It's time to vote on our 2017 photo contest! Vote for your favorite photos of the year here!

Proposing a project for those who follow this column/forum >

Maricopa, AZ(Zone 9b)

At times I have been somewhat disapointed at the lack of participation here at this forum so let me suggest a project that those interested can participate in .

I assume that those wqho come to this forum have an interest in native wildlife and attracting that to thier own properties . Many get discouraged by some species taking over at feeders etc . For some of you easteners/northeners it is gray squirels . For most if not all of us the english house sparrow represents problems . Now as I understand it Daves garden forum rules forbids us from discussing lethal methods of taking care of nuisance species here at this forum but would/will be allowed at Garden Pests and Diseases Discussion Forum ( moderators please correct me if I am wrong )

But what would be allowed to discuss here is abatement programs of various sorts so long as not lethal .

So my proposal is that those interested do a bit of homework and trial and error at home and find what works .

At a different forum I participated at we started at discussing/trying methods to defeat starlings/sparrows at the feeders . I have a few ideas and a few things that I have tried but I get tired of having a monolouge . This is supposed to be a FORUM ;

" An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. "

Now who is game to participate in some experiments ?

Menifee, CA(Zone 9a)

i will give it a try.

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

So… let me clarify… do you want methods for deterrents? Or only non-lethal methods of removing?

Maricopa, AZ(Zone 9b)

Well Mrs_Ed , far be it for me to shy away from things of a lethal nature . A toy I remember becoming aquainted with quite some years ago .

I saw this "boys toy" some 25 - 30 years ago on display at a store near where I lived at the time . R&R's (ravenous rabbits) plauged me then as now and I dream of having this "toy" every time I see bugs bunny ! This toy is questionably street legal oddly enough , 2 .22 cal. rifles joined together mounted on a tripod with a hand operated crank operating the triggers . Equiped with 100 round drum magazines it is cable of turning anything into polka dots in but a minute or so .

Ah Dreams .

But as I understand management does not allow discussion of such at this , the wildlife forum as I understand the rules unless they have changed along with the management .

Anybody know where there is a moderator to clarify what is allowed to talk about at what forum ? I understood that lethal forms in discussion were only allowed at Garden pests and diseases .

Live trapping would/should not be considered lethal so for the time being unless told otherwise lets suppose that live trapping is allowed in discussion . This does leave the problem of what one does with anything trapped .

It should to be safe to discuss deterents or "altered feeders" . Something that I have read of but have yet to try myself is the "Magic Halo" ;

Also discussed at and other wire variations above feeders at ;

Another site where house sparrow control is talked about ;

Now blue birds are not native to where I live but house sparrows do abound here and it irks me to feed them . I have planted extensively with native plants and over time have reduced considerably puuting out seed mixes at all as a rule . But in the colder months of winter do put out a lot of suet and choice of feeders does make it harder for those pests in my estimation/expierence .

Those cheap, available everywhere all wire suet cake feeders such as this one available at Amazon are junk in my estimation used as designed ;

Now somewhere I read or someone told me that roofed and/or upside down suet feeders made it hard/almost impossible to get feed at . Examples of these types here ;

Later I will take some pics of ones that I have . I do believe that I have observed a severe reduction of HOSP'feeding at this design of feeder .

Somebody else's turn to comment .

This message was edited Nov 18, 2010 10:52 PM

Marlton, NJ

Hi Lonediver, I'm confused because most of these things your talking about (except for trapping or harming birds) is already discussed in the Bird Watching forum.

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

You are so funny with that machine gun. Boys! I'm more the peace, love, butterflies are free type of person though. Bums me right now that hunting season is going. I know much of this is population control and I know that hunting organizations are responsible for much of the conservation in this world. I just know I can't do it, or stomach it. Anywhooooo…

I understand that some people don't always know that there is a Bird Watching forum an maybe the wildlife gardening has a different audience. So, DO feel free to join in the Birdwatching Forum. We indeed cover these issues there. Discuss feeders and pest issues, plus just good fun bird chat. You may remember I had you post your wonderful burrowing owl habitat pix over there.

And you are right, no talk of harming birds. If you want specific clarification, contact Terry or Melody. Either admin should be able to give answers.

But perhaps you are not just talking birds. Maybe Deer, Rabbits, raccoons, bears. I for one am happy not to have any problems with all of those, as I live in a rural town. That means not as much loss of habitat for the racoons. My sister lives outside of Chicago and has terrible raccoon problems. In the attic, in the pond, yada yada.

I DO have squirrels and for the most part they are not causing too many problems. I make sure they have something to eat so they don't mess with the feeders. BUT, I've been having a problem with them eating all my tomatoes. I'm going to have to figure something out for next year. They eat all the apples too. But I'm removing that small tree anyway (and partly as a result of their pigginess)

Menifee, CA(Zone 9a)

ok, i guess i misunderstood. i really do not want to discuss lethal ways to remove pests. sorry

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

When I suggested a Gardening For Wildlife forum back in '06 (I believe), I thought the other wildlife forum and this one would be combined. They weren't. I'm not sure if the birdwatching forum was there then, or the wildlife forum became birdwatching. Why they weren't combined into one forum is beyond me. Back then, the wildlife forum showcased pictures. Wonderful pictures, but not much discussion on the gardening aspect of attracting wildlife to your yard. So this forum was started. I think it's clear what's happened to this forum. People are steered away from this one and to the birdwatching forum.

I'll answer the question you asked though. NO. You CANNOT discuss trapping and dispatching of HOSP or EUST. We tried years ago and it wasn't a comfortable experience. To discuss anything HOSP or EUSP, HAS to be done over in pests. I wouldn't suggest it even over there though. You'd have thought we were discussing how to get rid of our children. Just my humble opinion. I use another website if I have questions on HOSP and EUST and I also go there for attracting wildlife to my yard. BTW, I have a NWF certified backyard, however, I have to get the HOSP population under control so that other NATIVE birds can move into my yard! I've had a few native songbirds that try to stop by, but are chased away by the HOSP. All these HOSP lovers really need to come here for a day and see what it's like. And to think in the late 1800's, IL had a bounty on the heads of HOSP! Not wanted dead or alive, wanted dead!

Also. I'm not getting into an argument over this with anyone. If you love your HOSP, good for you.

Marlton, NJ

LOL, Hi Terry! Happy Birthday!

This message was edited Nov 20, 2010 4:32 PM

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

I don't think LD wants to discuss lethal methods at all. I think just deterrents.
I removed all the places that they were nesting in, but I haven't noticed any difference.

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

Just my 2 cents but I feel these discussions including all forms of control of HOSP should be allowed on the Birdwatching Forum and here since we have non-native birds killing off our native birds.

I too go else where to deal with these issues.But wish honest discussion could be done here.

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

Well, if they allow the discussion on the Pests forum, then I'd go there. The Birdwatching forum is such a happy and civil place, i would NOT want to see this discussion there.

However, LD may be interested in other wildlife concerns too. I know rabbits eat bushes all the time in some people's gardens. I dont' seem to have that problem here.

And raccoons. My step mother used the epsom salt to keep them off her deck, but terryr said it did not work for her. My poor sister put in a tiny pond and has to have it completely covered with a wire grate. Not the water feature they were hoping for, I'm sure.

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

Thank you pelletory!

This forum is for Wildlife Gardening. It's NOT birdwatching. There's a HUGE difference. I want squirrels, toads and frogs and ground squirrels and snakes and dragonflies (I think I saw some this past summer) and whatever wants to come into my yard. I would love to have whatever songbirds are indigenous to this area, but they are ALWAYS run off by the HOSP. Always! They might stay for a day or two (or 2 minutes), but they finally give up. This past summer, HOSP killed a female Robin and destroyed her eggs in our yard. I've always known they go after Bluebirds, Purple Martins and Tree Swallows, but Robins? If I hadn't witnessed it, I would have thought it was someones cat.

I have stopped HOSP from procreating here to the best of my ability. However, my neighbors don't care. I don't dare put food out. They eat any kind of bird seed there is. Doesn't stop them from being the boss of our yard though. Every once in awhile we get a hawk. Last week it was a juvenile Cooper's Hawk. That was fun to watch the HOSP scatter, and him grab one mid-air.

If you're talking about live trapping coons, it's illegal in most states. You need a permit (I've also read you need rabies shots just in case). Some people say it's detrimental to the coon to move it.

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

I forgot to add. It used to say something up at the top that I was surprised yesterday to see was gone. It said something about This forum is meant for those creating gardens hospitable to wildlife. This is a place to share your experiences and knowledge. ....or something like it. Now it says nothing.

At Birdwatching, it says Here's a forum to share your pictures, observations and questions about the birds that you find in your garden or come across in their natural habitat.

Is it really that difficult to understand the difference between gardening for (all of) wildlife, and sharing my pictures, observations and questions about birds?

Maricopa, AZ(Zone 9b)

I do try to garden for ALL of wildlife . Creating habitat for herps as well as the owls/birds . I have managed to attract an ocassional desert fox as well . Unfortunately it seems I also attract stray/feral dogs and cats and these are not a joke here . I try to work with the local animal control but do realize that turning over any of these so called domestic animals to animal control is a virtual guaranteed death sentence for them . I have one here now that will be turned over to animal control today or tommorrow , unless some do gooder wishes to take it off my hands . But be prepared for the next one and the next ....... I have been averaging some 30 to 40 captures a year since the economic melt down . I live in a rural area and it seems that civilized people from the city rather than pay a rescue agency to take thier animals (most charge to take animals now ) simply drop them off out in the country .

I witnessed a "drop off " at the edge of my property . I live down a dirt road , a car drove down . Stopped near the end of my property , turned around with a bit of speed leaving a chihuha dog chasing after it . Unfortunately I did not get the cars license number . I am not unfeeling to dogs , have three we keep , take care of . All are spayed after we aquired them , all strays we have taken off the street but there is a limit to what we can take in .

My owl habitat has been torn up by feral dogs and I have the pictures to prove it here somewhere and I am sure that natural nests in the area have been destroyed by them as well . I have had to deal with stray dogs at a different rural property I had before . Dogs kill, maim livestock/fowl for sport . I have seen and had to deal with the results of thier behavior .

Wildlife gardening to me means something of becoming something of a steward of the land . Managing it to the best of ones abilities for what is natural . I do not employ poisons whether insecticide or herbicide . Ants are a mainstay diet of the horned toads that live here as well as others . Insects represent of a healthy part of birds protien uptake . I leave most plant litter in place something that those who live in city HOA communties would not/could not do . I honestly believe that most who live in cities do not understand what natural process is .

Yes terryr , I strongly agree there is a HUGE difference between wildlife gardening and bird watching . Most do not seem to realize that HOSP's and EUST's are foriegn invaders . Better enjoy what robins there are left , thier days are numbered .

I would prefer to discuss , practice non lethal controls when possible but unfortunately nearly everything I have tried is lethal to some creature . Example ; trying to fence things out of an area . A passive deterent ? Most would agree/think so . However when I have done so , times I used common chicken wire . Snakes will try to go through it . Most snakes being narrower by thier head than they are further down . Once they have entered the hole cannot then retreat and draw themselves out . Snakes move because of reticulating plates on thier bellies . These plates have sharp edges on thier downstream side and can only go forward , not backward . Once in the chicken wire , they die . Standard hardware cloth entraps many lizards .

Out where most of you all live , gray squirrels are a problem . Here it is ground squirrels . These squirels are capable of climbing a lot of the cactus here , no small feat . How would you deter those ? Imagine what these guys do to a veggie garden in the desert .

Pic of a squirrel climbing a cactus ;

Many problems , few if any easy solutions .

P.S. Lets not forget the R & R's (ravenous rabbits) here we have not only cottontails but also jack rabbits ( actually classed as hares but the still do LOTS of damage)

This message was edited Nov 22, 2010 6:09 AM

This message was edited Nov 22, 2010 6:22 AM

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

Shame on me....your picture is really quite cute!! I know s/he's a little terror for you, and for that I'm really sorry. For me, I'm just looking at a photo. Please look at it that way :-) We've lived in this house almost 6 yrs. I've never seen a ground squirrel here. We've had them before and I didn't mind them. I don't vegetable garden though.

I have feral cats around here too. In fact today, I pulled up at the side of the house so my husband could run in with our turkey, put it away, and come back to the car so we could continue with our errands. While I was sitting there, out comes a black and white cat. They love to use our yard as a toilet and my puppy sure loves to munch on their poop. The old stuff...isn't that disgusting. They also love to kill birds. They don't finish the bird, they just leave it. And the puppy finds it. If it was always a HOSP, I'd have no problem, but it had been Chickadee's. The cat also got a toad that had taken up residence in my back yard. Those are just things I know about. My in-laws live way out in the country and they had feral dogs. They didn't seem to do anything for them though. They also have no landscaping and they're not trying to attract any wildlife. Oh, we live in town, but no HOA for us. Old house. 114 yrs old. I don't use insecticide, but I do occasionally use herbicide (Round-Up)....the creeping charlie has done crept over from the neighbors. You can't dig it, it just makes it mad. It's starting to choke out some plants. I hate to use it, but I don't know what else to do. I let leaves stay where they fall. We don't have much grass, I wanted our house to look like it was plopped in the I don't know if the neighbors like it, but I like it and that's what matters. I've used almost all native plants, except for a handful of cultivar viburnums.There were peonies and iris here, I dug up all but 2 peony and 1 iris. We lived in TN for a short time and when we moved back, a friend of mine gave me a piece of his iris.

I have fox squirrels. The only problem I have with them, is they want to dig up any plant I've planted. I did what you did. I put chicken wire around them, so they wouldn't dig up the plant. I had small plants. I kept them there, just because I wasn't sure, because we lived in the town where Mrs_Ed's step-mom and dad live. In the part of town that we lived, we had NO squirrels!! None!! Isn't that bizarre? I never could figure that out. We had a fox though that liked to sun himself in our front yard.

Have you ever read this book?

It's a really great book and I highly recommend it if you haven't read it already. I really need to read it again. She talks about the balance of nature and how to go about restoring your own backyard. Like the hawk in our backyard the other day. It was there for lunch. I knew that. It's all a part of nature. I don't mind when he takes a bird. I mind it though when a cat takes a bird. That isn't nature.

The only thing you can do with the feral animals, is to work with animal control. You can't take in all these animals. Shame on those people for dropping them off. I wish you lived closer and I could meet the poor Chihuahua that was dropped off. That is not the breed of dog to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere. You can't take in all the animals because of the idiots that drop them off. That's insane.

Going back to the book...when everything in nature is balanced, it means everything has a predator. That's what you want.

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.