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Old March 25th 13, 02:05 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.anecdotes
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Default Feeding Critters (WAS: Tweed - OT chickens)

On Fri, 22 Mar 2013 09:52:19 -0400, jmcquown

On 3/18/2013 5:34 PM, MaryL wrote:
I stopped feeding birds at my former house because I felt like I was
providing a smorgasbord of birds for neighboring cats. Once I moved
into this house (about 15 years ago), I started feeding them again. I
have an 8 foot cedar fence around the back yard, and it is very rare to
see a cat inside the fence. I get a wide variety of birds, and I love
watching them. I use squirrel proof feeders, and they have been very
effective. The squirrels still get plenty to eat--I have some nut
trees, and the squirrels get seed that the birds kick out of the
feeders. I enjoy looking at the antics of the squirrels, but I could
not afford the amount of food they would eat if I used feeders that they
could get into. They are little gluttons!


I feed the birds because yes, they are great fun to watch. It's been a
hobby of mine for many years and I participate in bird counts. Of
course Persia likes to chatter at them Fortunately the only cat who
comes to my back yard is Schwartzie and he doesn't seem much interested
in catching birds.

I don't purposely feed the squirrels but they get their fill just the
same. I had to take down the feeder because of raccoons. Raccoons are
known to be natural born thieves and not just because of that cute
little bandit mask. First I had a nice terra cotta feeder that hung by
three metal chains joined together by a ring at the top. Raccoons
knocked it down, ate the food and stole the chains! After a while I
gave up on hanging feeders. One night when I heard a noise out back. I
pulled back the curtain and looked out the glass door... there were
*five* raccoons staring back at me. I looked towards the golf course
and here came another one, then another one. OMG! (laughing)

But back to squirrels. My neighbors keep telling me it never rains
here. I've lived here for six years and I don't know what they're
talking about. Maybe it only rains over my house? LOL A couple of
years ago I got some covers to put over my patio chairs to keep the
cushions from getting soaked. Similar to these:


The chair covers had some sort of fluffy cotton batting on the
underside. Well, the squirrels discovered this fluffy stuff last year.
They ripped those chair covers to pieces to get at the fluff to line
their nests. I removed the chair covers a week or so ago and boy did I
get yelled at... by a squirrel!


Well, put out some fluffy cotton for them. Those nests should be comfy
for the newborn squirrels.

I feed the birds all winter and even provide a heated bird bath. I try
to let the feed run out before I let my cats into the yard but it
doesn't always work out so sometimes the cats are back there when the
birds are feeding. There aren't many accidents really. The birds are
fairly wary when the cats are out and the cats aren't terribly
interested in getting a bird. Espy was the big problem and he's
crossed the bridge. Scooter would like a bird but not enough to make a
bit effort.

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