I love feeding the birds and I even love watching squirrels trying to eat from my feeders. Their antics can make me smile no matter my previous moods. However, I tire of starlings taking over my feeders and pushing away the birds such as nuthatches, goldfinches, and tufted titmice, seen in the above promotional photo . Last month I invested(truly–it was expensive) in a Squirrel Buster feeder. It attracted me because of the little perches which allow access to the feed through small openings in the feeder. These perches, weight sensitive, pull the feeder over the openings when a larger bird or squirrel lands there. The accompanying brochure listed the weights of various birds, and I was cautiously optimistic that starlings were too heavy to feed at it.
Starlings, an invasive species here, fight aggressively with each other and all other birds. They can empty out a feeder in record time. But despite the repeated attempts of various starlings to access the tasty tidbits in this new feeder, they were all unable to eat a thing. I think the word must have spread among the thieves, since they no longer try to feed there. Sadly they still try to eat all the suet cakes set out for the three varieties of woodpeckers which frequent our yard. For the time being I have stopped using those treats.
As I gloated over my success, I could hear Dudley Do-Right cheering and Snidely Whiplash moaning: