Forum home Wildlife gardening

Bird feeding bad?

Apparently feeding maybe be a bad thing:


However, I don’t get blue tits.  It would be good to get a feeling from GW as to what birds I should be encouraging/seed choice.

I’m in suburban south London and I tend to get robins, sparrows, wood pigeons, magpie and crow in the garden. I reckon they’re the same birds each year, but I don’t know.


«1

Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,905
    Another stick to beat us with as far as I'm concerned.  :/
    I will continue to feed the birds in my garden. Many small birds struggle here because weather can be hideous just when they're trying to raise the first lot. 
    You may just have that type of bird in your area @JoeX. I use feeders in purpose built cages which the small birds can access and it means they get a chance. If I only fed on the ground feeder, the big birds would have it all before they got a look in. 
    I keep a feeder with sunflower hearts on the go all year round, and a feeder with seed, I don't use cheap seed mixes either as they have loads of wheat/barley in them which just attracts pigeons etc. A good no mess mix suitable for smaller birds is ideal, and you might get a wider range of birds then.  :)
    I don't feed suet during the summer either. 
    Much as well get annoyed with aphids, having a few plants which attract them will also attract blue tits. They love them. I hardly have aphids at all [to any detrimental effect] because the blue tits clear them up.  :)
    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: 30,024
    That chap did say that in suburban gardens there may be little alternative for many birds so keep feeding but also plant things with berries, quite forgetting that adults birds need a mass of insects to feed their nestlings as the juicy grubs provide moisture as well as protein - essential till they fledge and can drink water by themselves.

    I too shall carry on with fat balls with seed, fat blocks with insects or fruit, peanuts when I can get them plus loose seed on the ground for those who can't hang.  I grow a wide range of plants and shrubs so there's something in flower nearly all year for the insects and have very few aphids cos they get hoovered up by the tits and sparrows.   

    We have a pond so everyone can drink and bathe.  We have cover from predators, nesting places for swifts, swallows, house martins, sparrows, tits, robins, redstarts, warblers and other small brown jobs, collared doves and wood pigeons and enough ants to attract hoopoes and green woodpeckers.   I hear all sorts of birdsong I don't yet recognise.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,905
    Indeed @Obelixx - I have loads of berrying shrubs, good cover, pond etc. It's about getting a good habitat. 
    Birds often disappear over summer @Songbird-1. They have a moult, and they also have food sources further afield, so they don't always need the extras in gardens. Most of the little birds- blue, great and coal tits, goldfinches and sparrow reappeared recently here. The dunnocks and robin [s]  are always in and out.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,783
    Yes, I have a lot of cotoneaster, cherry laurel, cherry, so there are a lot of berries…and the birds love the dozens of ant colonies in my lawn (at least something appreciates them), I have two water bowls with water all year and I only put seed out occasionally in winter.  I’ll check the birds there suitable for again next time.

    It’s interesting the unintended consequences of feeding.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,542
    I am reasonably confident that it is only because of my feeding that there are so many birds here at all.  There are very few other properties around to feed them and they most probably don't and apart from the conifer forest,  there is not a lot of cover during our sometimes brutal winters or food on the grazed pastures.
    My rambling, overgrown garden offers cover and food and is always full of birds. They roost and nest in the ivy on the house, in the outhouses and in the trees and shrubbery and they are busy looking for food around the garden, pond and boggy areas. They eat the seeds and berries and enjoy the bird feeders, my Hostas and dahlias have survived without major slug attack and greenfly are a rare sight.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,905
    You can never have too many blue tits here IMO. They suffer more than most in bad weather, which, like @Buttercupdays, we get a lot of during the early breeding season. 

     
    They do it just to annoy us @Songbird-1 ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,783
    I don’t understand why reality upsets people so much that they think researchers exist solely as a personal attack on their lifestyle.  🧐

    Understanding the reality of wildlife gardening is something I’m glad other people are studying and explaining to us, because assumptions don’t cut the mustard.🤓

    If there is a better way to support birds in various environments, I’ll be happy to hear it. 🙂
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,024
    My garden in Belgium was surrounded by arable fields to the north and west - lots of spraying - and pasture to the east and south.   The pasture to the east was for beef cattle and was also sprayed for certain weeds and pests.  The horse paddocks to the south were mine and our neighbours and never sprayed.   A stream flowed through the horse paddocks and then down the middle of the cattle pasture and there was ancient woodland beyond that.

    We began our garden from boggy pasture with two pollarded willows and now visiting birds.    After we'd been there about 15 years, digging out a pond for drainage, planting trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, climbers and fruit and veg, not using chemicals and building an insect hotel, providing cover for birds and small mammals, feeding a wide range of foods some scientists came along and "observed" the birds in the woodland and cow pasture and declared it so rich in species it became an SSSI.   Every single one of those birds visited our garden but not all for the feeders and not all to nest. 

    We also had a wide range of bees and other pollinators.  The strange thing was tho that we lost our flock of 30+ pipistrelles early on and never saw more than one or two together for years.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Mark-EMark-E Posts: 184
    Since we started feeding the birds,  we seem to have had a mass of sparrows, there were about 20 there yesterday. Unfortunately this had also attracted a sparrow hawk which we have seen several times in the garden.

    We didn't seem to have many blue tits or great tits visiting the feeder, just the odd one or two over the year.
Sign In or Register to comment.