20 votes
Accepted

Do bees at the hummingbird feeders keep the birds away?

Yes, there is actually quite a bit of discussion you can find online. Bees in large numbers can keep hummingbirds away. They don't want to get stung either! However, you can lessen the bees by doing ...
El Bromista's user avatar
14 votes

Do birds eat chillies? Do they feel the chilli heat?

TLDR: Yes they eat them, No they don't feel the heat. The tiny Bird’s Eye Chili originated in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, The Philippines, and surrounding countries, but they can now be found all ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Are the birds that snatch bread out of the air "more citified" (tamer) than those who let it drop?

No, gulls (of some species at least) steal food from other birds by moving them until they drop it. They must then be adept at snatching the falling food in mid air. There's material of interest in ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.4k
12 votes
Accepted

What is the ecological justification (if any) for bird feeders?

If we exclude the birdwatching explanation Shem gives, the only possible ecological reason for a bird feeder is to counteract the negative effect we have on the bird's habitat by having our house ...
Rory Alsop's user avatar
  • 24.9k
12 votes
Accepted

Sparrows eating grains strewn on floor but not the grains in a nice bowl

There are a number of different birds in the sparrow family. In Massachusetts, USA, I think what we technically have most of is the House Sparrow. This page has a whole sparrow list with their sounds. ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Why are common grackles standing on our bird feeders with their heads pointed straight up?

Those grackles are engaged in a courting behavior, most frequently called “bill tilt.” It's also been called “head up” or “head up threat.” While establishing pairs for mating, males vie for the ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Does the color of hummingbird nectar make a difference?

Most hummingbirds are attracted to red flowers in the wild. Therefore, a hummingbird feeder should mimic red flowers for best results. The color of the "nectar" itself doesn't matter. After all, ...
Olin Lathrop's user avatar
  • 21.4k
10 votes
Accepted

Are the seagulls begging or contentedly sighing?

The sound you are referring to is probably a plaintive call used to attract attention (of a mate or from the little ones to the parents for feeding) it might just be them wanting to be fed. You can ...
Erik vanDoren's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Is it safe to feed swans in the United Kingdom?

The "swans can break your arm" concept is rather lacking in evidence, though one once caused a kayaker to drown. They are a nuisance on the water, especially if you get between adults and their ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.4k
9 votes
Accepted

How can I help birds know how to feed from feeders?

Malaysia has 781 species of birds, but most are not feeder-oriented, which would explain why people don't put up many feeders in your area. There are some, though, and they've probably seen feeders in ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

What can I do to get garden birds back after hawk has made my bird-feeder his hunting ground?

The hawk will leave after its food source is gone. It may not be after the small birds you are feeding, but it may be after the rodents that eat the birdseed that falls to the ground.
B540Glenn's user avatar
  • 1,847
8 votes
Accepted

Best food to attract Blue Tits

It looks like the problem might not be the types of food, but the feeder itself. In the past blue tits had a monopoly on the relatively tricky kind of feeders people put out. The tiny birds were ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Is dirty birdbath water worse than none at all?

I guess dirty water is better than no water. I don't think algae will kill them. The primary danger is parasites. Concrete cleaner is the easiest way to remove algae but be sure to rinse ...
paparazzo's user avatar
  • 7,176
8 votes

Can dirty bird feeders make birds sick?

Dirty bird feeders are known for causing problems for birds, CPW said the disease has not yet been confirmed in Colorado, but the agency wants to warn people that house finch eye disease, along with ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
8 votes

Are there any tips to help hummingbirds find a new feeder?

Hummingbirds find the feeders by sight. Some ways to attract them include: Use a feeder with bright colors. Red seems to be a color that they are particularly attracted to. Try to have colorful, ...
wanderweeer's user avatar
  • 2,790
7 votes
Accepted

How should I position my hummingbird feeders to attract the most birds?

My mother and her husband feed hummingbirds rather religiously. They have feeders all over and in every conceivable condition you could possibly imagine. My mother refills all of her feeders on a ...
Escoce's user avatar
  • 4,812
7 votes

Does feeding migratory birds in the fall affect the timing of migration?

Because there are so many different migratory birds, each with their own unique pattern, this is a rather broad question. The answer, therefore, will be based on the general study of migration, rather ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
7 votes

What is the ecological justification (if any) for bird feeders?

The answers to this question may differ based on location, but I can tell you that in my part of the world there is legislation in place for controlling populations of certain birds (as well as other ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.5k
6 votes
Accepted

What's the ecological impact of bird-baths?

The only downside of birdbaths that I can think of is that they become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. And you can't do much about that, you can't put any insecticide in it for fear of messing up ...
ShawnW.'s user avatar
  • 533
6 votes
Accepted

Can cornbread be fed to ducks?

Cornbread may contain wheat flour as well as corn meal. Both are processed cereals and so should not be given to wild creatures. In addition cornbread probably contains some of these ingredients: ...
Weather Vane's user avatar
  • 4,629
5 votes

Does feeding migratory birds in the fall affect the timing of migration?

It takes a lot of energy for a bird to migrate, and comes with numerous risks, so if it is possible for it to stay where it is, not migrating can give it an evolutionary advantage. An example would be ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
5 votes

Do birds eat chillies? Do they feel the chilli heat?

Parrot food ( some brands) contains dried hot peppers. And I give the cores from hot peppers to the parrots ; they love the seeds. Peppers do not seem to burn their lips.
blacksmith37's user avatar
  • 1,152
5 votes

Did a bear knock all my bird feeders down?

Bears will definitely go smashing bird feeders to get to the seed and they are the only thing big enough to pull your feeders over. Yes, bears (and other wildlife) are readily attracted to back yards ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
5 votes

What can I do to get garden birds back after hawk has made my bird-feeder his hunting ground?

By putting out food, you're feeding the prey. Encouraging the prey is effectively putting out food for the predator. The thing to remember is that this is not a stable situation. If there's no prey ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 8,087
5 votes

Why aren’t birds using these feeders?

After a brief exchange of comments, I think I have enough to take a stab at an answer, with the caveat that this will be mostly informed-guessing on my part. After all, every animal has its ...
cobaltduck's user avatar
  • 5,178
5 votes

Why aren’t birds using these feeders?

I suggest adding something for the birds to perch on right next to or on top of the feeder. A few sticks or branches tied to the top of the feeder may be enough. I had a birding lecture last night ...
DBADon's user avatar
  • 217
5 votes
Accepted

Are food store locations of scrub jays and squirrels precisely remembered?

There's a nice explanation of the behaviours of squirrels at LiveScience.com. Basically it boils down to that they can remember about 95% of the hoards, but they will use deception on the burying ...
bob1's user avatar
  • 10.4k
4 votes

How to help birds with water?

Hehe, I love Sue's comment. I use a disposable plastic plate that's outside on our porch along with a few smaller rocks in it that I got from the yard as my "ghetto bird bath". Also, one way to ...
Adria Sorensen's user avatar

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