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    Accessible Bird Feeders

    Hi everyone...

    I am interested in setting up bird feeders on my balcony and wondered if any of you had any suggestions for a style of feeder or a way in which to mount/hang one that I can lower to fill. I've considered a pulley system but I want to do this in the most aesthetically pleasing way to avoid obstructing my lovely view. I currently have 'huggable' rail boxes that I'm using as feeders while my summer plants are all dormant but the squirrels can too easily access the seed and frankly, i'm tired of all the urine and feces they leave. Come Spring I want to use my balcony and replant my rail boxes. As you can see in the photo, I have a wooden arch that I can easily screw something into. Thanks in advance.
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    #2
    You certainly have a great view. I have the same problem, the squirrels are a PIA but I get enjoyment out of watching them too. Using a tube type feeder you could even install eye screws (rather than a pully) with a cord to to raise/lower the feeder(s).

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      #3
      What kind of birds? Do you have hummingbirds or oriels? Squirrels will usually not go after those feeders.

      You can find some options for squirrel proof feeders, but they will not be cheap. Here are a few options:

      http://shop.wbu.com/p/wbu-eliminator...of-bird-feeder

      https://wiki.ezvid.com/best-squirrel...saAgA8EALw_wcB

      https://birdwatchinghq.com/squirrel-proof-bird-feeders/

      https://ahjoo.com/top-best-squirrel-...-sale-reviews/

      https://www.doorstepzoo.com/best-squ...feeder-review/

      http://www.birdsforever.com/yankee-f...d-feeders.html

      http://drollyankees.com/product/yank...r-bird-feeder/

      https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ABGSX4S...i-a=B00ABGSX4S

      As far as hanging, if your feeder is heavy, you might want to go with a swing arm that attaches to your deck rail like this:

      https://www.amazon.com/SwingArm-USA-...rm+bird+feeder

      For pulley systems, you might want to look at one like this, but note there is only an 8 lb. capacity, so could not use this for some larger feeders: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Plant-Caddi...t-Hook/3678514

      (KLD)
      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

      Comment


        #4
        We use the pulleys, in part due to the squirrels. Ended up having to go with a steel cable, which actually nice because it blends in well. Squirrels were chewing through the rope we had used and would drop the whole feeder which of course broke a part and they had a feast.

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          #5
          Sounds great! Location is important as we have found the birds knock out a LOT of seed. Hopefully your location will allow the dropping seed to hit the ground and not the balcony.
          We've used pulleys in the past. Perhaps a small reacher will help secure it for reloading.

          Comment


            #6
            We run our cable from our deck to a tree. Create a large loop with the feeder in the middle. We had ours put fairly high to keep the squirrels off of those and put out others for the squirrels since they are fun to watch.

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              #7
              Sorry, I saw the thread title "Accessible bird feeder", and thought, wow, she must have a lot of disabled birds in her area.
              "It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

              Comment


                #8
                I have same issue. Unfortunately, we haven't come up with a solution for me to do it myself so my husband has to fill it up for me several times a week. I wish I could still do it myself but I have one of those squirrel proof feeders that is too heavy for my reacher to lift up. Thankfully, I can use it to change my suet feeder though.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Maybe like use the real on a fishing pole as the crank to raise and lower it off of a pulley?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by oncetherwasagirl View Post
                    I am interested in setting up bird feeders on my balcony and wondered if any of you had any suggestions for a style of feeder or a way in which to mount/hang one that I can lower to fill. I've considered a pulley system but I want to do this in the most aesthetically pleasing way to avoid obstructing my lovely view.
                    Hard (for me!) to see depth in the photo but I assume the curved arch is the outer wall of the house? The vertical uprights see to be interior to that (?) I also can only guess as to how tall you sit in your chair relative to the top of the railing...

                    Perhaps consider mounting the feeder at a height that just clears the railing (hopefully, that's low enough for you to fill it). Then, move it outward, OFF the balcony when "in use".

                    This lets any spillage from the feeder fall to the ground, below (instead of leaving a mess on your balcony). More importantly, it takes the weight of the feeder and the lifting/lowering mechanism out of the equation.

                    Having a hinged (left-to-right) arm fastened to the building exterior (or the underside of that arch) and a FIXED LENGTH rope/cable/chain reduces your effort to just that of pulling the feeder (arm) in, filling it and then swinging it back out. An eyelet/hook can be mounted on the underside of the swing arm that you grab onto with a pole, from your seat. Store the pole in a corner of the balcony (or fastened to the railing for easy access).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      We have a shepherd's hook style feeder which keeps it high enough off the ground that the squirrels cannot reach and it is far enough from trees and the house that they cannot jump. Our setup actually has 4 hooks forming an X, and it is low enough that I can reach the ones on the near side from my chair. For the one on the far side, I got one of those metal poles with a hook on the end like they use to hang clothes on high racks in a clothing store. I don't know your level of injury, but if you have a fairly strong upper body, it is easy to take down and put up the feeders with it.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Not sure this would work as I live in a high rise and not allowed to have anything hanging beyond the railing and I have no where to foothold it (cement balcony). I've tried birdhouses on poles before, that I planted into a cedar barrel but the squirrels got to them way too easily. Crafty buggers!!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by DeadEye View Post
                          Sorry, I saw the thread title "Accessible bird feeder", and thought, wow, she must have a lot of disabled birds in her area.
                          hahaha... well with these large windows, I do get a lot of casualties lol

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by automation View Post
                            Hard (for me!) to see depth in the photo but I assume the curved arch is the outer wall of the house? The vertical uprights see to be interior to that (?) I also can only guess as to how tall you sit in your chair relative to the top of the railing...

                            Perhaps consider mounting the feeder at a height that just clears the railing (hopefully, that's low enough for you to fill it). Then, move it outward, OFF the balcony when "in use".

                            This lets any spillage from the feeder fall to the ground, below (instead of leaving a mess on your balcony). More importantly, it takes the weight of the feeder and the lifting/lowering mechanism out of the equation.

                            Having a hinged (left-to-right) arm fastened to the building exterior (or the underside of that arch) and a FIXED LENGTH rope/cable/chain reduces your effort to just that of pulling the feeder (arm) in, filling it and then swinging it back out. An eyelet/hook can be mounted on the underside of the swing arm that you grab onto with a pole, from your seat. Store the pole in a corner of the balcony (or fastened to the railing for easy access).
                            My balcony is only 5 feet wide and all cement except the arch which is wood (hence the ability to hang my windchimes). I am not allowed to have anything hanging further out than the railing (per threat of hitting anyone below). I'm over five stories high and people walk below so I don't want anyone injured, nor do I want my neighbors having to clean up after 'my' birds lol. I'm not opposed to cleaning up birdseed, it's really the squirrel poo and urine that I dislike. I also have a new neighbor who's decided it would be fun to leave peanuts out for the squirrels. Sadly they use my balcony as a freeway to leave the building. All the replys thus far have given me some good ideas though, so I think I can rig something up.

                            (I'm 3'9 seated, T-11)

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by oncetherwasagirl View Post
                              My balcony is only 5 feet wide and all cement except the arch which is wood (hence the ability to hang my windchimes). I am not allowed to have anything hanging further out than the railing (per threat of hitting anyone below). I'm over five stories high and people walk below so I don't want anyone injured, nor do I want my neighbors having to clean up after 'my' birds lol.
                              Ah! Sorry, I assumed it was a single-family residence -- where your own sense of propriety was all that mattered! "Aesthetically pleasing" is always the tough criteria to meet!

                              I'm not opposed to cleaning up birdseed, it's really the squirrel poo and urine that I dislike. I also have a new neighbor who's decided it would be fun to leave peanuts out for the squirrels. Sadly they use my balcony as a freeway to leave the building. All the replys thus far have given me some good ideas though, so I think I can rig something up.

                              (I'm 3'9 seated, T-11)
                              We'd never seen a squirrel, here -- until we hung the birdfeeder! This is what prompted us to mount the feeder on a swing arm (to get it out past the roofline si the little RATS couldn't jump onto it).

                              We, ultimately, replaced the birdfeeder with a HUMMINGbird feeder (they're far more interesting to watch). No need to swing the arm way out OFF the porch for them (though they have a habit of "squirting" as they depart the feeder!)

                              Instead, we replaced the squirrel problem with a woodpecker problem (they try to drink the sugarry water through the same hole that the hummingbirds would). And, they're so large that they end up jostling the feeder, causing it to spill sugar-water onto the porch (can you spell "ANTS"?).

                              Finally, we learned that the BATS would target the feeder if left out, overnight -- emptying it in a single evening! So, now use the swingarm to lift the feeder into a "dock" that covers it overnight.

                              [Our swingarm is arranged so that moving the arm also raises/lowers the feeder -- a simple mechanism but hard to describe. So, we have it raise into the dock, from below, instead of having to take it down each evening and put it back up, each morning]

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