At last the doves have found the little birdhouse feeder !!!
Three weeks ago we set it up on the lawn, but no bird went near it for at least 2 weeks.
It's a lightweight construction, free standing with a feeding platform with a roof, that I bought from Ezibuy for a good price. It came as a flatpack which we assembled outside on the concrete but, as with most directions you follow for assembling items yourself, it took two of us to understand the instructions. I had the legs pointing upwards at one stage. Ha!
Once built an immediate fault was that it's free standing nature meant the entire thing could easily be blown over. That first week we set it out on the lawn a big storm hit, so it fell over about 6 times before I finally tucked it against the house to be safe. No point to that, because the birds then couldn't access it.
In an attempt to encourage them into the feeder house we attached a perch at each side of the platform, so the birds could sit outside the roof area if they wished. We made the perches (and we have several other perches poked into the lawn and some under other trees) from spare broom handles that you buy at a hardware store - they're cheap and easy to make and the end result is a nice, smooth perch that won't damage the birds' feet.
To combat the falling-over problem, last weekend I went searching for pegs to secure the little house firmly to the ground. At a local garden centre I found stiff wire U-shaped 'pegs' that I poked into the lawn, tilted forwards on an angle, hooking them over the legs near the end. So far, so good and the house stayed upright through the heavy wind and rain that we experienced last weekend.
Late yesterday afternoon I moved the little house further into the centre of the lawn and this morning.........
Happy doves now using the feeder house, the perches and the birdbath - our bird cafe is complete.
Before I go! Spot the gorgeous bottle brush now flowering in the background of the above picture.
Here's a closer shot.
This is a pink bottle brush and is most attractive when it's pretty pink brushes are in bloom. We have two of the pink ones, which I've planted along my Tui corridor.
When we first moved to Stillwater, I noticed how the Tui's constantly flew in the same direction, to and from our large gum tree. To encourage them to hang around our place a bit longer, I planted more of their favourite nectar bushes and trees along this flight line. These include the two pink bottlebrush's, a Kowhai tree and an Iochroma tree. There was already a big bottle brush (a red one) and the big gum tree, so now, with the planting of the new corridor of their favourites we have quite a bunch of happy Tui's flicking around our garden.
Another thing about Tui's, that we've noticed, is that they love clean fresh water to bathe in. They must watch me when I change the birdbath water each day because, within minutes of me doing it a tui will swoop down for a bath. They dive into the water and swoosh about, then flick up onto the perch for a quick preen, then dive back into the water again and so on. One day we counted a Tui diving back into the water 9 times, preening himself between each dive, before he finally flew up into the gum tree.
What beautiful, regal, amazing birds they are.