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Birds of Kentucky: Remember bird safety when placing feeders

A Bird to the Wise. Safety First: Domestic cats are a danger to consider when providing food to attract wildbirds, but with precautions, feeding stations can be as safe as it gets for feathered friends
By Barbara Armitage

Placement of your feeders is important. The question I hear most often is "How can you feed the birds - you have cats"?

The hard truth is that birds in the wild face all kinds of predator's every day. Sadly not all of them survive however, it is important that in your effort to feed them you don't accidently set them up for attack.

The ideal placement of a bird feeder in the winter after the leaves have fallen is 5 or 6 feet away from a shrub or brush pile, hanging a feeder from a tree branch works well also. Hanging type feeders should be at least 5 feet off the ground. This distance will keep most cats and other animals from being able to pounce up unsuspecting birds. If there is an attack the birds can take refuge in the branches.

Small trees and shrubs nearby also give the birds an opportunity to perch and safely watch for cats or other predators before coming to a feeder.

If you or your neighbors have cats low or ground feeding stations are not a good choice for you. If it is important that you feed ground feeding birds do so in an open field at least 20 feet away from any type of cover where cats might hide before attacking.

Remember that birds are smart and recognize threats when they see them. The best thing you can do is give the birds a chance to see anything that would threaten them.

If you'd like to learn more about feeding and identifying the birds attend one of the ACGC's Birding 101 classes. Three classes are being offered this year for your convenience. Birding 101 classes will be held at the Adair County Extension Office, 409 Fairground Street (MAP), Columbia, KY:
  • Saturday January 29, 2011, at 10amCT
  • Saturday February 5, 2011, 10amCT
  • Friday February 11, 2011, at 6:30pmCT
For more information on Birding 101 classes - the Great Backyard Bird Count and how you can participate contact Barbara Armitage (270) 250-2979. "Birds of Kentucky"]" Field Guide by Stan Tekiela and the Adair County Wild Bird Seed Mix are available at Day and Day Feed and Pet, 1011 Campbellsville RD, Columbia, KY. From the Farm, Tucker's Station, Barbara Armitage

This story was posted on 2011-01-23 04:43:35
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Cat Arthur T. Robinson, a KFC man, no threat to wild birds

2011-01-23 - 1535 Bull Run RD, Columbia, KY - Photo by Barbara Armitage.
Peek a boo: Arthur T. Robinson, CMO (Chief Mousing Officer) of Tuckers Station Farms. Arthur is allergic to feathers so his bird of choice for dinner comes from KFC.

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