As if squirrels weren't bad enough, with their ability to break their way into bird feeders to gorge on the contents, parakeets are even worse. Their agility and strong claws enable them to approach the feeders from any angle and direction and they then use their razor-sharp bills to hack their way through plastic and wire to get at the tempting peanuts.
This bird feeder had lasted for three years and had outwitted the squirrels, but it was no match for the pesky parakeets. Just look at the havoc their beaks wreaked on the wire at the bottom. And, being such large birds, they set the feeder swinging so that peanuts tumbled out to the delight of squirrels and pigeons waiting below.
Expensive feeder No 2 lasted even less time. The parakeets simply bit away the plastic that was meant to deter larger birds, leaving gaping holes and gobbled the nuts to their hearts' content.
I went on line and looked at various designs and finally plumped for this one from the RSPB, perfectly perforated to allow access to the smallest beaks only.
I hung it on the tree. A parakeet arrived. It tried it this way...
It tried it that way...
... and finally it gave up altogether!
Since that day a week ago, not one squirrel or parakeet has tried getting the nuts, BUT... there have been some attempts at sabotage. I keep seeing puzzled blue tits perched on the tree gazing longingly at the feeder and when I go out to see what's wrong, I find the two metal screw-in perches lying in the grass below. Something is responsible - squirrel or parakeet? - but so far I have failed to spot the culprit. Who is your money on?