Home Forums Welcome Hello! Nature-friendly uncluttering

This topic contains 21 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Avatar of Laetitia in Australia Laetitia in Australia 1 year, 1 month ago.

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  • #160330
    Avatar of glossta1
    glossta1
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    I’ve always made compost, being fond of my garden, so vegetable waste has always been used that way. In fact some of it gets processed first, because anything that our two pet rabbits can eat goes via them first, and their hutch cleanings then go to the compost bins after that.

    Recently I’ve started to take feeding the birds much more seriously. We’ve installed a bird table, with a platter underneath for ground-feeders, and various hanging feeders too. I’m AMAZED at the take-up. It took them a few days to find it, but day by day we are getting more and more species, and I really love watching them.

    Table scraps now go out to the birds – dry scraps onto the table itself, and wetter scraps onto the platter beneath (it has a drainage hole so rain-water can escape). I recommend it as a source of great pleasure as well as being environmentally friendly. Anyone else doing this?

  • #232867

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    Depending on where you live, your native bird species may get sick on certain foods, particularly foods suitable for human consumption. Feed put out for them may also encourage more aggressive and / or invasive species to take over so it pays to check out which birds endemic to the area you want to encourage and put out appropriate options.

    Here in Australia we have problems with people putting out bits of bread with honey on them to encourage nectar feeders but this can actually make them very ill. For these birds, it’s better to plant a feed tree if one has room. Others are seed eaters so seed mixes can be fine. Human food scraps generally encourage species such as crows, ibis, seagulls…all the scavenger species.

    At her old place, my MIL had a bird bath. Unfortunately the next door neighbour would throw out dry bread crusts for the birds and the result was that the savvy crows would grab the crusts then fly to the bird bath where they’d leave them to soak and soften – horrible mess that my MIL would always be having to tip out and clean. She kept persevering with the bird bath for the sake of the little birds (busily being frightened off by the crows) and it may well have been a saviour for them during our drought (decidedly not a problem right now).

  • #232868

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    We tried a feeding table and got rodents. We do compost our veg scraps, though and they eventually enrich the soil, and we feed the birds with seed — they are lovely to watch! Thought you might get a kick out of this pic, taken a few years ago — this feeder is outside my office window:

  • #232870

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    sit – those eyes! Priceless! There’s my laugh for the day – ta!

  • #232871
    Avatar of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    LOL, Susan! That’s a “feeder” all right!

  • #232873
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    we compost like it’s our job.
    and we toss out rice and bread scraps for whatever wildlife happens past.
    if there is a lot of stuff, my parents will take it for their chickens and other fowl.
    we don’t feed the birds per se, but we did plant hundreds of shrubs and trees specifically for native birds.
    that is working out just fine….we have flocks of rainbow lorikeets, kookaburras, sulphur crested cockatoos, curlews, and loads of others, despite all the cat action.
    we also planted 700 rainforest trees to encourage the rare lumholtz tree kangaroo who needs habitat and food in this area…..and lumholtz have been seen here on our property (but not by us….yet).

  • #232875
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    Awesome pic. :-)

    I would love to feed birds but with just an apartment patio, have to restrict to hummingbirds. A seed feeder would bring me sparrows and squirrels; anything else, pigeons, seagulls, and rats.

    Come the revolution, I will have a wildlife garden.

  • #232892
    Avatar of Rosa
    Rosa
    Member

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    Bandicoot, that’s amazing and lovely.

    We don’t have bird feeders because there are too many feral cats. The birds like my butterfly/wildflower garden and our apple & mulberry trees, though.

    We do compost food scraps (and then the feral cats eat the squirrels and mice that like our compost heap).

  • #232946
    Avatar of glossta1
    glossta1
    Member

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    Wow, the birds you all get sound amazing. I haven’t seen vermin at my table so far. I only put scraps down early morning, and they aren’t anything strange or dry or hard. Meat or fat scraps are taken mainly by blackbirds or robins. A big prosperous pheasant wanders by after breakfast to check I’ve put some seed out, but he leaves plenty for others. Apart from that it’s mainly dunnocks, tits and finches. One collared dove came, and his timid efforts to sit on the side of the roof were very funny – he kept sliding. Mainly I’m feeding specialist wild-bird foods in purpose-built feeders. Our cat doesn’t seem to bother trying to get the visiting birds – he chases rodents but leaves birds alone.

  • #232953
    Avatar of Mimi
    Mimi
    Member

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    susan, what a funny picture!

    i compost a lot of things. even tissues, cottonballs etc. i am very careful concerning bread and nuts and meat etc and i would not feed it to the birds unless i make really sure that only birds are able to get the food. we had some rodents after feeding sunflower seeds last winter and i didn´t like all of them…

  • #232959

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    glossta1 – my last cat was the opposite – loved going for birds and completely ignored rats and mice. Sigh.

  • #232967
    Avatar of gailbon
    gailbon
    Member

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    Love that picture, susanintexas!
    We compost, too, and have recently begun incorporating tissues, paper towels, and newspapers. My neighbor has at least 15 birdfeeders on her property, so the birds have no interest in anything I toss out there for them. But they always remember to come get my blueberries off my shrubs the day before I pick them…..arghhh

  • #232973
    Avatar of Sky
    Sky
    Member

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    I had robins all over my yard today so I filled my bird feeder and a big fat squirrel ate every bit of it :/

  • #232974
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    good lord, i just noticed the eyes peering over the fence and now i cannot stop laughing!

  • #233046
    Avatar of TatiLie
    TatiLie
    Member

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    Brilliant picture, susanintexas!
    I got a gorgeous bird feeder as a present for my cat after her spay surgery. She needed some distraction and I’ve heard that bird feeders are ‘cat TV’. A few months and much Irish rain later it was warped and mouldy. So, I took it down, dried and repainted… a job that took me six months to conclude! After a few months the seeds again got soaked, moulded and some feel plants grew out of the bird feeder. So, I finally uncluttered it.
    And I’d never seen a single bird enjoying it.

  • #233127
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    our bird feeder is purely decorative….there is enough plant food for them.
    they do like the bird bath though!

    we have plenty of other wildlife here….huge spiders, pythons, grass and tree snakes, wallabies, padimelons, bandicoots, uromys, melomys, possums, the elusive lumholtz….and sadly, bazillions of cane toads (bufo marinus).
    decluttering ie murdering the cane toads is a patriotic duty in australia…..the damned things are systematically destroying the native ecology here.

  • #233141
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    how *does* one dispose of a cane toad? (ew ew ew)

  • #233149
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    well.
    the very best and most humane way is to grab them, put them in a plastic bag, put the bag in the fridge for a few hours, then put the bag in a freezer for a few days.
    it lterally puts them to sleep.
    and then in the bin for collection.
    they are full of poison sacs, so you can’t really compost them.

    and of course, running them over on rainy nights on deserted country roads is very quick and violent, once you have got your eye in.

  • #233152
    Avatar of Mimi
    Mimi
    Member

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    eeeeek, bandicoot. i was about to got to bed and now i hope no to dream of poisonloaded monster toads in the fridge.

  • #233155
    Avatar of loripax
    loripax
    Member

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    I would love to get a feeder, but we have so many critters around here I think it would be in vain. I don’t think I could get it high enough off the ground to be out of reach of the deer yet easy to get to to replenish and clean.

    I have a birdbath outside my office window, though, and it gives me no end of joy. Basically, it’s a shallow ceramic dish set on top of a slab of sandstone, and that on top of a large-ish ceramic planter to get it up off the ground. I put stones inside the dish for the birds to have something to grip on to when they’re standing in there. It’s amazing how many more different kinds of birds I see since I put it there.

    Note that feeders and birdbaths both should be emptied and cleaned regularly to prevent mildew and algae and keep disease from spreading:

    http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/keep_feeder_bath_clean.html

  • #233517
    Avatar of glossta1
    glossta1
    Member

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    Bandicoot, yuk! So far, birdlife-wise I’m doing quite well. Yestreday the bird-table was bustling, and so was the ground-feeding platter beneath… brilliant. They were waiting for me to go out and load up after breakfast. Today, very little happening. Very strange. But then, the weather was nice yesterday, and is dismal today. Ah well, I’ll wait and see.

  • #233676

    Nature-friendly uncluttering

    loripax – you need some sort of pulley system to raise the bird feeder / bird bath out of reach of deer but in your reach when lowered.

    bandicoot – why is it that feral animals are so much better at getting out of the way of a car than the natives? Maybe that’s part of the reason they’re feral – so much better at dodging cars.

    I believe the poison produced by cane toads is a form of digitalis, so potentially worse if you have a dodgy heart rhythm.

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