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Bird feeding

I have got bird feeder in the garden in which i have put some wheat grains for birds. Also, i have got fat balls which are hanged at various places in the garden. Observing the feeder every couple of days, i have noticed birds are not eating any of it. Is there any particular reason for it? Do i need to provide water as well? Let me know. 



  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    I've found that the only thing that eats wheat is pigeons, which don't use feeders.

    if you want a good selection of birds try getting nijer seed or sunflower hearts, they have a high fat content which is what birds are after this time of year.

    providing water is a good idea as they'll not only drink it but bathe in it as well.

    also if you've just put stuff out it might take a while for the birds to discover it.

  • Anne17Anne17 Posts: 98

    i find that fat balls go mouldy fairly quickly,as does grain, especially in damp weather or rain

    birds seem to know this

    Also put feeders within short flight of a bush or shrub, birds like to lurk there to check the site out, but enough in the open to be able to spot predators

    my birds go thru tons of sunflower hearts, and those big cylindrical fat feeders

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,270

    Sunflower hearts are very popular with a wide range of garden birds.  You can also get special mixes of seed and insects which are for robins and wrens and other insectivorous birds.

    As Treehugger says, wheat seems popular with pigeons and ducks but not with smaller birds. 

    Birds are often quite wary of new feeders, and like to hide in nearby bushes to make sure there are no predators around that will pounce while they're feeding, so place your feeders near to shrubs/bushes/trees. 

    A wide shallow bowl of water for bathing will often attract more birds than food initially - they need to bathe and keep their feathers in good order to keep up good insulation.

    Enjoy your bird watching.

    Have you signed up for the Big Garden Birdwatch in a couple of weeks?

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,576

    Try commercial mixed seeds.  The content varies from season to season so for winter there will be some peanuts, sunflower seeds and others in various sizes to suit different birds.  In late spring you need to switch to one with no whole peanuts as these can choke baby birds. 

    I feed our garden birds all year round and now have loads of regular visitors but it took the first ones ages to realise that fat balls and peanut hangers were food as they'd never been fed before - ex farmhouse surrounded by fields.  In a suburban setting, you will have competition from feeders in other gardens so need to be patient.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,144

    I use this one..there is absolutely no waste at all with it. I mix a bit extra sunflower hearts with it. 

    i purchased a couple of trays from Amazon so the food is just off the ground and anything left can be brought in for the night so as not to attract rats. If you put fat balls, out, please make sure you take the net bag off of them, I have had to rescue several birds where their feet and beaks have got caught.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,576

    Good point about nets.  My fat balls go, minus nets, in special fat ball hangers.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,148

    I do the same obelixx - if I have the square trays of fat I break them up and put them in the hangers.

    Water is vital, as treehugger says.

    I buy a robin mix which most of the little birds love, and I add sunflower hearts. The cheap mixes contain a lot of wheat and barley which attracts pigeons, so it's worthwhile getting a better quality 'no mess' mix which doesn't have that.

    I currently feed the blackbirds under my bench - I 'barricaded' the sides with mesh and a piece of trellis, just leaving some spaces which everything except the magpies and wood pigeons can access. They get apples too - which they love. Raisins as well. The blackbirds are waiting for me in the mornings - not even daylight and they're sitting on the fence or the shed roof. This is the first winter since I moved here that they've really been in regularly and I now have two definite 'pairs'.  image

    'If you build it - they will come'...was my theory Ankit image 

    Another thought - the mild weather through the first part of winter meant that birds weren't needing quite so much food. That could be part of the reason you weren't getting many visitors too. Give it time image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,148
    Mr J wrote (see)

     Black birds love porride oats (flake oats) cost me alot as they eat 25kg in about a month image


    Greedy bandits - hope you're charging them board and lodgings ... image

    I give mine porridge as well - I grind it a bit finer though. All the birds are  currently eating my daughter's gingerbread house - ground in the blender too ! image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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