Last summer we had rocks installed under the deck where we had trouble growing grass. Even though the landscaper installed a plastic barrier, when the weather warmed up this spring there was just enough moisture on top of the barrier that we had seed sprouting in between the rocks. I didn't have enough time to pull the seedlings out one by one. I talked to the landscaper; his suggestion was to spray the rocks with Roundup on a regular schedule, but I didn't want to resort to chemicals.
I had just about decided to get out of the bird feeder business when a friend told me that I could still enjoy watching birds out of my kitchen window if I switched over to a finch feeder. The nyjer seed that the small birds enjoy eating is cultivated in Asia and Africa. Before it is imported the seed is sterilized, which prevents germination of both the nyjer and any other weed seeds that might be mixed in.
Nyjer is a tiny seed, so to go with the new food I'd need a new feeder that had small feeding holes. Last week I used the last of my "Fancy" bird seed mix, then washed out the feeder and stored it in the basement. For a couple of days I had a parade of birds land on the deck rail and look around for their meal, which of course wasn't there. I didn't feel bad, though; it's springtime and there are enough natural sources of food that I knew they could find something to eat.
Today buying a new bird feeder made it to the top of the list.
I went to Valley Park Elevator & Hardware, an old-fashioned grain elevator/hardware store ten minutes from my house. They had a variety of finch feeders, but when I looked at the price tags I was shocked. (The one that I liked the best cost $35). I decided to shop around at a few other stores to see if I could find a better price.
|Image source. I hope my feeder looks like this soon!|
When I got home, I held the sack over a bowl and carefully poured some of the seed in, tightened the drawstring, then hung it on the shepherd's hook on the deck. If I remember right, it didn't take long for birds to find the original feeder. I hope the same thing happens again with this new one.