Saturday, June 30, 2007

Question from a Reader

A reader, Laura in NWDC, left the following question in an earlier comment thread:

I bought a double compartment tube feeder and filled one side with nyger and one side with safflower. I had read that a lot of songbirds like safflower, finches and chickadees like thistle, and house sparrows and starlings don't like either one. That is true.

But the house sparrows have overrun the feeder, PULLING OUT every seed and throwing it on the ground trying to find something they like. In two days they've emptied it, dumping all that expensive seed on the ground to rot, uneaten.

I want to keep feeding the other birds, and I don't want to buy a feeder that limits feeding to JUST finches. Is there anything I can do to deter the house sparrows from trashing the place while making other birds feel welcome?
I am not sure how to answer this myself since I do not have much experience with bird feeders. (I live downtown and lack a backyard.) Could any reader suggest a solution?

Update: A reader wrote to suggest something like a Magic Halo. It looks like you could make it yourself.