I've been wanting to write this post for a while as I have received many, MANY, questions regarding my most popular post from my blog. I figured I would address as many as I can remember. You can find the tutorial for this bird feeder here.
Q: What kinds of birds will it attract?
A: I have seen sparrows, cardinals, blue jays, wrens, woodpeckers, chickadees and doves. The type of bird you will attract depends on the type of feed you use, your location and the time of year. I change my feed almost every time I fill it.
Q: Will it attract squirrels?
A: Yes, but they have not been much of a problem for me. The size of my upper plate makes it difficult for them to get into the bowl. They typically slide off and fall. A few times of that and they stopped trying, that was until the lawn mower got parked close enough for them to jump from the handle of the lawn mower into the bowl. I moved the lawn mower. On occasion they will scavenge on the ground, but the doves and blue jays like to attack the squirrels. It's pretty awesome.
Since it's fairly squirrel proof, I am not making squirrels obese. (Seriously been accused of that, it makes me laugh).
Q: Will it attract rats and mice?
A: I'm sure it could, but that also depends on if they have areas to nest. The feral cat population and the fact that I have two dogs has made sure that rats and mice have not been a problem.
Q: Does the type of drill bit matter?
A: YES!!! If you are doing this to ceramic plates, you need a specialty bit to cut through glass/ceramic. If you are cutting through plastic or melamine (mine was done with melamine) a standard HSS drill bit will do. Please use my trick and place a block of wood underneath to help with blow out/chip out.
Q: Do you need drainage holes?
A: I haven't needed them. My bird feeder is under a covered porch.
Q: Do the birds poop in the bowl? How often do you have to clean the bowl?
A: In my experience, not yet. I have only taken down the feeder twice to clean it. They keep it fairly tidy. More often than anything, I need to tip the bowl over to get rid of some of the seed husks, if I forget, the sparrows are more than happy to throw them out, then I just need to sweep them up off the porch.
Q: Will this stop birds from migrating? Will it make them dependent on the feeder?
A: NO! There is a great Q&A from the experts themselves over at Cornell University's Ornithology Department about those very questions and others. They even do a backyard bird count to track birds every year. Check out Project Feeder Watch.
Q: What is the downside of having the feeder?
A: The birds like to hang out on my patio table and they do poop on that and the chairs. We eat outside so infrequently that I thoroughly wash the chairs and ta ble (and disinfect it) before eating off of it. You know what though? They still pooped on the table and chairs before the bird feeder, it just happens more frequently now.
Q: What do you like most about your bird feeder?
A: I love my little Carolina Wren that comes to inform me when the feeder in empty. I get some pretty loud chirps right at my kitchen window in the morning when the feeder is empty. The wren will even watch me do the dishes sometimes. It's really neat.
If I inspired you to create a bowl and plate bird feeder I would love to see photos of it! I would love to feature your bird feeder with your name and a link to your blog (if you have one). You can e-mail me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, did I miss any of your questions? Leave them in the comments below and if there are enough, I will do another Q&A post. Thanks for all your love for my bird feeder! I love it and hope you created one and love it too!