Bird feeders and the cat problem.

  • Dave Shedman
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8 years 10 months ago #10187 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman created the topic: Bird feeders and the cat problem.
We recently bought a hanging basket stand with the idea of hanging our bird feeders on it. We have a tiny garden (about 4.5m x 8m) with no tall trees to hang them on so this seemed the ideal solution. However, since we installed it, one of our neighbours' cats has discovered that he can sneak up below the feeders and jump up high enough to catch birds. He's started helping himself to bishops on a daily basis, despite our best attempts to discourage him.

Part of the problem is the type of feeders we use. We have those ones that are made from an old cool drink bottle with a plastic plate attached top and bottom and pieces of pipe inserted through them to dispense the seed. The problem is, when the birds sit on the bottom plate, they can't see the cat below them and they have to stick their heads inside the pipes to get at the food, thus making them effectively blind whilst eating.

The obvious solution is to raise the feeders higher so he can't jump high enough (he's about 11 months old, so very agile!) but to do that would involve cutting through the metal stand and inserting a longer but smaller diameter pipe inside the two halves to make the hanging hooks higher off the ground. We paid R430 for the stand so I'm not happy about butchering it, though I will do if it's going to save the birds. Also, metalwork and DIY in general are not my strong points (my ex-wife used to say that in my case, DIY stood for 'destroy it yourself').

So, we'd like to see if a different type of feeder that would give the birds better all-round visibility might help, so that the cat can't get close enough without being spotted, but we're finding it difficult to find a source of good quality bird feeders. The ones for sale in garden centres and pet stores are generally cheap plastic things that look ugly and fall apart easily. Does anyone know of a place we could find a good range of good quality feeders somewhere in South Africa? We're going to contact this site as it looks promising and not too expensive http://www.birdfeeders.co.za/ but do you know of any others?

Any helpful suggestions (other than strangling the cat which, believe me, is tempting!) would be greatly appreciated.

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