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coconut halves for the birds

I seem to remember seeing hanging halved coconuts (the type you could win at the fair) for the birds in gardens when I was younger. Does anyone else remember seeing them? Is it advisable to feed these "real" coconuts for the birds now?


  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,141
    edited November 2018
    I think they were filled with fat and seeds like a big fat ball, then had holes drilled for hanging on the feeders. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,448
    edited November 2018
    You can give the birds a real coconut half,if you can manage to get the thing open!,but more often now its just the shell filled with fat and seeds.

    From the RSPB website:-
    "Give fresh coconut only, in the shell. Rinse out any residues of the sweet coconut water from the middle of the coconut before hanging it out to prevent the build-up of black mildew.
    Desiccated coconut should never be used as it may swell once inside a bird and cause death."
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,251
    We still put coconut halves out for the bluetits ... they love them... when the coconut had gone we fill them with seeds and suet and hang them out again ... they love that too. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,705
    Here's another use for coconut halves, from the latest issue of my (French) gardening magazine.

    I do not use this system myself, but I do make garlands with peanuts, which the blue tits enjoy a lot in the winter.

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,633
    The only time I tried to put out a coconut half shell the birds took fright and refused to feed on anything for a week until I took it down and they were back after five minutes.  Funny things birds.🙄
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,287
    I used to, but got out of the habit. The birdies did not eat enough of it before it went black or mouldy. Also if not fixed well the squirrels used to nick them. Clever little so and so's, saved me taking in a off one sometimes though :D

    We get a lot of birds, but I wonder if giving them other feeders meant that was why the coconut meat did not get eaten quickly enough.

    I used to partially saw them all around with a hacksaw then give them a whack, which seemed to help getting nice halves.
    Using a cork screw to get into the hole/eyes , and pulling made a good hole, seemed easier than using other implements to drain the milk.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,141
    I wouldn’t bother here, it would be gone in no time with the squirrels. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Thanks for all your suggestions and experiences, I will try one - although I might wait for the weather to cool down enough to slow any chance of the thing going mouldy before the birds have eaten it/some of it.  Luckily or not, we don't have squirrels here but I will have to hang where the crows, rodents can't reach it.

    Papi Jo thank you for showing your peanut strings - they bought back such lovely memories of my grandparents garden for me.  We used to spend a week of our holiday at their house, their garden was a jungle but I do remember the peanut strings and all the little birds visiting them.  I imagine a lot of patience and mess, so perhaps that will be a winter job. I remember you used to be able to buy these easily - are they still readily available?
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