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I hope what I saw was food!?


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Hello all again from Tampa Florida.  I have an online backyard bird-feeder streaming live on Twitch+Youtube...Check it out sometime!

Top of the Feeder:
www.twitch.tv/birdsiviewcam

Bottom of the Feeder:
www.youtube.com/user/birdsiviewcam

 

I am always learning more and more each day with regards to knowing about my wildlife that surrounds me.  This community has always been the best and appreciate the camaraderie with you all.

But this last feeder experience was something out of the matrix!  I climbed up my ladder to change out the seed that was almost emptied to refill it like I usually do.  This time it was different!  As I was pushing out the seed, I noticed the seed was moving by itself! I had to remain calm as I was on top of a 8 foot ladder as my instinct was to get the heck out of there.  I have been getting better accepting the massive amounts of bugs living here in Florida but this one threw me for a loop!  I must have removed what looked like maggots...hundreds of them on the bottom.  I was mystified because if they were maggots don't they need like dead stuff to eat?  So I took a closer grosser look and took a mental picture and hit the internet to find out if I could match what I saw.  I couldn't get all of them out so I am not sure what I am going to find the next time I change out the seed but this is what they closest looked like below which states maybe it being a black soldier fly larvae?  Next time I will take my own picture and compare.

Now I don't know how they got there or if I have to be concerned with this but if ya'll can assist would be much obliged!

  

pic.jpg

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34 minutes ago, BirdsIviewCam said:

Like a 1/4 of an inch and smaller.  They didn't seem to want to kill me so I just shoveled all of them out into the grass...which I don't know if that was a good thing also because who knows what that action could unleash! 🤔

I think the ones I saw were bigger, like half an inch. Not sure if they get bigger with age.

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@BirdsIviewCam, to clear up one false impression first, no, maggots do not EXCLUSIVELY eat dead material.  'Baby flies' will eat a range of foods, depending on species and environment.  In that, they're a lot like birds.  As to shoveling them out in the grass, birds and other critters will enjoy the extra free protein.

In this case, your bird seed probably got damp.  Yeah, I know, Florida.  When that happens, either the birds won't eat it, or it wouldn't flow through the feeder and out the ports and the birds can't get to it (or both).  Either flies found the damp seeds to be a great place to lay eggs, or there were fly eggs present in the seed when you bought it (or both, again).  Bird seed isn't held to the same sanitary standards as the sunflower seeds we eat, and it doesn't take much moisture for them to hatch.

You don't say how much food your feeder holds but if it's large, try not filling your feeder completely.  Only fill it about halfway or so, and see how many days it takes the birds to empty it.  If it takes more than five, put even less in next time; if it takes less than five days, next time add more.  You may find you get enough traffic to warrant switching to a smaller feeder.  If you get a heavy rain and the seed gets wet, dump it (the birds aren't going to eat it now anyway), wash the feeder and let it dry, and refill it.  

8-foot climb?  Is there somewhere else you can hang the feeder where it would be easier to maintain?  If I was facing that to change or refill, I'd let the seed molder up there until sunflowers were growing out the feeder ports.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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Hello CS...It's a tough life for birds not to mention myself dealing with keeping EVERY other type of wildlife away from the bird feeder.  Squirrels I have kept 100% away from my design...Racoons well I was breached once and I am taking measures to resolve them.  Bear?  well thank goodness not yet but I know they are out there, Crows...solved that with 1/4" wire mesh over the seed.  At this point I am exhausted! 😉 I have a 10lb seed hopper that I fill to the top due to all the bird traffic...Truly is a bunch of fun to watch!

Now that I think about it...About that same time I had a Red-Bellied Woodpecker at the feeder a whole bunch.  I didn't think that woodpeckers eat sunflower seeds but now I think he was only after those larvae!  Those larvae sure do look like sunflower seeds from afar but thanks with the advice in keeping the seed dry.  So true that just a hint of water and those seeds start sprouting like crazy!  Well just a few more months and then back to nicer dryer weather....Oh the lessons I learn.  Fun times!

wood.JPG

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5 hours ago, BirdsIviewCam said:

It's a tough life for birds not to mention myself dealing with keeping EVERY other type of wildlife away from the bird feeder. 

https://naturehouseinc.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=234_77_85&zenid=qsgtbv3qa2vbik9vamocb8njc3

SB2D for feeders mounted on straight poles, SB3 for 4 x 4-mounted.  They may seem pricey but they're about the same price as two 40-pound bags of BOSS and they'll pay for themselves in a few months in what critters can't steal.

Red-bellied will eat sunflower sometimes but yeah, yours was more likely chowing down on the squishies.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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On 8/10/2021 at 9:21 AM, BirdsIviewCam said:

Hello all again from Tampa Florida.  I have an online backyard bird-feeder streaming live on Twitch+Youtube...Check it out sometime!

Top of the Feeder:
www.twitch.tv/birdsiviewcam

Bottom of the Feeder:
www.youtube.com/user/birdsiviewcam

 

I am always learning more and more each day with regards to knowing about my wildlife that surrounds me.  This community has always been the best and appreciate the camaraderie with you all.

But this last feeder experience was something out of the matrix!  I climbed up my ladder to change out the seed that was almost emptied to refill it like I usually do.  This time it was different!  As I was pushing out the seed, I noticed the seed was moving by itself! I had to remain calm as I was on top of a 8 foot ladder as my instinct was to get the heck out of there.  I have been getting better accepting the massive amounts of bugs living here in Florida but this one threw me for a loop!  I must have removed what looked like maggots...hundreds of them on the bottom.  I was mystified because if they were maggots don't they need like dead stuff to eat?  So I took a closer grosser look and took a mental picture and hit the internet to find out if I could match what I saw.  I couldn't get all of them out so I am not sure what I am going to find the next time I change out the seed but this is what they closest looked like below which states maybe it being a black soldier fly larvae?  Next time I will take my own picture and compare.

Now I don't know how they got there or if I have to be concerned with this but if ya'll can assist would be much obliged!

  

pic.jpg

I don't know what they are, but we have them (or something just like them) in out compost.

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