Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bugs, Bird Feeders. Cats, & Flower Beds

 Red Dusk last evening, signaling rain.  The bugs in my flower garden are getting bad.  While sitting on my back porch I watch a ton of birds eating bugs.  It dawned on me (no pun intended) that if I encouraged more birds, more bugs would get eaten.  So I thought...let me put a bird feeder out here.  A couple of issues with this, however.

 One is a hunting cat....she loves to hunt and kill animals...If the seeds fell to the ground, which they will...more opportunity for her to kill.  Moreover, I want the birds on the ground....eating  I thought about putting sticky tape everywhere to discourage her.
The official name of the cat is Fleece, but we have always called her Evil Kitty

I thought about putting the feeder in this tree, but if the seeds drop will I be dealing with more weeds?

I really like this option.  Putting on the corner awning.  Only down side, is Evil Kitty can hide around the corner...still the best spot.

Caterpillars on the rose buds and black spot are my issues at the moment.

Another option is this corner around the pool.. More prone for squirrels here though...



NellJean said...

I stopped using bird feeders for the reasons you list: squirrels, weeds coming up under the feeder, messy seeds and husks on the ground, not to mention the time it takes to keep them filled.

Hummingbird feeders take daily cleaning and refilling in hot weather or the creatures' little livers are endangered by fermenting nectar.

Instead I concentrate on plants that feed the birds: shrimp plants and altheas and other nectar sources for hummers and coneflowers, cosmos, salvias, zinnias, petunias and sunflowers among others for seed eaters (you'll have to leave seed heads to ripen), not to mention all the wild seeds that abound on a large property like Virginia creeper, pokeweed, cedar berries, blackberries, beautyberry, Carolina cherry laurel -- all those seeds that birds plant and I grub out of flower beds.

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

You have talked me out of it. There are tons of birds back here feeding on the bugs...just trying to take a simpler approach to the bugs but what you are saying sounds more like another problem then a possible cure.

Hartwood Roses said...

Sometimes it's best to let nature be as it wants on its own. The right number of birds and other predators will inhabit your garden, based on the food available for them. More bugs = more birds. Feeding them won't necessarily encourage them to forage for more bugs.

I stopped feeding birds because our greyhound kept hurting herself as she chased the squirrels that fed at the feeders along with the birds. I have just as many birds as I used to, just not up close to the house like they were. (I still feed hummingbirds ... they're adorable and I have enough of them that they drink a whole quart of 'sap' from the feeder every two days ... no chance for it to sit there and go bad.

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

The hummingbirds visit daily. I don't have a feeder out this year, but they love the bougainvilleas the most, followed by the hibiscus. They try for the zinnia but the butterflies and moths like those more. I want to say that they do like the bottle brush. In between my large rose garden is a large space (where the pipe for irrigation has been laid. I thought of making it a path but my mind wonders to concepts of bug traps..will ponder more. The pool does a great job of killing many pest..but with the constant downpours....spraying or dusting seems like a futile idea.