Date: 2/5/18 3:22 pm
From: Gmail <butchchq8...>
Subject: Re: Hot Pepper on Bird Food
Actually, I’ve sold a lot of the hot pepper oil in my store and haven’t have any complaints about birds not eating it. Customers who use it report fewer squirrels and raccoons though.

So I still suspect it is normal daily feeder use variation.


> On Feb 5, 2018, at 14:47, Jeffrey Short <bashman...> wrote:
> I have a THEORY that the oil may cause the seeds to look differently to the
> birds. "...Passerine birds can detect colour differences that humans do not
> register. This finer discrimination, together with the ability to see
> ultraviolet light..." may suggest that the treated seeds may look
> un-nutritional or resemble something unattractive.
> Also, do you make the hot oil or buy it? Fresh oil may not be rancid or
> have other chemicals to extract the "hot". I can provide some bhut jolokia
> (aka "ghost") peppers if you want to give the squirrels a treat!
> How about putting out 100 seeds each in two piles at the same time and count
> them periodically to see if there is a difference between treated and
> un-treated? Repeat as necessary.
> Jeff Short
> -----Original Message-----
> From: The Birds of Arkansas Discussion List
> [mailto:<ARBIRD-L...>] On Behalf Of Gmail
> Sent: Monday, February 05, 2018 7:27 AM
> To: <ARBIRD-L...>
> Subject: Re: Hot Pepper on Bird Food
> Carolyn,
> It is unlikely that your observation was due to the hot pepper oil. Birds
> vary considerably over time at our feeders, so unless you provided an
> experimental control with replicated trials, what you saw was more likely
> due to small sample size (one day of observation) rather than due to a real
> effect.
> Birds are the primary seed dispersers of hot pepper seeds in the tropics,
> meaning they eat the seeds readily. In fact, perusing the literature on the
> subject one can find several articles where hot pepper introduced to the
> diets of chickens actually assisted weight gain in young chicks, so it seems
> there may be beneficial aspects to ingesting it.
> Now that does not mean that more is better when mixed into bird seed, but it
> is unlikely to be harmful in moderation given that for some species it is
> part of their usual diet.
> What I would recommend is following the instructions on the label and then
> adding less and less to future seed batches until you find the point where
> your squirrels are dining again on your seed. At this point increase the
> dosage again to deter them. This will be the minimum dosage that works for
> your yard. By doing this, you will save yourself some worry (if you still
> have any) and you will also save yourself some money, too.
> Butch
> Bentonville
>> On Feb 4, 2018, at 22:00, Carolyn Minson <csminson...> wrote:
>> Do any of you know about research as to whether hot pepper, either dry or
> oil, used on bird food to keep squirrels away is harmful to birds? When I
> tried the oil today on sunflower hearts, it definitely kept the squirrels
> from eating it, but the birds did not seem to eat as much as usual.
>> Carolyn Minson
>> Hot Springs Village
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