Baltimore Oriole Feeder

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This is a tale of a Baltimore Oriole Feeder sans Baltimore Orioles.

When we vacation on the Cape I always visit the Bird Watchers General Store to see what items I might purchase for my feathered friends. A lot of people I know have great luck attracting Baltimore Orioles with orange slices and specialized feeders. After looking at some flimsy plastic feeders I settled on this glass and iron one which seems indestructible. So far no Orioles but this Gray Catbird seems to like it.

This weekend I’m shopping for oranges so this saga is not finished.

Gray Catbird by John Poltrack on


Gray Catbird by John Poltrack on

Naturally it figures that my nemesis would have a taste for grape jelly.


Thief by John Poltrack on

This fellow was actually licking the jelly off his paws. Still waiting for an Oriole.


Thief by John Poltrack on



First Hummingbird of 2015


As soon as the weather warmed I put out the hummingbird feeders. I spotted the first returning hummer of 2015 on May 8th.

I’ve tried all types of feeders and decided that the hummzinger ones from Aspect are the easiest to clean. The ones that hang upside down seem to drip constantly. I have a 10 pound of sugar ready for the rest of the summer (1 part sugar, 4 parts water, NO DYE).


English Sparrow deterrent

I was growing tired of watching English Sparrow monopolize the bird feeder. They were chasing away some of my favorite birds such as chickadees, nuthatches and titmouse.  The sparrows would just sit on the perch gorging themselves. I set up a remote controlled fan to “blow them away”. At first they were frightened , but now withstand the wind. I need to up the deterrent. 
This is a video of version one. I turned the fan on for demonstration at minute 1:15. The wire hanging from the feeder is my squirrel deterrent, connected to a fence charger. I think it also effective against the bears.
Enjoy the tune, I think YouTube will allow me to use it.

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Squirrel balancing act

The gray squirrels will prevail, but I refuse to give up the fight. They have even started drinking from my hummingbird feeders. I wonder if any of them will be become diabetic from all that sugar.
My latest deterrent method is a combination of a suspension wire, a baffle and a pivoting support. 
The suspension wire is no problem for the creatures, they are natural high wire acrobats. The baffle is a re-purposed brass cymbal which tips on it’s support. Beneath is a balance beam with matched feeders.
The squirrels can easily negotiate the high wire and the tipping cymbal but the the balanced feeders tip with just enough velocity to drop them off. If they would coordinate their attack then two squirrels could defeat this arrangement by climbing onto the feeders in unison, but I haven’t seen that yet.
I had a twirl-a-squirrel but while it was fun to watch, it tended to self activate on windy days. After I dropped it on a cement floor it shattered into a million cheap plastic parts. Still if you want to try: