Please do not reuse the plastic onion/vegetable bags for the wild birds. I had used the bags for well over five years without a problem. It took one incident to change my mind about using these bags.
On a cold winter day, a bird had its' leg tangled in the netting and could not get loose. It was a horrible sight to see and hear. Luckily, I was home and able to cut the netting to release the bird. It was so stressful for the bird, and also for me. Fortunately, it happened in an area that I was able to reach. We had several bags filled with suet high on tree branches that my husband hung and it would have been impossible for me to reach.
If I was not home to free the bird, it would have died from the cold or exhaustion, and its' leg would have definitely been broken since it was twisting and turning to free itself.
I see this idea used very often and I hope everyone reconsiders using these netted bags to feed the birds. It only happened once to me and after that incident, I would not ever want to take that chance again.
Use the wired cages to feed the birds. I have purchased them in dollar discount stores at times, and at the end of season in clearance at a reasonable price. Even at the full price, it is well worth the purchase since they do last a very long time.
The plastic netted bags can be reused for other ideas. You can ball them up and use for a scrubby or use them when you shop for your produce. I like to use the larger bags for what I call "throw-away" rags. I save old worn out articles of clothing that I cut into various sizes. I hang it so it is easy to find. When anyone has a messy clean up, and the rags are too dirty/greasy to wash, they use the "rag bag" and throw the rags away.
By mkymlp from PA
I had never heard of using netted bags to feed birds before, but it makes sense to me that sooner a later a bird would get its claws caught in one. Glad you were there to rescue the poor bird.
I have a plexiglass birdfeeder on my window. This morning there was a bird in it. I couldnt help but notice that he could only stand on one leg. The other leg just hung there, helpless. I dont know what happened to this poor bird, but it broke my heart to see him that way.
Also, he had to be vigilant as with birds there is a pecking order. Because he was the weakest one, the larger and healthier birds would push him out of the feeder.
The fatty balls we buy here for the birds come in individual net bags. I, too, always remove them and put the balls in the feeder. The jackdaws were adept at knocking the feeder down and stealing the balls so I had to secure it to a hook on my bird table. They could have choked on the bags.
Thanks for posting this, I usually make my own suet and drop it in one of those bags and hang it outside. Now I will stop. I never thought about the possible entanglement!
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We bought bird netting too, I had a couple of small tomatoes ruined by birdie beaks. Early on there were a couple of nice peppers and a few Juliet (grape) tomatoes - but the hail damaged many plants so might not get any Black Krim tomatoes. I've thrown old basil seed around and still had it come up. Don't give up yet ;-]
I am so glad I happened to see your note... I've just saved two net bags from onions..and was going to make something for the birds to eat. I'll think of another use now.. Thank you, I enjoy the birds and don't want to injure one.
Excellent advice. Thank you. It reminds me of the time my sister hung fly strips about the porch. A chickadee flew into one and was trapped. The bird was so delicate and fragile, I worked painstakingly for half an hour with a Q tip soaked in mineral oil to remove the glue and free the little critter. Needless to say, my sister who is a bird lover, never hung a fly strip where it could endanger a bird, again.
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