Last week’s post on bird feeders and unwanted squirrels got lots of comments (if you haven’t already dropped by to give us your thoughts, click here to do so now!). And more than one of you mentioned other unwanted guests, including deer and bears. In my own backyard, our most challenging bird-feeder battle was with… ducks.
Not your average, everyday, pretty green-headed mallards. No, in our backyard, we have muscovy ducks. More than twice the size of mallards, these non-native monsters are bird-feeder nuisances, especially at an open platform feeder. They would haul their big fat bodies up on my feeder and clean it out in a matter of minutes. Even when I took to feeding them cracked corn on the ground, they still invaded my feeder. We tried adding a roof to the feeder, but they just stood on top of that and craned their necks down to get the seed. We chased them off whenever we saw them, but that definitely wasn’t a permanent solution.
In the end, the answer was the feeder that my dad custom-designed and built for us, shown below. The clever configuration of arches and perfect roof height and slope keeps the muscovy ducks from getting any seed at all, no matter how hard they try. (Click here for more details, including video of a very confused duck.) It wasn’t an easy solution, but it’s certainly satisfying now to see songbirds enjoying seed as I intended.
Now I want to know – what unwanted guests visit your bird feeders, and how do you keep them away? Drop by the comments to tell us how you battle with bears, defend against deer, or rebuff the raccoons. I can’t wait to hear your stories!