June 19, 2013
Written by Jack Sanders
Thursday, 30 December 2010 10:45
Bird feeders in the yard are great for bird watching, but one right on the other side of your window can be a real treat, affording you a “bird’s eye view” of many of your birds.
There are a number of feeders designed to be window-mounted or even window- inserted. Some even have one-way mirrors that allow you to look at the bird close-up without the bird’s seeing you.
However, most of these feeders cost a pretty penny. We like to pinch those pennies.
We have two ways of getting feeders right outside the window. One employs a suction-cup hanger that is shown in the accompanying picture. These cost about $10 and come in a couple of different forms, depending on the manufacturer. I have found them strong and reliable in sticking to the window.
The one in the photo is on a picture window, right next to a section that cranks open so I can reach the feeder easily. It’s about 10 feet above ground.The feeder actually costs less than the hanger. It’s plastic, light, and easy to clean. It’s a Statesman Plastic 8-inch tube feeder, which sells for between $5 and $7 (often not easy to find because it’s so inexpensive, but Agway carries it).
The birds love it. Needless to say, because of its size, you won’t find any Mourning Doves on it. But I have actually watched a Blue Jay land, very awkwardly, and grab some seed. Typically, it draws chickadees, titmice, finches of all kinds, nuthatches, and small woodpeckers.
Another way to place a hanging feeder in front of a window is with a line strung over a hook, eye screw or even a long nail fastened to the house above a window. This method is useful for windows from which you couldn’t reach the feeder from inside the house. Instead, you raise and lower it with nylon string holding the feeder. The string is looped over the hook, and tied to a nail down at ground level. It’s sort of like raising and lowering a flag on a pole.
We have one of these arrangements for the kitchen window, which is 10 feet above the ground. In the summer, we have a hummingbird feeder hanging there; in winter, one of those Statesman feeders, with niger seed in it. (We used to dangle suet from these hangers in winter, but the birds whacking away at the suet sends crumbs flying — many attach themselves to the glass, making a greasy mess.)
Incidentally, I believe having the feeder next to a window teaches the birds that use it that there is something solid nearby. We never have small songbirds crashing into the window, just occasional Mourning Doves (who seem to be the doofuses among our lawn feeder birds).
Great Meadows, trip to popular Stratford bird sanctuaries for a survey for over-wintering ducks, hawks, owls, and other winter specialties, with Brian O’Toole, Saturday, Jan. 8, 8 to 2 p.m., $15, van provided, Greenwich Audubon, 613 Riversville Road, RSVP 203-869-5272 x221, greenwich.audubon.org.
Exploring the World of Owls, ages 5 and up, Sunday, Jan. 9, 3:30-5:30 pm., Greenwich Audubon, 613 Riversville Road, RSVP 203-869-5272 x221, greenwich.audubon.org.
“First Sundays,” bird walks open to all ages and skills, at Greenwich Point, with Meredith Sampson, first Sunday of the month, through May, 9 a.m. sponsored by Wild Wings, Inc., Bruce Museum and Audubon Greenwich, 203-637-9822.
Copyright 2010 by Jack Sanders. Send sightings or comments to: jackfsanders [at sign] yahoo.com, or to Bird Notes, Box 1019, Ridgefield, CT 06877; or call 203-438-1183, extension BIRD (2473), and leave a message with your report, spelling your first and last names and telling us your town. If you need help identifying a bird, try your local nature center. If you find an injured bird, call wildlife rehabilitator Darlene Wimbrow of Redding, 203-438-0618, Wildlife in Crisis of Weston, 203-544-9913, or Wild Wings of Greenwich, 203-637-9822. The columnist’s website is www. sandersbooks. com.
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