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bird feeder, what sort do I need?

The problem I have is that birds don't seem to want to eat mixed seeds feed. I've tried two types, with ingredients of heat, kibbled maize, red dari, black sunflowers, kibbled peanuts, pinhead oatmeal, flaked naked oats. The target audience is listed as robin, greenfinch, house sparrow, chaffinch, great tit, sisikin, and all of these birds frequent the garden.

One issue might be the perch feeders; perhaps the birds that like this food prefer a platform or table of some sort?

Another issue is that the sunflower hearts and nyger seeds I put out are very popular. They are entirely dominated by goldfinches, but other birds do manage to sneak in. I've now started to put this food in a different part of the garden, closer to the house. It has the benefit of bringing the goldfinch arial battles more into view. The goldies really are the dominant mob in our garden.


  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,684
    Sunflower hearts are the no.1 favorite with all our birds. I gave up mixed seeds quite quickly as the birds threw out anything but hearts. The finches and tits are all happy on perch feeders, even the robins sometimes manage to use them. Nuthatches and woodpeckers have no problem with them. Blackbirds struggle to hold on so end up hoovering spillages from the messy goldfinches. I sprinkle some mealworms on the ground for the blackies and thrushes.
    Nyger seed used to be popular with the goldies but they ignore it now and stick to the sunflower hearts.
  • cornellycornelly Posts: 970
    We have more than one feeder, a few yards apart, goldfinches do hog the feeders, but a shrub or two adjacent to the feeders helps to get other birds to the feeders, especially the tit's.
  • I wonder if anyone has had much luck with mixed seeds!
  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener Posts: 1,220
    edited January 2021
    I find that the sparrows like the mixed seed but most other birds only go for them if the sunflower seed feeder is empty.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,200
    I only feed sunflower hearts now. The mixed seed doesn't seem very popular. I get mainly goldfinches, bluetits, greattits and long-tailed tits, robins, and sparrows. Pigeons and squirrels eat any on the ground.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • borgadrborgadr Posts: 628
    I'm finding chaffinches also seem to prefer lurking on the ground under the feeder.  
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,266
    That's because chaffinches are ground feeders  :)
    I feed a no mess mix and all the birds use it - robins, all the tit family, starlings, wood pigeons, dunnocks, bullfinches, blackbirds and especially the sparrows. I also feed sunflower hearts separately.

    I feed in two cages [off the ground] for the small birds, a ground feeding tray, and I also chuck some in among shrubs for blackies etc to access.
    The cages have bases, so even birds which are ground feeders [dunnocks, chaffinches etc] can use them. The robins learnt to perch very quickly. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,189
    I use mixed bird seed for the ground feeders and it attracts sparrows, chaffinches, collared doves for the most part plus winter invasions of starlings and fieldfares.  The tits and sparrows also go for the fat balls with mixed seed and the fat blocks with mealworms or insects.  The robins can get to those too usually as they are learning to perch.

    Try as I might we can't get the blackbirds to come to the feeders and I've only ever seen one loan goldfinch.  No sunflower hearts here nor nyger seed but they have, at last, started selling naked fat balls so I don't need to spend time removing those nasty little nets.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • @Fairygirl, @Obelixx -  and everyone, I'm curious what kind of ground feeders and cages you use. I assume the cages help the little ones against bigger birds such as magpies and crows? Do you take them inside overnight? One reason I have tried to do without much ground feeding is to avoid inviting rats. I'm also considering something like a feeder table. Weirdly I could swear that chaffinches are among the few birds to contest the sunflower perches with goldfinches! Will have to check that.

    From the responses here it seems as if sunflower hearts are all most birds desire. It's weird, the seed mix looks quite varied and nutritious to me, but then I haven't tried it. Perhaps the sunflower hearts have a better caloric value with less fibre. I may try mixing some of the mixed seed with the sunflower hearts, but they'll probably just get chucked out.

    We have suet balls in a suspended feeder as well, it attracts various species of tits, the occasional family visit of long-tailed tits, woodpeckers (lesser spotted I think), and also blackbirds have a good go at it, gripping the wires a bit clumsily.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,189
    We have a couple of slabs over an access to drainage and put mixed seed on that.  It's clear of any cover such as shrubs or tall plants so nowhere for our two cats to hide and pounce.   We also have an ordinary wooden bird table which we use round the side of the house but it needs surgery on its feet at the mo so is out of action.

    I don't do loose seed in hanging feeders and we have no grey squirrels here so no need for special cages to protect feeders for smaller birds.   

    The birds get a 250ml scoop per day of mixed seed on the ground which means there's none left for rodents and one of our dogs is a demon ratter anyway.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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