to find some whole peanuts which are quite expensive by the way, expensive for bird food that is, approximately $3 a pound. The link above was one of the cheaper options for a 5 lb bag. At any rate, received the feeder and peanuts after a couple days wait and set it out next to our other feeders which consist of black oil feeders.

For the first couple days, not a single taker on the peanuts. They sat their all alone with no love.  In fact, the sunflower feeder was not being rate at its usual rate so clearly the birds were not sure what to make of the new introduction. Birds are creatures of habit so it was not surprising at all. After day 3 and no takers, I took a few out and placed them on the old feeder. Sure enough,  after a few minutes the always save Tufted Titmouse  approached the new treat and made off with it. Next, the clever Downy Wood pecker tried his hand it. By day 4 , the Downys and Titmice were regular visitors to the wreath. I guess after figuring out it was food, they had no problems.

All was well for the first week. Birds regularly feeding on the wreath. As the days went on, the feeder started being drained faster and faster. Finally, on the weekend I was able to observer the peanut bandit, a squirrel of course! Not a bit deal at first, I would add another handful to the wreath and the next day it was the same thing. Then the damn things suddenly got super greedy and the squirrels started draining its entire contents daily. Suffice it to say, I am not going to spend $20 a week for peanuts so peanut wreath feeding ceased once the 5lb bag was gone, essentially in about a weeks time. I will need to try a pole and baffle setup next time as the wreath is hanging from a tree. So now for some lesson learned.

Whole Peanut Feeding Observations

1. Have patience as the birds do not automatically know what a peanut is. Introduce it on feeders that they have been using.  No need to remove the shells, they will figure it out.

2. The Wreath seems to be a popular feeder but it has some drawbacks. If only birds are eating from it, then be prepared to remove empty peanut shells on a daily basis. The birds will peck a hole on the peanuts and take the peanuts whilst leaving the shell. Rarely do they take the whole thing.

3. If you have squirrels, don’t event even bother with the wreath unless you have some sort of squirrel deterrent such as a pole and baffle set up. They will drain all peanuts on a daily basis once the catch wind of it. They will easily eat 5lbs of peanuts a week not leaving the birds much.

4. If you do not have the afore mentioned squirrel deterrent, try other peanut feeders which have a finer wire mesh that does not allow for the whole peanut to be taken it out. Doing so will allow the birds to peck out the peanuts and slow down squirrels. You will of course have to take out the sells every time you add new peanuts.

5. Needless to say, peanuts will make a mess so be ready for that.

Birds Choice Upside Down Grackle Resistant Suet Feeder Review

Filed in Birdfeeding Comments Off

upsidedown-suet-feederBefore I review the Upside down Suet Feeder,  let me give you a little background. I have been feeding woodpeckers now for just over a year now. The first feeder I purchased was a tail prop style feeder. I will admit to not knowing the first thing about woodpecker feeding and I was like “If you build it they will come”. After about a week, sure enough they did. All was well until the dreaded Grackles showed up. Now, I don’t have anything against them, they are a lovely bird, that is unless you are trying to feed woodpeckers and other varieties of birds. You see, if you are just getting into bird feeding, whether it be suet for woodpeckers or birdseed for song birds, you will fast discover that Grackles will put you in the poor house. These birds will consume VAST amounts of food. Once they got a hold of the suet feeder, they were devouring no less than 1 entire suet cake DAILY. Not only that, but woodpecker sightings were few and far between.

In frustration, I took the thing down and said forget it even though I still had a full box of suet left. Fast forward to the winter when I noticed the Grackles were all but gone, so I decided to put the feeder back up and lo and behold, the Woodpeckers came back and were regular visitors all winter with 0 Grackles. Fast forward again to the spring and the darn Grackles are back and at it again consuming all the suet. This time, I decided to try something new…

Review

Enter the Birds Choice Upside Down Double Suet Feeder which retails for around $28 on Amazon and is Prime eligible. After some research, I found that Grackles were said to not be as much of a problem if using the upside down feeder. With that I decided to give it a shot, so i opted for the afore mentioned Birds Choice model because it was fairly affordable, it was made of recycled material, it looked fairly nice and most importantly, would deter Grackles.

IMG_0339

Before I go any further, let start by saying THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GRACKLE PROOF! That goes for this and all upside down feeders for that matter. That said, this style of feeder will stop them from eating continuously. It appears they can only hang on upside down for a short period of time, though truth be told, it is much longer than I would have thought possible. Lazy Grackles can only try to feed hummingbird style by pecking while they hover. Luckily they can only do so for 1 peck at most. Another plus is that this one keeps multiple Grackles from eating at the same time.

Construction and Build Quality

The construction and build quality are excellent. The feeder is made out of recycled plastic and claims to be made of 28 recycled containers which I can believe because it is quite heavy and dense. The unit accommodates up to 3 or 4 cakes at a time but unless you have a swarm of woodpeckers in your back yard, i would only do 1 at a time.  and it will accommodate up to 2 cakes at a time.  Screws are all stainless steel as is the cable that holds it up. Overall, it is a well built unit that will last a long time.

IMG_0338IMG_0340

Locating Your New Feeder

If you are a seasoned Woodpecker feeder and are replacing your tail prop style feeder with one of these in the same location, then the Red Bellies, Downies, Chickadees and the like will figure it out immediately. If you are installing one for the first time, I would highly recommend NOT installing it in a tree where it will have near by branches below it as Grackles will have absolutely no problem getting to it. Grackles seem to have a harder time getting to it the higher off the ground and away from branches it is.  Mine is installed off the overhang of a pergola and the only way the Grackles can get to it is from the ground.

IMG_0341

Conclusion

While this will not stop Grackles, it will slow them down. Your suet cake will probably last 3-5 days vs 1 day in a regular vertical feeder. It’s also worth mentioning  that I have observed more Woodpeckers with this style feeder. Woodpeckers are careful diners so they seem to like the protection from above. Overall, I highly recommend one of these when Grackles are a problem in the spring and early summer. At $1 and change per suet cake, this one will pay for itself in a couple of months.

TOP