My daughter made a bird feeder out of a cut plastic juice bottle. It lies horizontal, placed like one of those ships in a bottle. She cut a cavity in its midsection while leaving the structure intact. Lying on its side, it allows for a couple of birds to feed from it at once, one on each side. She taped the cut edges with soft tape so there’s nothing that could cut a bird. We then bound it to the balcony lip with elephant tape.
Every morning, she creates bird mix out of the grains we have in stock. The base is rice - brown or red - and she adds lentils, mustard, fennel, cumin and fenugreek seeds to it. We have a lot of pigeons in our complex. They love most of the seeds but they eat the fennel and fenugreek only when desperate.
One of the pigeons, a large, roly-poly one, pushes off all the others and completely hogs the feeder. My daughter’s named her ‘Disobedient’ and keeps an eye out for her to scare her away. Scaring pigeons isn’t a fine-grained activity; either they all get shooed away, or none of them do. So the plan isn’t working as well as she’d like. Disobedient still rules the roost, and a bunch of adult and juvenile pigeons don’t get much.
I suggested we could start a new franchise called Kentucky Fried Pigeon with the number that turn up every day. It didn’t go well. I suggested making Disobedient-pie for Christmas. After a few of these, my daughter double-checked that I was actually joking. ROFL.
In the end, there was only one thing to do. We repurposed a toy as a second feeder; one with multiple seed repositories.
Every morning now, we have half a dozen pigeons keeping a close watch on the balcony, and they descend in force as soon as they spot us refilling the feeder. Some of them return at lunch, and they hop all the way in even if we’re sitting there. I’m trying to set boundaries; its not a good idea to have them lose their fear of humans or to get dependent on us, but damn, it’s nice to have pets!
Image Courtesy Vishy