lördag 4 december 2010

Are birds more afraid of scarecrows than they are hungry for suet balls?

We all know that birds are afraid of scarecrows. We also know that birds (at least small birds) like suet balls.

But if one were to create a scarecrow in which the head consists of a suet ball - what then? Will the fear of the scarecrow to be greater than their appetite for suet balls?


So in the name of science I decided to try to figure this out. Hopefully my experiment leads to either more effective scarecrows or more appetizing suet balls in the future. I'm not the one who usually toot my own horn - but I would not be surprised if this ultimately gives me the Nobel Prize for, er, well something?


I started with a suet ball, an ordinary suet ball:

Then I took two raisins and two small screws and a screwdriver:

The idea of having raisins as eyes is that they are eatable. The screws were like silver-colored pupils in the middle of the raisin eyes when I was done.

Beautiful eyes:

After that it was time to construct a nose. Since it is winter I decided to use traditional winter nose construction material - a carrot. Using carrots as noses is quite popular when people create snowmen, plus that the carrot is edible (though I am a bit unsure of exactly which species of birds eat carrots?).

Carrot nose:

I used the knife to carve the carrot into the right size. After that, I nailed my snowman-inspired carrot nose on to the suet ball with a toothpick.

My version of a cosmetic nose surgery:

Finally, I glued a little black hat that I made of cardboard and black electrical tape onto the top of the suet ball. I designed the hat as a classic Tophat for the simple reason that I'm pretty bad at working with my hands and a classic scarecrow Stetson style hat would have been too difficult to design for someone who barely got an F in woodworking class.

Too difficult for me:

In addition I constructed a small mouth made out of lemon-peels, because I've seen people in mafia movies scare small children by inserting an orange wedge in their mouth, and it works on mafia kids so why shouldn't it work on small birds? And there are certainly birds that can eat the lemon peel itself if the overcome their fear of scarecrows?

But anyway, this is how the suet ball head looked when it was finished:

After that it was time to find a body for my suet head. While we humans would probably be more scared of a decapitated head - most bird probably don't give a damn. So finding a body was a must.

I searched my house I found a Super Mario action figure. Not a doll! However it was not Mario himself but his much lesser known brother, Luigi, but he had to do.

So I put him on my operating table and took out my surgical tools - Dexter Style!

Not exactly the operating room at the Royal Karolinska Institute:

Delicate surgery:

There were no complications.

After that all I had to do was some crude connecting linking Lugis body with my suet head using steel wires.

It's alive!

And here we are. At the moment I can't complete my experiment because it is -18 degrees outside my window and the snow pouring down. It has been shown that birds are not interested in suet balls when it's this cold outside. Sorry.

Outside my window:

Birds rather sit and hide in the bushes when it's this cold outside. And when it gets this cold the suet in the suet balls gets so hard that the birds are not able to hack off pieces from it.

But as soon as it has become a bit warmer outside I will hang my creation outside to see what happens.

Usually there are plenty of birds outside the window that happily gorge on the food I put out for them

Tastes like chicken?

So as soon as the weather allows I'll hang it out to dry (so to speak) and post my findings on this oh so very important matter!

Peace out!

1 kommentar:

  1. Hej Tony - did the scarecrow suet man ever get hung out for the birds..?