Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Magic Halo Newsletter, Late Autumn 2022

Web version HERE. Includes:

  • 2022 Magic Halo Survey still open
  • Welcome new customers
  • Shop to close for Summer 2023
  • Other News/Misc

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Magic Halo Newsletter, Spring 2022

Web version HERE. Includes:

  • Recommendation: Reconsider Summer Feeding
  • 2022 Survey reminder (only 3 Qs)
  • New Halo Return Policy
  • Other News/Misc

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Storage Technique for your Magic Halo

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.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Magic Halo Newsletter, Winter 2022

Web version HERE. Includes:

  • 2022 Survey is here! (only 3 Qs)
  • As we enter our 4th year . . .
  • Past links you may have missed
  • Other News/Misc

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Limited Magic Halo Money-Back Guarantee (policy)

A situation occurred recently where a customer purchased 3 Magic Halos, then due to efficacy issues, returned them for a refund. This is a reminder that new users should purchase one (1) Halo to start, in order to try it out first and make sure it works as expected. Though most of our customers are satisfied, 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.

Because of the above situation, if you purchase multiple Halos with no prior experience using the device, we can only offer a money back guarantee on one (1) Halo. You are welcome to return the others and we will assess their condition for possible refurbishment. If they can be refreshed and resold, we will consider a partial refund there as well. To qualify, you must be certain of less than 50% efficacy after 60 days of use, after troubleshooting with the recommendations in our User Guide. Shipping is the responsibility of the customer.

Please see our Disclaimer for further info about Halo efficacy, including how the device was invented, studied, and originally marketed. Thanks for your understanding  -Admin, MH

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

2021 Magic Halo Survey, Final Results

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!

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

As we enter our 4th year . . .

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:

  • Feeder systems out in the open, away from trees, shrubs, garden furniture, fences, rails and other perch areas that serve as gathering and launch points.
  • Fall-Winter-Spring feeding only. Juvenile HOSP are immune, therefore, remove feeding systems through Summer and into early Autumn. The later in the Fall you restart, the higher your Halo efficacy is likely to be (winter is highest).
  • Feed husk seeds only (black oil sunflower, safflower). HOSP will crack and eat these, but they much prefer millet, seed hearts and other readily eaten foods. If other opportunities are present, they may divert elsewhere.
  • An area or neighborhood that is free from deliberate or otherwise abundant HOSP nesting facilities. For example, if people are providing nest boxes with 1.25"+ holes without monitoring, local colonization will be high with increased rates of juvenile Halo adaptation.
  • Hanging wires that are long enough to cover the lowest perch on your feeder. Failure to do so could see HOSP flying in from below (ext’s here).
  • Adding additional hanging wires remains subjective. Results are mixed from customer to customer. We always recommend starting with 4 wires, upping it to 6 if it appears all else has failed (<75% efficacy). Often times, buyers of 6 keep the extra 2 as spares.
  • A fairly level Halo; if your shepherd hook is too small, and is forcing it down on an angle, pull open the hoop at one of the inside crossbar set screws and bring it around the staff (staff now inside the Halo).
  • Acceptance that you may not reach 100% Halo efficacy. Adjust your expectations to e.g. 80-90%. The Magic Halo is a HOSP deterrent, not -proof. One can only determine this by carefully observing with vs w/o use of the Halo and its hanging wires. If you observe fewer HOSP with the Halo, then continued use still makes sense.
IF you are unable to eradicate the majority of HOSP regardless of steps taken, consider adding a platform or tray below your feeder(s) to contain fallen seed. HOSP by nature are very aggressive birds, and this also shows in their eating habit. Feeders mobbed by HOSP will empty it in very little time, with most seed going to the ground uneaten. A tray will at least help contain and ensure that most of your seed investment remains at the feeder, and does get eaten. Trays also help facilitate Cardinals, and will make it easier for them to overcome their mild aversion to lines/wires.

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. 

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Magic Halo 3-years in Review

To start 2022 in a good direction, let’s recap the most critical articles of the past few years. Some of our customers have passed the 3-year warranty point of their Magic Halo, and should be mindful of the toll that the elements may take on it. We carry all replacement parts at lower cost than retail from e.g. Lowes or Home Depot, available just by emailing us. Replacement wire sets are already offered on our 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:
It is important to note
that Magic Halo is a conservation-minded cottage industry. We do everything we possibly can to minimize cost, and bring you this product at the lowest price possible. If you were to round up the parts individually at e.g. Lowes, it would cost you more to build one of this quality yourself – never mind the labor involved. Just the 24 AWG wire roll alone costs $6, for example. Therefore, we are very happy that we can bring this product to you -- and it arrives with minimal cost and assembly required!  😇