"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Friday, 21 October 2011

Bird feeder update

Following my earlier posting on the bottle I purchased to supply the birds with sweetened weak black rooibos tea (sugar water), I thought you'd like to see the latest news...

In the past seven days the bird feeder had the following visitors...
A cute little Cape Whiteye (capensis) - can you see
him / her hiding in the tree on the left
- checking me out, no doubt :)
Time for a sip, or two, or three... actually
he / she had five
The Cape Whiteye (capensis) eats insects, spiders and spiders eggs, as well as honeydew from aphids.
CW to me; "I can see you hiding there...
Then, what popped by was a...
Black Sunbird (Nectarinia amethystina)!
... stunning male Black Sunbird!
Two good slurps :)
The Black Sunbird eats insects and spiders, as well as the nectar from many indigenous flowers.

Now, half the bottle of sweetened rooibos tea is gone, which is roughly 375 ml (an 8th of a pint).  If the Cape Whiteye had 1ml / sip (5 mls) in those 5 sips, and I allow the same amount for the Sunbirds longer slurp, that would equate to 75 visits to the sugar water bottle since I installed it in the tree.

Between the two I reckon they are providing a vital eco-friendly pest control service to my garden :)  Not too shabby - I am very chuffed, and will definitely be making another couple of bottles for the farm :)

... I just need to quaff the wine, methinks...

Anyway, in half-an-hour we're off to the farm for the weekend - so I'll see you next week :)


  1. oooh wow - I so want one of these. I am going to try and make my own. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Someday I would love for you to do a post on your native wildlife. I would love to see what is outside your backdoor. Have fun at the farm.

  3. There was a post up about feeding hummingbirds. It needs to be just sugar (white NOT brown) and water. Apparently iron contamination from metal parts is fatal for these little birds.

    Have you seen this survey for South Africans about renewable energy?

  4. Now that ought to keep the birds happy for some time to come. We have had about 30 little chicadee birds hanging out in the garden for that past two weeks stuffing themselves with amaranth seed...I love watching them.

  5. Hi Dani - I have the exact same bird feeder! Also have lots of witoogies visiting and they chase the sunbirds away so I bought a second one for them. (Still have to hand it though).
    PS: Thank you so much for your lovely comments and caring - it meant a lot to me.

  6. Very cute...and funny! It's like someone chucked a bottle of whiskey into the bushes and the birds are having a bit of a tipple :)

  7. Very cool! I need to build one for myself.

  8. We were inspired....so tried to drill a hole in a glass bottle....Plan B: Poke a hole in a plastic bottle etc etc. Will let you know whether it works out. Thanks for the great idea.

  9. Slowvelder - I reckon giving it a try can't hurt...

    Jane - Lemme give it a thought - there's not much, but I'll see what I can do :)

    Elephant's Eye - I used white sugar - and no metal LOL But thanks for the tip ad the link - very interesting.

    Mr H - Dunno - at reckon the rate they're consuming the stuff they may end up eating me out of house and home LOL I have sourced the stevia pant - wonder if they'd drink water sweetened with that?

    Christine - I hadn't noticed the White Eyes chasing the sunbirds, but I intend attempting to make one myself, so hopefully there will be plenty to go around. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

    Thomas - Welcome. I thought it was cool too :)

    Mad Dog - Hmmm, reckon there could be a knack to it... ;)

  10. Becky - Welcome. And I can assure you that it works - seriously :)

  11. that is a cool idea!! and seems popular with the birds.. i guess you will have to drink some more wine... for their sake.. :-)

  12. Sprig - They're drinking me out of house an home - 2nd bottle lasted 4 days...!

    Yeah - reckon I could do that for the birds LOL

  13. My garden has now become an aviary. Sugarbird, Sunbird, Weavers, White eyes what with 4 of your rooibos feeders all different design. Wish I could convince Kirstenbosch nursery where they recommend Cochineal to attract birds. Research shows Rooibos actually prolongs life and increases egg production.

    1. I've only ever seen this bottle - where did you find others?

      Yes - a full bottle lasts 2 1/2 days in our garden - the birds love it :) I, too, only drink Rooibos LOL

  14. How do You make the hole and how do you stop it from running out?

  15. CRC - Welcome. I didn't make it, I purchased the bottle from a local nursery. I reckon the angle it is hanging at, plus the rubber grommit in the hole, has something to do with the liquid staying in the bottle until the bird requires it.

  16. Hi There the sunbird is actually a White Bellied sunbird (Cinnyris talatala ) and Not a black sunbird. Great site none the lkess

    1. Philip - Welcome, and thanks for taking the time to comment.

      I stand corrected :) I obviously chose the wrong bird from my Roberts Bird Book...


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