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Keep those evil pigeons away from tweety birds' supper dish

Is there any way to get rid of the darn pigeons that have invaded our bird feeder, without chasing off the tweety birds for which it is intended, short of breaking out the shotgun?

— L.F., Medford

Let us count the ways, L.F.:

1. Avoid cheap feed such as red millet, oats, wheat, sawgrass and those cheap mixes sold in chain stores. It's avian junk food.

2. The best single thing for tweetie birds is black oil sunflower seeds.

3. Don't use platform feeders (pigeons perch on them).

4. Same for those feeders that look like cute little houses.

5. Get a tray or cone to hang under your seed feeder so seed doesn't fall to the ground (not 100 percent effective, but helpful).

6. Sweep up under the feeders daily.

7. Get a squirt gun that will shoot 20 or 30 feet.

8. Feed peanut butter or suet. Get the kind that of suet doesn't melt or you'll harm birds' feathers.

9. Try a quality wild bird cake, from which birds can peck their favorite stuff and leave the rest intact instead of scattering seed on the ground.

10. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Pigeons (now rock pigeons, formerly rock doves) are not really "bad birds." Some people even enjoy feeding them. Enjoy your tweeties, tolerate the pigeons — maybe even scatter a little white millet for them away from your other feeders —and be glad you don't have the real bad guys: starlings or house sparrows.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We get so many questions we can't answer them all, but we'll try!