Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening  

Go Back   Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening > Wildlife Gardeners of North America Unite > Birds Including Raptors & Hummers

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-06-2012, 02:43 PM   #1
Fox
 
NEWisc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Default Hot Pepper, Suet, Birds and Squirrels

A couple of weeks ago I accidentally bought some bird suet that contained hot pepper. I picked up 4 - 5 blocks of regular suet and didn't notice that 1 block containing hot pepper had been mixed into the stack.

I don't use suet with hot pepper because I have very little problem with squirrels. Baffles and spacing have taken care of the few problems I've had.

But I'm not one for throwing things away and it didn't seem worth the trip to return the hot pepper suet. So I decided to conduct a simple experiment. I've read that it doesn't affect the birds and that it is effective at dealing with squirrels.

I cut the block of suet containing red pepper in half and 1 block of the regular suet in half. These halves were placed side by side in the suet holder. The results were apparent almost immediately. The birds (3 species of woodpecker, 2 species of nuthatches, and an occasional blue jay and chickadee) avoided the suet with hot pepper. After a few days the regular suet was gone and the hot pepper suet had only a few peck marks. Once the regular suet was gone the birds stopped coming to the suet feeder.

I repeated the experiment with the two remaining halves of suet and got the same results. The two blocks of suet were the same brand with the same nutritional analysis and same primary ingredients except for the hot pepper.

After a little research I found this on capsaicin and birds:
Quote:
Ecotoxicity Studies:
Birds
No toxicity information or field studies involving birds were found for capsaicin.
Birds do not detect capsaicin. Although birds possess the TRVP1 receptor in their nerve cells, it is not activated by
capsaicin as it is in mammals.20,21
Ecologically, capsaicinoids may function to protect the seeds within the fruit.52 They may also influence seed dispersal
patterns by influencing gut retention times of the seeds, resulting in more successful plant reproduction.53
http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/Capsaicintech.pdf
And this:
Quote:
Some bird watchers have been using seeds that are coated with hot pepper or capsaicin products. Theoretically, squirrels avoid the coated seed while birds are unaffected. Although birds naturally eat chile seeds in the wild with no ill effects, no studies have specifically verified that this practice is safe for birds at your feeder.
Pests and Predators, Birding Basics, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

I'm beginning to think that hot pepper in bird food may be just another poorly thought out marketing scheme.
__________________
.
Age is a biological fact.
Old is a state of mind.
I will age, but I refuse to get old.
NEWisc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2012, 05:21 PM   #2
Great Horned Owl
 
jack's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northeastern MA
Default

My African Grey parrot has been eating pet food store seeds from multiple companies for years and prefers those mixes that contain hot peppers over the mixes that lack them. Indeed, most of the mixes contain hot peppers, leading me to believe that at least parrots actually prefer hot peppered seed.
__________________
"Know thyself."

Oracle at Delphi
jack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2014, 11:50 AM   #3
Heron
 
sprucetree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Michigan/detroit
Default

You also risk getting Capsaican on your hands. Then the possibility that rubbing your eyes and you could be in real trouble.

It sounds like the wild birds avoid it too. Why even have something around that's irritating.
__________________
Prairie Plants
First year they sleep
Second year they creep
Third year they leap; So plant some today
sprucetree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2014, 03:14 PM   #4
WG Prize & Gift Coordinator
 
havalotta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jack View Post
My African Grey parrot has been eating pet food store seeds from multiple companies for years and prefers those mixes that contain hot peppers over the mixes that lack them. Indeed, most of the mixes contain hot peppers, leading me to believe that at least parrots actually prefer hot peppered seed.
You've an African grey! Niiiice bird. They love their peppers.
__________________
The successful woman is the woman that had the chance and took it!

A walk among the elusive Whitetail Deer
havalotta is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
birds, capsaicin, feeding, hot, hot pepper, hot pepper suet, pepper, squirrels, suet

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2