Date: 2/16/18 3:32 pm
From: Bird observations from western New York <geneseebirds-l...>
Subject: Re: [GeneseeBirds-L] Back yard birds
As I mentioned yesterday, I did another "test" today, with a feeder that hasn't been out all year. I hung it this morning and had house sparrows and a couple of cardinals come to it. This feeder was deer slobber free. The one hanging next to it, with sunflower and safflower seeds, and probably deer slobber, was ignored. I'm going to make the conclusion that the birds won't eat out of a feeder that the deer have eaten from. I guess I'll take that one down and give it a good washing and new seed and try again. I'll continue to bring them in each night. 
None of my neighbors feed the deer, and the neighbor next door uses a deer repellent spray in the summer to protect their garden. There are probably about a dozen deer in this herd and they're definitely not starving! They're big, and since there isn't any hunting allowed around here for several miles, they are just going to keep making more deer. There's plenty of natural stuff for them to eat up here by the lake, and a good amount of woodsy area for them to roam by the lake. They just want an easy meal! 
Thanks to everyone for the input. I hope I can get the birds to come back around. 
KathyBy the lake in Webster

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-------- Original message --------From: Bird observations from western New York <geneseebirds-l...> Date: 2/16/18 3:05 PM (GMT-05:00) To: Genessee Birds list <geneseebirds-l...> Subject: Re: [GeneseeBirds-L] Back yard birds
This discussion brings up a larger issue, alluded to by Paul Fuhrman,
namely the severe, negative impact deer herbivory has on native plant
communities when deer numbers become imbalanced as they are in most
areas of WNY.  When my neighbors tell me they buy heads of lettuce in
the winter time to set out for the poor deer, I wonder at the
Disneyesque view too many of us have of the natural world, and conclude
that it represents a widespread failing of our educational system in
basic biology/ecology training.

Re the deer slobber question, I have an open two wooden bowls feeder
(top bowl larger) connected by wood rod.  Deer have lapped
sunflower/safflower seed from this feeder with no effect of later
fillings being shunned by the usual visitors: chickadees, nuthatches,
cardinals.  Perhaps feeder design has something to do with how much
slobber is deposited that results in shunning.


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