feeder birds

Many of us are familiar with watching the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (Pheucticus ludovicianus) at our bird feeders as they consume sunflower seeds. Their large beak is ideally suited for a diet of seeds, however they also take advantage of wild berries during fall migration and insects during the summer months. Here a female grosbeak captures a beetle that she will deliver to her nestlings.

Actually you know what. Just don’t mow. Get rid of your lawnmower. Turn your whole yard into a wildflower field or an edible garden. Lawns are the invention of the upper class to show wealth through wasted plots of grass that is meticulously tended for no reason other than to be grass. It’s literally an empty plot of land they kept because they had so much money they didn’t need it to grow food. Not using a yard as just a yard is an act of rebellion.

One of the main industries still supporting lawns is chemical pest control companies, and they’re also responsible for the insecticides that crashed the bird populations in the 40s and 50s as well as a lot of what’s killing bees and butterflies now. The herbicides they produce specifically targets “bad” plants like dandelions, buttercups, and clovers, which are plants bees rely on for early spring feeding. Grass is just grass; it would be great for feeding small mammals if people would let it grow more than three inches, but they won’t.

So, yeah. Kill lawnmower culture. Plant some native flowers. Grow some vegetables and fruit trees. Put out bird feeders and bee sugar spots and homes for both. Be kind to bugs and birds and rabbits and opossums and whoever else might wander by. Make your neighborhood a lot more beautiful.

Animal Intelligence

Ever notice how they keep moving the goalposts when it comes to animal intelligence vs. human intelligence?

“Humans are completely unique. No other animal uses tools.”

“Actually, wild sea otters have been observed using rocks to open shellfish.”

“Okay, but that’s not true intelligence. They just pick the rocks up; they don’t alter them in any way.”

“Chimps peel the leaves from sticks to make more effective termite probes.”

“Well, that’s just technology. Only humans have art.”

“What about painting elephants? Art critics often can’t tell the difference between their work and a human’s.”

“Okay fine. But only humans have language. That’s the mark of true intelligence.”

“These African Grey Parrots use hundreds of words correctly and even ask original questions.”

“Oh yeah? Well, does any non-human species demonstrate self-awareness?”

“Dolphins pass the mirror test without training.”

“Pfft. How about problem-solving?”

“I can’t keep squirrels out of my bird feeder no matter what I do.”

“Aha! Bet you can’t think of a species that possesses all these traits! Only humans! We’re No. 1! We’re No. 1!”



This little asshole keeps getting into a bird feeder, so we need to test how small is *too* small

3 inch opening: no problem

2.75 inch opening: Easy

2.5 inch opening: doing fine

2.25 inch opening: Bit of a struggle, but as Mr Meeseeks says: CAAAN DOO!

2 inch opening: Alright, lets try chewing the opening a bit, As long as we get the nuts into the mouth (huhuhu) we good I guess…

Uh-oh… Steve is getting greedy

:insert grunts of effort here:

Taking a break…

The guy who made the original video decided after a long struggle to help Steve out.

A New Challenger approaches!

1.75 inchs: Quote Mr Meseeks: “OOOHHH HE’S TRYING”


He ends up giving up.

Source: Chris Notap - Squirrel ● literally ● bites off more than he can chew ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sS4ach0CwN4

via imgur

Faerie Garden

Plants to grow in your faerie Garden:

Bluebells: Faeries get called to their midnight dances by the ringing of bluebells. Bluebells represent kindness. They symbolize consecrated faery magick grounds. A potent plant for faerie magick.

Buttercup: These flowers help faeries to bring compassion to humans. Buttercups bring healing energy and understanding. 

Carnation: Faeries have a strong love of these. They can strengthen the aura and ones love life.

Clover: Attract Fae.

Cowslips: These are loved and protected by faeries. The flowers are adorred by faeries. 

Daisy: Symbolizes happiness. Useful for attracting faeries. 

Foxglove: A flower associated with faeries and mentioned in faerie folklore. Flowers attract faerie energy.(Very poisonous!)

Fern: Provides the Fae with shelter.

Holly: Holly berries are a favorite food for fairies. 

Lavender: Is used in Elf magick.

Lilac: Its scent attracts the fae.

Morning Glories: Keeps malevolent faeries at bay. 

Mushrooms and Toadstools: Loved by Fae. Circles of mushrooms are considered dangerous.

Pansy: Said to attract faeries.

Rose: Rose bushes are a wonderful way to attract fairies to your garden.  The petals  can be used fairy magic and are especially useful for love spells.

Rosemary: Useful for keeping malicious fairies away, but when burned as incense, it will attract the fae.

Tulips: Adored by faeries.

Violets: Used to attract faeries and in faerie magick.

Make sure to add wildflowers and flowers native to your area!

Things to add:

  • Bird houses, hummingbird feeders, bird feeders, and bird baths.
  • Bee homes, bee waterers, bee baths.
  • Fountain or fish pond
  • Wind chimes and bells
  • A place for offerings
  • Mirrors
  • Shiny stones
  • Faerie homes (Make sure they are made of natural materials only!)
  • Glass/mirrored globes
  • Stained glass
  • Leave out offerings 
  • Shiny beads

For the Anon who requested this :)



The feeder that trains birds to PAY for their food

The Crow Box training aid can be used to teach crows to collect coins in return for peanuts, or simply test the intelligence of wild corvids. People who want to train crows can follow the open-source instructions to make their own box (pictured left) which includes a perch and funnel to dispense tasty peanuts (right).

Source: Dailymail

I put a bird feeder in my backyard.  Within hours, the squirrels had torn it down, chewed it open, and eaten all the seeds.

I put up a metal bird feeder. The squirrels knocked it down and rolled it around until all the seeds fell out.

I put up a Squirrel Buster bird feeder with a special mechanism to block the seed trays if a squirrel stands on it.  The squirrels shook the top of the feeder without standing on it, making all the seeds fall out.

I put a big conical squirrel blocker device on the bird feeder pole, and today I looked out the window and saw this.

I’ve now greased the squirrel blocker.  I’m not even angry.  I’m just curious what their next move will be.

random things:

1. there is a poly family of bluebirds that comes to our bird feeder, two males and two females. we had to take the bird feeder down for a month or so because they rebuilt our deck, but we put it back up last week and the bluebirds have found it again pretty quickly. they might be my favorite birds that visit it. the four of them are always together, and two will take turns standing guard while the other two eat, in different combinations. 

2. my other favorite is a red-bellied woodpecker who started coming around last year when he was still a baby/adolescent. his name is ronan (as in lynch because you’ve never seen a bird who looks more like ronan lynch until you’ve seen a baby red-bellied woodpecker) and the way i know it’s the same one is that he will sit on the balcony railing and sing for a good 15 seconds before he hops onto the feeder to eat, like he’s singing for his supper. none of the other woodpeckers do this, just ronan.

3. there is a hawk that lives in the area and will sometimes sit on my balcony railing, and about 20 crows who hang out in the woods behind our apartment, and yesterday the hawk was sitting on a tree branch a few feet away from the balcony, and about five crows who were just…fucking with him. They would land on the branch he was on and jump up and down to make it bounce, they’d sidle up to him and caw in his face like they were specifically mocking him. They weren’t attacking him or swooping at him, just…being dicks. He looked so disgruntled. It was really hilarious.


Beckman bird feeder by Shift

Beekman is the minimalistic approach to all the needs of a bird feeder by the Philadelphia based Shift studio. It is a simple to assemble aluminium sheet construction, that is completed with a walnut rod and a braided cord for hanging. It is available in white or yellow.

I’d like to talk about neighborhood social networks because, I think, they are a very Solarpunk thing. Here in New Zealand we have a social network called Neighborly. When you sign up they post you a confirmation code through the mail to verify your address. They then connect you up with your local community. I am an avid user, I check my neighborhood everyday. So far I have acquired a fridge for myself and a standard lamp for my BFF, and 2 cats who’s Mum was reluctantly re-homing them. I have given away a spare cycle helmet, some bricks I’d ripped out of my living room that someone wanted to use in their garden, and I’ve loaned out my ladder.

People use it for buy, sell, wanted and give away, borrowing items, lost pets, asking for recommendations on tradespeople, lost and found, notifying the community about fundraisers and local events, asking for advice on their gardens, organizing get togethers, finding people to teach them skills and all sorts of other things. 

Last school break a local dad wanted to do a small project with his son, so Mum got on Neighborly and asked if anyone had any timber off-cuts. Dad and son made a bird feeder and Mum posted pictures for the whole community to see. A family who had recently moved into the area, and left behind their giant plum tree, asked their neighbors if anyone had a plum tree in their garden and would be willing to let them take a bucket or 2 of plums so they could continue their family tradition of making plum sauce - they gave everyone who gave them plums a bottle of sauce in return. I’m constantly heartened by the number of lost pets I’ve seen re-united with their people through this network, and I cheer we get updates on those pets who’ve been returned home.

Being able to share resources and knowledge, connect with and help your neighbors through the convenience of an app on you smartphone, feels like and awesome step into the future.