Web version HERE. Includes:
- Recommendation: Reconsider Summer Feeding
- 2022 Survey reminder (only 3 Qs)
- New Halo Return Policy
- Other News/Misc
We sometimes receive inquiries from customers on how best to store the Magic Halo during non-use periods. Many birders avoid feeding from late Spring thru Summer to avoid enticing juvenile House Sparrows and facilitating adaptation into adulthood.
The best suggestion we have is to hang it on a wall hook, similar to our in-store photos. Here are several examples you can use, in this case, against a white wall. Some customers hang it on a nail behind their shed, for example, or in the shed or other safe structure.
survey feedback indicates that it doesn't always work for everyone. This may be purely contextual, or based on a number of factors that we continually try and explain. And of course, we have no way of knowing if these customers are confusing other brown birds. We continue appealing for feedback, and urge all buyers to participate in our survey.
As expected, about 85% of customers report that the Magic Halo is helping reduce or even eliminate House Sparrows (HOSP) at their feeder. This appears commensurate with Sialis' estimate of a 88-94% deterrence rate in Winter and 84% in Summer. To help disrupt juvenile adaptation, we recommend feeding only in Fall-Winter-Spring. See our most recent post on optimizing your Halo experience, based on our own and customer inputs.
If you haven't already, please take our all-new 2022 survey, just 3 questions. It is important that we keep a pulse on our customer's results in using this device. Thank you so much everyone!
After 5 years of using and 3 years of building and selling Magic Halos as a non-profit cottage industry, the most recent data shows that success is dependent on the following:
Read our Magic Halo User’s Guide for additional tips and advice. You can also join the Facebook groups House Sparrow Control and Birdhouses, Bird Feeders & Garden Designs for Native Species to share your experiences and seek the input of others.
products page. We will also have a Halo tune-up and safety check video coming out with the Spring edition of our newsletter. In the meantime, please review these past titles for anything that may help your bird-feeding and Halo experience:
Survey results appear to be strong, or about 85% of customers report that the halo is helping reduce or even eliminate House Sparrows (HOSP) at their feeder. This appears commensurate with Sialis' estimate of a 88-94% deterrence rate in Winter and 84% in Summer.
|The view over the fence into our neighbor's yard|
|Purple Martin house overtaken by House Sparrows|
One of the most puzzling aspects of bird feeding is how poorly designed most feeders are. It is not uncommon at all to hear folks complaining about refill rates, sometimes multiple times per day. When factoring the cost of good quality seed, this can become very expensive. Fortunately, just sifting through the ground "waste" (usually full of whole, uneaten seed) may provide the clues needed to remedy the situation.
Most commercially available feeders are designed to bring the seed level up and even with the station edge (tube) or trough edge (hopper). That, or with little raised edge to spare. This results in seed falling out even with the tidiest of native birds eating. House Sparrows and Starlings accelerate the problem, by deliberately throwing seed overboard thus emptying these feeders in a fraction of the time. Good design goes a long way toward reducing this.
When choosing your feeder, don't be afraid to ask for a seed fill-up demo to verify that waste is minimized. In the case of a tube, you can easily examine this by looking at the station roof trailing edge. You want to ensure that it comes down at least even with the station edge itself. If it does not, it is likely that the seed will come up too high and readily spill out. The below photos more than illustrate this problem:
Survey Monkey stripped features from our 2021 survey to the point it was dysfunctional and useless. First, they made the comments field a paid feature, which we needed for feedback and testimonials. Their latest move was to cut our number of visible survey results to 40, after we reached 48 and were hoping for 50. This is less than half of what was allowed for unpaid accounts. In a "nutshell", they want us to pay $33/month to run a single survey for an entire year, that has little chance of seeing 100+ participants anytime soon.
That said, we switched to ZoHo, a refreshing new platform that, unlike Survey Monkey, won't put the squeeze on us over the longer term. Simply said, we're not paying $300+/yr for what amounts to very little usage.
We would sincerely appreciate your participation (or re-participation if you already completed the 2021 Survey Monkey survey, even recently) which has been deleted with data unavailable. We lowered it to 2 Questions and an optional comments box, which can be used for feedback or a testimonial. We basically need to replace what was lost, with your help. Click HERE to access the new survey, with only seconds of your time required..
We thank you so much and appreciate your understanding!
--Frankie (Admin, MagicHalo.org).
Pine Siskins (PISI) or House Finches (HOFI).
HERE to participate. It's only 3 multiple choice questions, and 100% safe and secure.
HERE. It's only 3 multiple choice questions, and 100% safe and secure.
Even if you just took the 2020 survey, we ask that you please take this one too, and anytime a new one is presented. This is your chance to record your results, positive or negative. You can also let us know if you have stopped using your Halo for any reason.
Halo efficacy can vary over time. Like FeederWatch, your data helps determine how best to market the Magic Halo -- which in the long run helps wildlife conservation.
Try not to count juvenile HOSP, which are immune to Halos and other lines and wire devices. These can be difficult to discern from adults as the Summer goes on, if you feed year-round.
Visit our website for articles, mods and additional products that may help you to improve Halo performance.
For all issues and inquiries, please contact us at: email@example.com. Thank you so much!
Thanks to Cornell U's Lab of Ornithology, we might have a better understanding of when House Sparrows (HOSP) fully mature. Juveniles are generally immune to halos and other lines/wires devices. According to this infographic, HOSP may not reach adulthood until sometime in mid-Nov, on average, throughout its range. We continue to wonder if continued adaptation is the case, especially if HOSP are resident and mature on site, where you live.
Bird-X model. Then, upon its disappearance from the shelves, we started hand making and selling our own. Theirs or ours, House Sparrows (HOSP) were 100% eliminated -- not just from our feeders (2, pure black oil sunflower and safflower), but from the entire gardens it seemed.