Forum home Wildlife gardening

Sparrows that like a bit of colour in their diet

BluesBlues New ForestPosts: 38
We have aprox 30 resident hedge sparrows in our garden and they're not content with fat balls, peanuts and seed they seem to love decapitating and eating our polyanthas. Anyone else have this problem?  We have Blue Tits showing interest in the nest box again this year but no signs of building anything yet, can't remember when this took place last year I'm sure they had something under way by now. If you're lucky enough to have them in your garden what are they up to?
«13

Posts

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,643
    Sparrows do this in my garden, apparently it's something to do with the carotene (?) in the flowers that brightens their plumage. That's what l was told, but it could be a wind up !

    The great tits have been having fun this morning hanging upside down on the outside eaves of the greenhouse and raiding the trellis. I have wasted a fair bit of time this morning watching them, the blackbirds, blue tits and robin amongst others. I don't seem to get many small birds in my garden (usually pigeons 🙄), so it made a nice change. 
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,112
    Blues said:
    We have aprox 30 resident hedge sparrows in our garden
    Dunnocks?
  • B3B3 Posts: 21,507
    No it's true😉
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • VictorMeldrewVictorMeldrew Peak District foothills, CheshirePosts: 444
      :joy:
    Every now and then I like to do as I'm told, just to confuse people
  • VictorMeldrewVictorMeldrew Peak District foothills, CheshirePosts: 444
    Our House Sparrows - I love them to death - but they are the most destructive little buggers. When I tell people they've decimated our Black Bamboo they don't believe me. My OH is on constant look-out and swearing under her breath when the sweet peas are forming their flowers.
    Every now and then I like to do as I'm told, just to confuse people
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,112
    edited 4 April
    We have various lots of house sparrows and they decimate the fruit trees (and seem to actively enjoy it) so I get no blossom (as with B3). They are fun to watch but ... with an entire budding garden to choose from, do they really have to pick a small apple tree to attack? Are they teaching their babies how to scarf the buds -  mini Delia, Nigella, Nigel passing on their foraging tips?

    "First, find the only tree the owner wants to flower. As it is an espalier, the owner will have spent considerable time and attention carefully pruning the tree for best budding, so they buds will taste sweeter. Find the nascent tips. Attack them so it looks like you have decimated the said tree with mini-machetes, leaving a hacked about mess where possible to show that there is zero possibilty of any flowers to come. It's good to be clear. Do a little dance of triumph to mark your culinary success."


  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,156
    Blues said:
    We have aprox 30 resident hedge sparrows in our garden and they're not content with fat balls, peanuts and seed they seem to love decapitating and eating our polyanthas. 
    That sounds like House Sparrow behaviour to me, not  Hedge Sparrows (the old fashioned name for Dunnocks).  It would be very unusual to have 30 resident Dunnocks in your garden.  Look at the bills, an easy way to tell them apart.  Dunnocks have thin bills, House Sparrows thick finch like bills.  
    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 7,544
    Redwing said:
    Look at the bills, an easy way to tell them apart. 
    Also the bird food bill will be a lot higher for house sparrows.

    A great library has something in it to offend everybody.
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 1,689
    I could be wrong but I'd always thoight that Dunnocks could also be ID'd by their pink(ish) legs.  Spend more time on the ground too.  As said, 30 resident Dunnocks sounds unlikely.
Sign In or Register to comment.