But, because of my continuing curiosity about everything, I did have a question. Would the birds fly into an enclosed space to feed, despite the enclosure? So, after considering the question, I decided to build a mesh cylinder that would allow sight of the bird feed, but not an easy entry. I wanted the experiment to be safe for the birds and allow for several exits so they would never become trapped.
I made the cylinder out of vinyl coated ¼ inch hardware cloth, which is actually wire. The cylinder is 24 inches tall, and 15 inches in diameter. The base is ¼ inch Masonite pegboard that has been clear coated with acrylic spray to resist water damage. It should last for the duration of the experiment. There are three large openings, 4 inches by 4 inches that are big enough to get in and out easily. Each opening has a perch made with a 3 inch machine screw and covered with shrink tubing to permit good grip for perching birds. This will permit the birds to sit and look at the food without committing to actually going into the enclosure. The food is in a tray made from the bottom of a discarded plant container.
Of course, every experiment has to start with an hypothesis, and mine is that the desire for food will overcome the fear of enclosure. I already had a pole that is well hidden with foliage and will perhaps give them more courage, if birds get courageous.
I ran into several problems while setting up the test. First, I hid the enclosure in the foliage but the chipmunks found it first and cleaned out the food. So, I put the enclosure near the other bird feeders and the birds did land on the perches and look in, but failed to enter. Next, I removed the primary feeder and sure enough, they began to enter. The cover photo shows a sparrow chomping on some food. It began to rain so I replaced the regular feeder and will resume the test after the rain ends in 2 or 3 days. But, my original hypothesis was correct and the birds will enter for food under the right circumstances.
I added the build as a slideshow, but it is so straightforward that a similar one can be made with many variations.