Words On Birds by Steve Grinley

Father’s Day Gifts for Dad (and Birds)
June 11, 2021
by Steve Grinley

     Father’s Day is coming up next weekend and some of you might still be procrastinating over what to get the Dad or Grand Dad in your life. If he enjoys birds but detests squirrels, a feeder that deters squirrels is always a good choice. This could even provide a health benefit as it may help to lower Dad’s blood pressure if he is stresses over squirrels eating all of his bird seed.

     One the other hand, if you get him a feeder that stops the squirrels, Dad might put on a few more pounds from the lack of exercise of getting up and chasing the squirrels away. He also won’t be lifting those bags of seed to fill the feeders as often. But he will be happier.

     The most effective feeders to deter squirrels are the line of “Squirrel Buster” feeders that use a weighted system that closes off the food supply when a squirrel gets on it. They are by far the best. They now have a wide range of models to suit every budget with proven effectiveness against squirrels. Some have adjustable springs so they can lighten the feeder enough to also discourage heavier birds like pigeons or grackles.

     Squirrel Buster also has a few specialty feeders. One offers shelled peanuts or a nut mix to allow woodpeckers, nuthatches, and titmice to feed, but close off access to marauding squirrels. They also have a finch feeder for Nyger (thistle) or finch mix seed. Their newest is for suet and holds two suet cakes and is large enough to allow the larger red-bellied woodpeckers to feed but still stop the squirrels.

     Then there is still Droll Yankees’ Flipper feeder that has the battery-operated motor that spins the perch with the weight of the squirrel and throws the thief right off. This feeder provides great entertainment for Dad, at least until the squirrels give up!

     Perhaps squirrels are not a problem in Dad’s yard, or he has them beat with a good squirrel baffle on a pole system. Maybe Dad’s life can be made easier by getting him a new feeder that is easier to clean. Both Droll Yankees and Aspects now have feeders that have bottoms that pop right off for cleaning – no tools, less work.

     If Dad doesn’t like maintaining feeders, a bird bath will be enjoyed by birds all summer long with little work on Dad’s part. Dad might also enjoy a bird house that requires even less work. The birds do all the work by building their own nests in the house, and many will be having more broods throughout the coming months. Dad can just sit back and enjoy watching them!

     For the Dad that enjoys coffee while watching the birds, you can give him a bag of shade grown coffee from Central and South America (saving trees benefit birds) and an appropriate bird mug. If Dad likes to read, there are many great books on birding and stories of bird watching trips – both local and afar. For the fashionable Dad, perhaps a bird T-shirt, hat or socks will be appreciated.

     If Dad enjoys watching birds at feeders that are not so close to the window or his favorite chair, (and maybe his eyes aren’t as sharp as they used to be), you might consider giving him a pair of binoculars to bring those birds closer. It might even encourage him to get outside and take you for walks in the woods. Oh, he probably has his Dad’s old World War II binoculars that weigh a ton and he even thinks those are good enough. But you can get him a good quality pair of lighter binoculars with sharper images for not a lot of money these days.

     Any gift that brings Dad closer to birds and nature is sure to be enjoyed!

     Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there!

Steve Grinley
Bird Watcher’s Supply & Gift
Port Plaza West Shops
45 Storey Ave, Suite 7B
Newburyport, MA 01950

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