Bird feeder observation

B3B3 Posts: 10,538
I've noticed that tits seem to have a much less energy-efficient way of using the feeders. They take a seed and fly away to eat it, whereas the sparrows stay in situ and tuck in. 
In London. Keen but lazy.
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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 27,004
    I know. I keep wanting to shout at them  ;)

    It's mainly the coals that do it though - blues and greats hang around. Coal tits like a bit of cover and safety. I've noticed that they enjoy the safety of the cage though - and often sit and eat a couple of bits and pieces before moving away, which is rather nice.  

    Long tails are frisky and swirly by nature though. Little clouds in tracksuits, as someone once said.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 18,205
    There are a couple of blue tits that stand on the edge of the bird table and hold a seed in one claw while eating it.  All the others, including the sparrow get a beakful and fly off.

    On the terrace, we have hangig fat cylinders with meal worms as well as seed mix on the ground and there everyone seems to stay and peck until they spot me watching or see a cat coming and that's sparrow, assorted tits, finches, warblers, robins, turtle doves and so on.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 27,004
    You've just reminded me - I had some mealworms ready to go out....
    I've been watching a magpie doing acrobatics hanging from the fat ball feeder in the last week. Very entertaining  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 3,736
    Sparrows are finches and have a strong beak to break up seeds whereas tits have a fine beak and have to peck bits off a big bit of food to break it up. So sparrows can sit in place with their flock on lookout while they munch food. Tits need to go off and find a branch to hold the seed still while they peck at it. Tits will also cache food for later which sparrows don't really do so the tits might have a better long term strategy when the feeders run out and they've still got a food supply.
  • B3B3 Posts: 10,538
    That's really interesting @wild edges. Thanks.
    I would like to feed meal worms, but I get the willies just looking at them in the packet, never mind touching them, and I suspect they might smell bad too😐
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 27,004
    They don't smell @B3, so no need to worry. I just put a wee drop into a tin and put some hot water on them to make them more appealing. I use an old plastic yogurt pot as a scoop - noneed to touch, although it doesn't bother me  :)

    Hey - @wild edges- there's a girl in mid Wales with a severe flooding prob, on a thread called Jackie Turner. We wondered if you can offer her any help?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • BrexiteerBrexiteer Birmingham Posts: 955
    Sparrows are finches and have a strong beak to break up seeds whereas tits have a fine beak and have to peck bits off a big bit of food to break it up. So sparrows can sit in place with their flock on lookout while they munch food. Tits need to go off and find a branch to hold the seed still while they peck at it. Tits will also cache food for later which sparrows don't really do so the tits might have a better long term strategy when the feeders run out and they've still got a food supply.
    It's mainly coal tits that store food. Our one is now back and forth all the time never going back to the same place. I did see a piece by David Attenborough I think it was about it. Our coal tit is even in a conifer tree and back out within 2 seconds, way too quick to eat the seed 
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 1,675
    edited 27 October
    B3 said:
    I would like to feed meal worms, but I get the willies just looking at them in the packet, never mind touching them, and I suspect they might smell bad too😐
    I hate anything slimy and squirmy,worms,maggots,slugs,snails etc.etc. but strangely I can handle dried mealworms with no problem (of course I always check that they are indeed dried before doing so!!!).
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 56,674
    I always think they smell like those dried shrimps you get in Chinese supermarkets. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 3,736
    I always think they smell like those dried shrimps you get in Chinese supermarkets. 
    The cheap ones I used to get from Home Bargains used to have the odd shrimp and dried fish in there.
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