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The birds are eating all my bird food!



  • Kia-MenaKia-Mena Posts: 16

    We have seventeen different feeding stations dotted around the garden and all are filled on a daily basis. We are getting through at least 20kg of sunflower hearts per fortnight and also several kg of peanuts, suet blocks and fat balls. We have an eclectic mix of avian visitors from the smallest tits to the large ring-necked parakeets and a pair of woodpeckers. Squirrels do, of course, get in on the act but I don't have the heart to chase them away since discovering 'Stumpy' the three-legged, short-tailed chappy fending for himself in the magnolia tree outside the kitchen window ...

  • herbaceousherbaceous Posts: 2,314

    Wow! I'm starting to feel inadequate with my two feeders!  image

    Mine have two perches each so essentially four birds but they throw seeds down to others on the ground. This works well until the pigeons arrive.

    I also have two water bowls so they can wash down the seeds, they are always filled (starlings are very energetic bathers and empty the bird bath at one go) and the hedgehog and fox use the ground bowl regularly.

    I am also slightly concerned this year having seen kites circling. I think they are a bit further up the road (maybe my neighbour who has chickens, or other neighbours with open bird tables) but I have never seen them this far from the park before. I swear they were mating over my house making very 'rapid fire' noises but since I have no experience I'm not sure.

    Louise, if you can make the commitment, as everyone says, it is really worth it.

    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • You are so lucky to have all these visiting birds - we are fairly restricted over here although apparently there are a few woodpeckers nesting in the island this year. The pigeons are a greedy lot and usually manage to scoff most of the food on the open bird table but cannot manage the bird feeders so at least that food is eaten by the intended tits and sparrows, the odd dunock and sometimes the unwanted visit of a gull or two. As for foxes and squirrels - they do not live over here although I wish someone would introduce them - there is plenty of open space for them (I would imagine the farmers would be none too happy though).

  • herbaceousherbaceous Posts: 2,314

    It sounds as though you have your fair share GD2, as for squirrels just be careful what you wish for! I have 1 pear and 1 apple tree left after the 1987 storms ( I know, I know you'd think I could have found some more by now, use the apple tree for mistletoe actually) and I think the parrots like sitting at the top of the pear tree and feasting in Autumn. Mind they are around most of the year.

    The squirrel only appeared, well got seen anyway, after my neighbour put a flash new bird feeder in his fruit trees. He is a 'proper' gardener and must feel he is doing penance for some past crime ending up next to me! Anyway, the squirrel has figured out how to raid his new feeder, should I tell him?

    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • No I don;t think you should herbaceous - just let him top it up often enough and perhaps he will come to realize that the birds can't possibly be eating all that food each day! I know squirrels can be a menace - my aunt went on holiday and came back to devastation in her home, a squirrel had found it's way in but couldn't get out again.  I love squirrels, I keep having to remind myself they are rodents, and I HATE rats a mice - the very thought of them makes me shudder. We always used to have a holiday on a farm in Britain each year - just to see all the wildlife that we don't get here (foxes, woodpeckers etc).

  • MarygoldMarygold Posts: 331

    I've had to hide my fat balls and squares amongst a mass of honeysuckle/clematis as the magpies and jackdaws were hogging them. We also now have some pigeons (I think a cross of wood and feral) who are rather greedy and the little birds don't get a look in.

    I'll need to top up the niger feeder as the babies have arrived. I have a 16 perch Chappelwood feeder but it is now split and the seed at the bottom gets damp. Anyone know where I can get another?

  • herbaceousherbaceous Posts: 2,314

    Not sure what a Chappelwood feeder is Marygold but I get mine from RHS Wisley when my daughters decide I need a ride out! They only have two perches and that is quite enough for me as lugging bags of food home on the bus is truly a labour of love......

    I haven't so far GD2 but I feel a bit mean, also the squirrel has taken to checking out my garden. You have made me look at my garden in a new light as I didn't think of it as wildlife rich  image  but since it is semi-wild in the bits I haven't managed to dig over I suppose there could be lots I don't see! Surely you are compensated by a variety of marine wildlife?

    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Oh yes, you are correct there - we do have an abundance of marine life here - and we take it for granted

    most of the time although when the girls were young rock pool activities were one of our top pastimes.

    Children's seaside holidays seem to be overlooked these days in favour of "activity" holidays of a more

    commercial type which is such a pity - there is far more going on under our feet rather than paying good

    money for a few flashing lights and prepared pleasures (sorry but it is one of my pet moans!).

    My girls used to belong to Y.O.C. which is the young section of the RSPB and we had all the feeding stations, books, binoculars etc. Such happy days!

  • ShepsSheps Posts: 1,382
    Marygold says:

    I have a 16 perch Chappelwood feeder but it is now split and the seed at the bottom gets damp. Anyone know where I can get another?

    See original post

    Here you go, Marygold image

    Last year I had 50+ Goldfinces coming to the garden, it cost a fortune in Nyger seed image

    For some reason the link won't work, so you will have to paste it into your browser.


    Last edited: 17 June 2016 20:41:02

  • WateryWatery Posts: 388

    I limit myself to one medium sized feeder with sunflower hearts and only fill it once daily--when it's gone they have to go elsewhere.    I've recently been having trouble with crows who can do all sorts of tricks to get to the feeder.  Currently have one suspended from a clothesline but they sit on it and shake it and then eat it off the ground.  I find bulk bags from Garden Wildlife Direct to be the best deal.

    A reminder to everyone: please clean and disinfect your feeders weekly and your birdbaths as well.   Trichomoniasis is horrible to see in birds and its spread by our actions... birds congregating around feeders/birdbaths.  Greenfinches are especially vulnerable.  

    I just use a bleach/detergent solution and then air dry.  I also have 2 feeders but only use one at a time to make it easier to clean them.  My birdbaths are just dishes and again I have 2 so I can change them daily (or close to) and let them dry in between use and I disinfect when I do the feeders.

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