Posts Tagged ‘mealworm feeder’

Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. Lately my Nature Friday posts have been all about the birds and this weeks is no exception. Don’t worry, Millie and Walter are doing well and will be back soon.

Charlie has been working hard in his wood shop this winter to get some new feeders ready for the return of our feathered friends this spring. The first thing he did was work on a new suet feeder.

Tufted Titmouse clings to the side of the old suet feeder

The previous suet feeder, seen above, was just a suet cage attached to a piece of wood and hung from a crook. The feeder was getting old and cracked and needed an upgrade. One thing we wanted to do was cut down on some of the “bully” birds that were able to access this feeder. The new suet feeder now has four sides so only birds that can cling to the bottom such as woodpeckers, nuthatches, tufted titmice and chickadees can use it. Other birds like starlings and grackles aren’t able to hang upside down and won’t be able to use it.

Upside down suet feeder

Since the crook was still in the ground we were able to hang this feeder right away. At first the birds seemed a bit hesitant to use it even though it’s in the same place as the previous one was but after a few days the realized that it contained the same suet they all love. The good thing is that the birds that can’t hang upside down, like cardinals and sparrows,  still get to benefit by hanging out under the feeder to pick up whatever is dropped.

A trio of new feeders – (left to right)
Platform Mealworm Feeder, Double Suet Feeder, Gilbertson Style Mealworm Feeder

Charlie also made a double sized suet feeder. You can see it in the middle above.

Underneath the double suet feeder

This feeder holds two suet cakes at a time and also has sides to prevent the non-clinging birds from being able to use it. The hope is that we will finally be able to attract a Pileated Woodpecker to our feeder. We have seen pileated woodpeckers around our yard but they are too big to use the smaller feeder.

Chickadee on Mealworm Feeder

The other two feeders that Charlie made are mealworm feeders. Our old platform mealworm feeder (above) was about 10 years old and needed to be replaced. The main difference with the new feeder is that now it will be attached to a 1¼” conduit with a strap instead of the wooden bracket you see on the old feeder.

Bottom of Platform Mealworm Feeder

The holes you see are for drainage and don’t really allow the mealworms to fall out. That happens well enough when a blue jay lands in it an starts flinging the mealworms around.

The other mealworm feeder Charlie made is a Gilbertson Style Mealworm Feeder.

Gilbertson Style Mealworm Feeder

Charlie’s version doesn’t follow the plan exactly. His is slightly larger with smaller posts in the corners to allow more room in the interior areas and he uses the same mounting method as the platform feeder above. As you can see this feeder has a cup inside where the mealworms will be placed. It also has metal rods running between the posts on all four sides. This prevents larger birds like starlings, mockingbirds, robins and blue jays from entering while allowing the smaller bluebirds, wrens, chickadees and tufted titmouse access.

How to access feed cup

In order to access the cup for refilling you are able to remove one of the metal rods. On the right, in the first picture of this feeder, you can see that one of the metal rods is bent with a small stop block keeping it in place. When it’s time to refill the feeder you just unlatch the rod and slide it out so you can reach in to remove the cup, which in this case is just a ½ cup measure with the handle cut off.

Once the ground thaws out (in a couple of months) we will be able to put up a new crook for the double suet feeder and put the conduit in the ground and mount our new mealworm feeders to them. The mealworm feeders will also be fitted with squirrel baffles to keep those pesky chipmunks and squirrels from pigging out on mealworms. In case you were wondering we feed dried mealworms which I buy in bulk from Critter Boutique. That is not an affiliate link. I am providing it since I think they have the best price for bulk dried mealworms in case you want to try using them. The suet feeders don’t need squirrel baffles since I only feed C & S Hot Pepper Delight Suet cakes. The birds don’t mind the hot pepper but the squirrels and chipmunks sure don’t like it and never try it twice.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

We are joining the LLB Gang for their Nature Friday Blog Hop. You should pop over to their blog to see all the other posts.

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Hi everyone it’s Cindy here. Today I’m combining two blog hops into one post. First up is Wild Bird Wednesday.

Wild Bird Wednesday

We were surprised a few weeks ago when we heard our Bluebirds in the neighborhood. They came around on one of our first snow days and were hanging out where our mealworm feeder is so Charlie put some of our freeze dried worms out.

Three of the four Bluebirds

Three of the four Bluebirds

Within minutes we had a family of four hanging out at the feeder. Our guess is that this is the male and female with two from their final brood.

Male and Female Bluebird

Male and Female Bluebird

The funny thing is that after the final brood fledged, some time in August, our Bluebirds left us and didn’t use the worm feeder for the rest of the season. Usually we don’t see them again until early Spring.

Bluebirds are so happy to have some mealworms

Bluebirds are happy to have some mealworms

We have never had Bluebirds hang around all winter but I know of friends in the area that do have their resident pair hang out all winter as long as there is food for them. We have plenty of mealworms so we hope we get to enjoy the family all winter. All of the bluebird pictures were taken through our windows. We can never get close enough and be outside to get these shots.

Now on to Hooking on Hump Day! Just before Thanksgiving I received an email that included a link to a Holiday Crochet magazine from Love of Crochet and knew I just had to have it.

Holiday Crochet - Love of Crochet - cover

Luckily I found a digital download copy that I could buy. The next task, of course, was to acquire all the yarn I would need. The pattern suggested three brands of yarn and I settled on Knit Picks CotLin™ because it was the only one I could find all the colors available in at the time. I couldn’t wait to get started and in honor of our surprise winter visitors I made the Bluebird first.

Bluebird Ornament Hanging on Tree

Bluebird Ornament Hanging on Tree

Instead of attaching a ribbon to hang him on the tree I just used the tail of the yarn when I finished him and made a simple chain to create a loop. I love the cute little branch that is sewn on with the legs. I very happy with how he turned out.

Back View of Bluebird Ornament

Back View of Bluebird Ornament

The pattern is very easy to follow and it works up quickly. There are four parts to each bird, the body, tail and two wings. I can’t wait to get started on the rest of the birds and will report back when they are done.

I hope you enjoyed this mash up of blog hops that I’m calling Hooking on Wild Bird Hump Day! What a great way to combine two of my loves.

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