Tufted Titmouse taking a "Handout"

"Hand-feeding Birds"

The following photo shows "Freddie Feeder" set up to accustom back yard Birds to eat from the 2 Cups fastened to the arms of the Lawn Chair. After several days, you wear a similar Shirt, sit on the Chair and put on the Hat. Before long, Song Birds will begin to visit the Cups. Then you let the cups empty and hold the seeds in your outstretched hands.

In the mid Atlantic region, Chickadees are least afraid, followed by Titmice. The more visitors you get, the more other species are attracted. With patience, you will have them following you around the yard expecting "handouts".

If you live in an area where the Birds are especially shy, succeeding generations will be tamer as the young Birds learn to eat from your hand, and later bring their own youngsters for a handout.

Chickadees will land on your head. They will search your anatomy for Sunflower Seeds. They will become so tame, that they sit on your car mirror when you came home, waiting for you to get out. It's a good feeling to have Wild Birds so trusting of a Human Being.


Details:
A 2" X 12" board is screwed to each arm of a plastic lawn chair. The 1/2"  screw goes up through the arm into the wood. The plastic Cups have 1/2" screws going down into the board.

The Shirt is held in place with Clamps as shown. The Hat is hung on a wire that's bent up from the back of the Lawn Chair. The end of the wire has a loop bent into it like a halo to hold the Hat.

The Chair is put near your regular Feeder which Birds have been visiting. Pick a location with shrubbery or twigs near the Chair so Birds can land there. The Cups are kept filled and the regular Feeder is allowed to get empty. Soon the Birds will be visiting the Cups instead.

Birds feed most actively just after sun-up and about an hour before sundown, depending on your locality. Plan to man the Lawn Chair at these times. Tie your pets and tell your family not to disturb you. Use drab clothing; beige, brown, and camouflage are fine.

Remove the Hat from the wire and wear it low over your eyes. Sit right down on the clamped Shirt. Be still as a rock. When a bird approaches you, close one eye. They seem more trusting of a 1-eyed Creature. Don't become impatient. "All good things take time".

Expect to sit at least a half hour. You may have a relatively tame bird come to eat rather quickly, or maybe yours are timid and may take more time. But the results are worth the effort. After they start eating from the Cups, put Seeds in your outstretched hands.

Songbirds can be taught to come to a sound you make. If you always tap on the feeder, or whistle or sing or call, they will associate this sound with food, and learn to come when they hear it.


Bluebirds, Robins and Woodpeckers are attracted to Mealworms, which are easy to raise from stock bought from a supplier. Bluebirds are seldom attracted to Bird Feeders, so they require special treatment.

To tame Bluebirds, put a rather large container, like an inverted garbage can lid, near your active Bluebird House. Use a dozen Mealworms from a refrigerated container so they will not be overactive. Provide some shade, or the Mealworms may ecsape or die.

Soon the Bluebirds will notice the Mealworms and begin feeding on them. As soon as the container is empty, replace it with a smaller container and another dozen Mealworms. This new container should be about 6" wide by 2" high with straight slippery sides to confine crawling Mealworms.

You can change the location of the new Mealworm container by gradually moving it as much as 20 feet between fillings toward your planned location. The eventual location can be under the edge of a shade Tree or even the edge of your porch. Keep in mind that Bluebirds are  more inclined to feed in open areas.

You may want to gradually move the container to a window sill. Then you can sit inside with the window open just enough for your arm to hold the container outside. As the Bluebirds become accustomed to your arm, you can gradually open the window until you are in full sight.
Then move your chair right outside the window, and be patient.

Very early Spring may be the best time to tame Songbirds, when natural wild food is least available. Later you may notice a dwindling of your Beggars, as they pair up with their own kind, and search out vacant territories to pursue their Biblical mission of raising young to perpetuate their species.

It's novel to have a "wild" Bird follow you like a domesticated pet. You may have to wear a Straw Hat with a deep crown to have a place to put Bird food, so you can get some outdoor work done with your hands. Let us know how you make out.







Always wear the same dull colored clothing while you are taming your Song Birds.
A change of color or pattern may make them more hesitant to visit your hand.


A Black-capped Chickadee returns for another Sunflower Seed



"Freddie Feeder" at work, getting Song Birds accustomed to your appearance.



Two beggars seen here - a dozen more in nearby shrubbery.



Even more beggars waiting in unseen bushes.



Soon you will have feathered beggars coming to the Kitchen window for a "hand out".



Be Very careful that they do not get inside, but in case one does;  wait until dark; shine a flashlight in their eyes, and carefully pick them up. (You may get pecked).
Wait until daylight to put them outdoors.










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