I think I've created a monster, in more ways than one.
My little feeder attracts so many birds! There are four perches, and depending on species and gender, sometimes they will share a perch (but most often they not only want their own perch, they try to drive birds off the other two nearest them, too). Usually there are 20 or more trying to get onto the feeder.
The downside of this is they eat a lot of seed. A lot. A whole bag per week, and a bag costs $25. That's a darned lot of money for wild birds that really could feed themselves. (I have to feed them one of the more expensive foods. Since I live in an apartment, it has to be something they won't toss out and make a mess with, or something they have to shell and make a mess with the leftovers. )
The bird seed attracts squirrels. Nearly from the beginning, they seemed to understand about windows and had no fear of Ellie. I bet you can guess how crazy this makes her. View from our window:
If not for the glass, I could reach out and touch the squirrels from inside, that's how close they are. That's how they sleep, too -- all four limbs hanging down and their heads resting on the surface. (Them in that pose makes Ellie especially crazy.)
I only confirmed the third piece to this ecosystem situation tonight, and I'm unhappy about it. I suspected for the last few days, but now I know for sure: I'm attracting cats. Or rather, the birds and squirrels are. This is bad. The birds (mourning doves and others) eat on the ground. I don't want cats killing them!
Darned neighbors, I can't believe they let their cats roam free around here. Would you believe that Siamese is back? The one I tried to catch a while back? Without a collar again. I think he must be skilled at slipping out of it.
I don't know what to do about the cats. I don't think there's anything I can do. :/