As I have mentioned in my Post 1, initially I have experience problems conducting any sort of an experiment in the first study area I’ve chosen as it turned out to be very crowded by people & dogs in morning and evenings (my would-be count times) as this was a public park. Further, I’ve experience some issues with raccoons and squirrels eating pretty much all of the food that I would put in the feeds I’ve set up, practically overnight.
As a result, I have moved to my second study area – a friend’s backyard at 262 Sumach Dr., Burlington, ON. The site turned out to be perfect as it already had some birdfeeders, and therefore, the bird life there was very busy. I was able to set up three raccoon- and squirrel-proof feeders on poles, with big round drums around them.
The only other issue I would experience was if a hawk would fly by so all the small bird I would be observing, would scatter into the hedge or the trees. However, once the hawk was out of sight, in a few minutes, the birds would return to their usual activities.
Further, I have decided to designate 3 areas at the site and rotate my bird feeders every week (I have observed every weekend) from area to area in order to make sure that the birds did not prefer a certain location as two of the feeders turned out to be beside trees. Hence, I had to make sure that the birds did not prefer to visit a certain feeder just because it offered more cover (and therefore, more protection from predators), while they were feeding.