Wednesday, December 19, 2018

2018 Magic Halo Survey Final Results

For 2018, we received 29 survey answers on the performance of the Magic Halo in deterring House Sparrows (HOSP)! As hoped, they were mostly positive.

Whether you have had your Magic Halo since early 2018 and already took that survey -- or only recently came on board with one -- please provide your latest/recent feedback using our 2019 Survey (if you have any questions regarding HOSP identity, please read Sialis' Other Brown Birds first, before participating). Your input is critical to the future of our organization, and whether or not we will continue offering the Magic Halo.

About 80% of all our users report 80-100% solid effectiveness, but results can vary depending on where you live, level of infestation, and time of year. In addition, juvenile HOSP should not be counted, having not yet learned the "danger" of the hanging wires (fortunately, these are relatively few). 2 of the 4 questions in the 2019 survey are geographical, seeking patterns of explanation.

Visit Feeder Watch for a complete description and details about using halos with bird feeders.

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 is a guide for what to look for, adjust, and/or make changes in order to optimize your Halo's performance. But first and foremost, please visit Sialis' Other Brown Birds page to make absolutely sure you are not confusing House Sparrows (HOSP) with other similar native species. Also note that some juvenile HOSP may not be deterred, having not yet learned the "danger" of the hanging wires (fortunately, these are relatively few). Some users complain right away that the Magic Halo isn't effective, and then through troubleshooting, we come to find out that they were seeing female House Finches. These tips will also help you save on the cost of bird seed.
  • 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 8' from the nearest fence, tree, or other objects. It is best to make sure your feeder is at least 5 feet up, as squirrels can jump from the ground. Visit "The Spruce" for an excellent article on the subject.
  • When installing the 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" thick wire ring (the halo itself) is part of the deterrence system. The more contained your feeder is inside the Halo, the more effective.
  • Try a hanging corral, ranch, or "hopper" design bird feeder instead of a tube. Though by no means conclusive, some say 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.
  • 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.
  • Select a bird feeder that does not allow birdseed to simply spill out when jarred or shaken. We have found that most feeders waste an extraordinary amount of seed, especially when attacked by squirrels, Starlings, and HOSP. Droll Yankees are notoriously bad. If you find that your feeder is emptying quickly -- even with the Halo deterring HOSP -- inspect the ground and determine how much seed is shell waste vs whole seed spillage. Starlings and HOSP are very aggressive and sloppy at feeders, so any feeder designed to bring seed up to the station edge is going to waste it. Some birders modify their feeders to raise the station edge, using tape or another means to restrict said spillage.
  • 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 a design of Halo.
  • If you find that HOSP are adapting to your Halo by perching on top, and then dropping down behind the wires, there is a solution: Stretch pond or garden netting over the full diameter of the halo, covering it, using small twist wraps or ties to fasten in place. We find this to be a very rare issue, but a few users have reported it.
  • Finally, if HOSP continue to breach the 4 weighted vertical wires that come standard with your Halo, try adding 2 more. Visit the Support page for simple installation instructions.
If you continue to have issues after taking the precautions above, contact me anytime at admin@magichalo.org

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.

Our mission
is to discourage feeding (and thus 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 all hanging feeder designs  
  • 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, ~2 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).

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Use a binder clip to prevent wire wrapping

Sometimes on a windy day, The Halo wire closest to your pole will wrap around it. Here's a quick and easy way to prevent that. Shown is one large binder clip doing the job for 2 Halos side by side. Simply squeeze and remove the tab and run the wire through it, re-install the tab.

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 that adapt to the human habitat and usurp them.
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.