Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Latest Magic Halo Instructional Video

Here is our latest instructional video for the Magic Halo ("Classic" model shown). As you will see, it is VERY easy to assemble and install. Contact us at: admin@magichalo.org if you have any questions. Thanks!

 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Magic Halo Tips and Troubleshooting

A caged tube feeder contained within a
Magic Halo. This setup deters House
Sparrows and Starlings.
The following will help you adjust, and/or make changes in order to optimize your Magic Halo's performance. It will also help limit birdseed waste and thus reduce cost. But first and foremost, please visit Sialis' Other Brown Birds page to make absolutely sure you are not confusing adult House Sparrows (HOSP) with other similar native species. In terms of what to expect, please read this article from Feeder Watch.

NOTE: Juvenile HOSP may not be deterred, having not yet learned the "danger" of the hanging wires. Usually, these aren't many, however, some users have reported large numbers of these “juvies” during the breeding season and into Summer. Also, HOSP may begin tolerating the halo in poor weather or desperation. Please see our disclaimer as of Jan 2020.

TIPS & ADVICE:
  • First: Make sure your pole & hook system is squirrel-proof, by using a baffle mounted about 4' high from the ground. Also place it as far into the open as possible, as squirrels can leap as far as 10' from the nearest fence, tree, or other objects. It is best to make sure your feeder is at least 6 feet from the ground, as squirrels can jump up as high as 5 feet. Visit "The Spruce" for an excellent article on the subject.
  • When installing your Magic Halo, hang the feeder as high and close to the hanger as possible. Many feeders have a needlessly long tether, and this may cause the lower portions of the feeder to hang below the plane of the vertical wire nuts. If the tether can be shortened, by either looping or knotting it, it is best to do so as the 20" hoop (the halo itself) is part of the deterrence system. The more contained your feeder is inside the Halo, the more effective. If necessary, consider lengthening the wires. We carry these simple wire extenders for the purpose.
  • Straiten the hanging wires: Run your fingers down each vertical wire, pinching the entire length, to ensure they are straight and not bent or wavy. We are not clear how much difference this makes, but the original halo was intended for use with these being as linear as possible.
  • Try using a corral, or "hopper" design bird feeder instead of a tube. It is thought that halos can work more effectively depending on the type of feeder used. This short video, however, shows it working excellent with a tube feeder.
  • Consider feeding only one seed type per feeder, as opposed to mixing it. Birds often become food-fixated and if your seed is the mixed variety, they will dig and dig looking for just that one seed they want -- spilling everything else in the process. In the winter months, we typically do black oil sunflower in our main feeder, and millet in a window feeder -- both protected by our Window Half-Halo.
  • Consider which seed type(s) you are feeding. HOSP are used to eating garbage, and thus aren't used to cracking shells to get at it. According to Sialis, just switching to black oil sunflower alone can eliminate most HOSP from your feeder unless they are desperate. They also recommend straight safflower.
  • If you find that adult HOSP are adapting to your Halo by perching on top, and then dropping down behind the wires, consider covering the hoop with pond netting, By request, we can send you a pre-cut section that will fit neatly over the Halo with ~1" overlap. Small tie wraps or the vertical wire hangers/clips themselves can be used to fasten it in place. We find this to be an infrequent issue, but a few users have reported it.
  • Finally, if adult HOSP still continue to breach your Magic Halo, adding 2 more hanging wires (for a total of 6) may be your best bet. The "Deluxe" model is designed for additional wires, and the "Classic" can be readily adapted (instruction video HERE). 
If you continue to have issues (< 2/3 deflection) after taking the precautions above, contact us anytime at admin@magichalo.org to discuss a path forward.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Deter House Sparrows from your hanging feeder with a Magic Halo

This simple, hand-crafted device is designed for hanging bird feeders. For most users, it discourages 80-100% of non-native adult House/English Sparrows (HOSP). Many experience 100% effectiveness, but results can vary depending on where you live, level of infestation, and time of year. Visit Feeder Watch for a complete description and details about using Halos.

Please note that Juvenile HOSP may not be deterred, having not yet learned the "danger" of the hanging wires. Usually, these aren't many, however, some users have reported large numbers of “juvies” during the breeding season and into Summer. Also, HOSP may begin tolerating the halo in poor weather or desperation. Please see our 2020 disclaimer for details.

Our mission
is to discourage feeding (and nesting) of HOSP, and thus help increase the numbers of native sparrows, finches, songbirds, and all others that come to feeders. Included with your purchase:
  • 20" diameter works for most hanging feeder designs (email us with any questions) 
  • Hunter Green enamel finish with 12 AWG (3/32") thick galvanized aluminum hoop
  • Use of 24 AWG galvanized weighted steel wires to resist bird tangling and/or injury
  • Drastically reduce or eliminate feeding non-native, invasive HOSP to encourage native species
  • Designed for hanging feeders using 1/2" (or less) thick Shepherd hooks
  • Simply hang between hook and bird feeder
  • Hang feeder as high up and close to the halo as possible
  • With more targeted feeding, expect lower volume and cost of birdseed
  • $29 cost reflects materials cost, ~3 hours labor, and packaging of item
  • Easy assembly in only a few minutes
For more information, email us at: admin@magichalo.org



The birds flying up at, and then away from the Halo-protected feeder in the above video are HOSP. The device definitely works, with only an occasional breach, allowing the use of feeders by native birds. If you find it is not at least reducing HOSP, you may return your Halo for a complete refund (+ one-way shipping).

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Experimenting with a Bluebird nest box

We have a customer from Fort Wayne IN mounting our Magic Halo over a Bluebird nest box. As many of you know, HOSP invading birdhouses and terrorizing native birds already using them is very disheartening, to say the least. Victims most often include Swallows and Bluebirds.

While we cannot guarantee positive results in birdhouse applications, our "test" customer is having wonderful success using the halo, having tried a "sparrow spooker" first without luck. Stay tuned for more updates as we learn of them!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Testimonial from North Andover, MA

"It seems to be working really well. Yesterday there were a few [HOSP] being a bit persistent around the halo but they didn't enter.  They are certainly pesky little birds. I also noticed them on my other bluebird feeder with mealyworms. I have 2 pair of bluebirds actively visiting that feeder so I wonder if I should get another one for that feeder? I take it you think it will not deter the bluebirds?" -- Josselyn

This is wonderful to hear! The Magic Halo is not known to impact Bluebirds; mainly House Sparrows. Thank you so much for the feedback, we hope to hear from you again soon!


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Our first customer is from Indianapolis IN!

Lesly and her hubby are from Indianapolis IN. They ordered one of our Magic Halos, and immediately saw results! We welcome them as we begin to grow a close-knit customer base, working together to ward off those pesky House Sparrows!

Thank you so much Lesly, for coming on board!


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Story Behind Magic Halo

Frank Warnock (Admin, Magic Halo/Bird Feeder Halo) has been an advocate for walking, bicycling, and wildlife conservation his entire adult life. The idea to fight decline of native species was inspired by his (and other Advocate’s) devastating loss in trying to save 180 acres of critical habitat area, wetlands, and open space in Ogletown, Delaware. This occurred at the hands of Government corruption and profiteering, at the expense of threatened and endangered species, and can never be recovered. Such loss of biodiversity is directly responsible for declining native bird populations, while facilitating an increase in House Sparrows (HOSP) and other non-native birds.
As a Technical Specialist by trade, Frank has put his skills to work in order to assist other bird feeding enthusiasts. First was producing a 20" version of the "Magic Halo", a device that was originally invented at the University of Nebraska to deter non-native House Sparrows (HOSP). Others include a hanger device to deter Starlings from Suet feeders, and Caging kits for Corral/Hopper/Ranch-style feeders to help guard against Blackbird raids. Similar products for window bird feeders and to adapt deterrent systems to pole-mounted feeders are in the works also. Some of Frank's favorite affiliations over 35 years include the Bicycle Touring Club of North Jersey, NY/NJ Trail Conference, White Clay Bicycle Club (DE), Rails to Trails Conservancy, Wetlands Institute (NJ), Delaware Nature Society, etc.
We hope you find our services helpful in your endeavor to efficiently feed native American birds to the exclusion of non-native. We must work together toward a more resilient natural world. Please “Like” us here on Facebook and share with others for all the latest tips and strategies for feeding native birds while (hopefully) forcing non-native into decline.
R.I.P. Orphanage Property, critical habitat, wetlands, and open space being destroyed through Govt corruption, at the hands of  both New Castle County and the State of Delaware.