a peek inside the fishbowl

22 Jan, 2011

Here birdie birdie

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Oh! Things!

When it’s minus twenty outside, like today, I become a little bit more concerned about our feathered friends.

Our backyard is a haven for a number of different bird species. I’m happy about this, because we are a bird-admiring kind of family. We love watching them flit around the yard, swooping and skimming the air between the cedar hedges, the maple trees and the lilacs.

They’re lovely little creatures, with their own little personalities, and I know this to be true because of the few we’ve gotten to know over the past few years. (Remember BB?)

The trick to attracting outdoor birds to your yard this time of year is to make sure you have places for them to hide (trees, bushes etc) as well as food for them to eat, especially in the fall and winter when food is generally pretty scarce.

Right now we’re getting lots of cardinals, chickadees, and various finches.  

Back in the fall we had to upgrade our tired old bird feeder. We used to have the kind of setup illustrated here in the Canadian Tire catalogue, squirrel baffle and all, but it had weathered a few too many storms and eventually just disintegrated.

So we replaced it with this one (I added the squirrel image, obviously):

our bird feeder

I LOVE THIS FEEDER. And no, CanTire is not paying me to say this.

  1. a) It holds an awful lot of seed. We’ve had it up since November and we’ve had to fill it exactly twice.
  2. b) I really like the barn-red colour. The birds don’t seem to mind it either.
  3. c) So far it has been squirrel-proof. The perch is the kind that closes a door over the food if the creature sitting upon it is of a certain weight, so the heavier birds and animals can’t get at the food. Sorry pigeons! This buffet is CLOSED. FOREVER.

You’ll not that I wrote “SO FAR” the feeder has proven itself to be squirrel-proof. I am fairly certain squirrels understand complex physics and have developed their own space-time theories. There is a staff of crack engineers working madly night and day to crack the code of this feeder. There are squirrel-sized flow charts and computers hidden in their leafy nests, I just know it. It’s only just a matter of time before they figure out how to beam inside the feeder or something like that. But so far so good.

  1. d) We also haven’t been visited by those flying seed hogs, the Starlings and Grackles. They have a history of using our old feeder like a trough, using their birdy heads like veritable shovels in order to spill piles of seeds overboard out onto the ground. (Personally I think they were being paid off by the squirrels.) Our new feeder prevents this from happening, as the birds are forced to take one seed at a time.

The new feeder is pictured in the CanTire catalogue here. You should read the reviews because they’re actually kind of amusing. Squirrels breaking in the windows! And working out advanced acrobatic routines! Snobby birds who refuse to eat at the feeder!  Wow. Some people get really riled up by this stuff, don’t they?

5 Responses to "Here birdie birdie"

1 | FireMom

January 22nd, 2011 at 11:45 am


My grandfather-in-law built us a huge bird feeder and I just got it a few weeks ago. It’s not squirrel proof, but it does have a heated bird bath. :)

2 | Mary @ Parenthood

January 22nd, 2011 at 10:35 pm


I toy with the idea of having a bird feeder but just don’t know where we’d put it (small backyard, don’t want to grow bird seed below it, don’t want to get pooped on going to our car…)

Plus we have quite the squirrel highway along our phone/cable lines. There’s also the slight issue that my husband won’t have bird seed in the house after we received some as a gift Oct 2009 with bonus moth infestation. We’re still trying to get rid of them completely!

But birds would be fun… I have fond memories of my Grandma’s bird feeder…

3 | Hellcat13

January 24th, 2011 at 8:45 am


My dad strung his main bird feeder along the laundry line. Works like a charm to keep the squirrels out!

4 | Sasha

January 24th, 2011 at 3:34 pm


We *almost* have our feeder up. I had the presence of mind to put up a shepherd’s hook just before the ground froze, but then discovered the squirrel baffle I bought for it wouldn’t slide over the hook. But we have everything now, just never remember to put it up!!

5 | Lo

January 26th, 2011 at 6:52 pm


We have this same feeder and it has ‘performed’ better than all the rest so far;) That’s not to say we haven’t had some interesting mysteries to solve involving said feeder:) something was actually tipping it sideways on the tree. We had to bolt it down. We weren’t sure what is was but there were fresh scratch marks on the tree trunk.. U til one day when I caught the biggest cat ( no it was not Duncan) hanging uosdied down over the feeder! It was hilarious and the mystery was solved. Funniest part was we live kinda rural and that was the last animal we suspected!!!

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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