Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)



06 November 2008

My New Birdfeeder

This is a feeder called the "NO/NO Bird Feeder", by Sweet Corn Products in Nebraska. It is made a lot like the old collapsible wire egg baskets, like the one below, or like chain link fence.

I first noticed these feeders for sale several years ago, and wanted one ever since, but I kept persuading myself my old one was fine and that I didn't really need a new one.

The "NO/NO" part emphasizes that this is an all-metal feeder, with no wood and no plastic that a squirrel can gnaw through.

The size of the wire mesh is designed to hold black oil sunflower seed. On and off, I've been a feeder watcher for Cornell's Project Feeder Watch, and participated in seed preference surveys. Almost all of the birds I'm most interested in watching will eat black oil sunflower.

The scientific name of the American goldfinch (there are three on the feeder, plus one house finch), Carduelis tristis, means something like "thistle eradicator", but as you can see, they will eat sunflower seeds, too.

And since I'm on about bird seeds, the black Nijer or Nyjer thistle they sell is not a thistle at all. It is Guizotia abyssinica, a smallish yellow sunflower or daisy-looking flower. Seed you buy in the US is heat-treated to prevent it from becoming a weed, but if a seed did sprout, it's not going to sprout thistles.

This is the kind of wire egg basket these bird feeders make me think of. If they are not hung up or propped up by their handles, they collapse completely flat.

I realize that an animal like a squirrel that will hang by its back feet upside down to eat berries off my yew bush is not going to be stopped by this particular feeder, but at least I'll be amused and the squirrels will have to work harder.

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6 Comments:

Blogger amy said...

My grandfather, who was an engineer, waged war on the squirrels every year. He was outraged that a squirrel could outsmart anything he, Super Mr. Engineer Guy, could come up with. It amused the rest of us, though.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

I had a set of those baskets. They are handy to have around because of the folding up flat thing. The squirrel free bird feeder is ingenious. I'll be curious to see how the squirrels outwit it. They seem to always find a way in.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Knitting Linguist said...

Ah, yes, the squirrel fight. My dad recently got a feeder whose walls slide down over the bird seed opening if anything heavy climbs up or down onto it. It seems to be working so far!

3:24 PM  
Blogger Rose Red said...

I love learning this stuff from your posts!!

9:34 PM  
Blogger Peglett said...

aw I remember those egg baskets from when I was a kid!

10:54 AM  
Blogger Lona said...

I'll take squirrels over thistles, anyday.

10:04 PM  

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