The IKEA Socker Bird Feeder DIY project succeeded beyond our expectations! While the installation of the window feeder occurred more than a few weeks ago, the birds did not feel comfortable feeding from it until the beginning of this week. They did a lot of fly-bys, but nobody was brave enough to actually land on it.
One of the ways we coaxed the birds to use the new feeder was to stop putting bird seed in the other feeders in the RainyDayGarden. Eventually, they started to come around to the idea that if they wanted their tasty treats, they had to take the risk and land on that new-fangled contraption near the window.
To get the shots, we moved a large plant in front of the window (or behind it, from the bird's perspectivee) and set the camera up next to it. The shots were taken remotely with an IR trigger. We hope this setup will allow us to move around behind the scene without startling the visitors.
The sparrows are the most frequent visitors to the RainyDayGarden feeders and were the first to adapt to the new 2nd story unit. Next came the cardinals. The blue jays, while the biggest, were the last to secure enough to land on the Socker.
We had a lot of problems photographing the blue jays. We knew they were visiting the feeder because the peanuts would all disappear. However, we kept missing the shots. At first they were landing with quite a bit of ruckus, so it was not hard to know when they were feeding. However, they quickly figured out how to land, snatch up a peanut, and fly off...all without making a sound. After trying fruitlessly for days, we finally managed to snag a pic of a blue jay at the feeder. It was still raining so he looked a little bedraggled. Still, a pic is a pic.
Free food, shelter from the rain, what's not to like? There is plenty of room for everybody...and pay no attention to the cat behind the rubber tree plant. The window feeder, while great for the birds, has turned out to be an even bigger draw for the interns. Milo spent the entire day watching "CatTV."
Every so often, his natural instincts would get the better of him and he would go into predator mode. Smacking into the pane of glass would quickly snap him back to reality...much to the amusement of the birds.
We have not yet managed to get any really "great" photo of the visitors. The problem may be having to shoot through the glass of the window and the plastic panel of the feeder at the same time. Also, even though the rig is remotely triggered, the triggering is still manual. To get more pics, we need to set up something that triggers automatically. We hope to have some ideas on how to do that soon! [Permalink] - IKEA Socker Hack: Window Bird Feeder Update