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Does anyone feed their garden birds?

(56 Posts)
Dunnakos Tue 16-Jun-15 08:28:38

Just sat watching the teeny baby blue tits being brought to the feeders by their very frazzled looking Mum and Dad.

A coal tit is diving in when he gets a chance, and the starlings are amassing in the hedge for a raid. The starling babies are still asking their parents for food, but the parents seem to be hinting that it's time the babies were supporting themselves.

We have Robins (my favourite)

House sparrows (tons of them)




blue, great, coal and long tail tits


Goldfinches (seen in the garden, but never on the feeders, they ignore the nyger seed bought just for them)

And the big guys - Jackdaw, Magpie and Wood pigeon.

I could sit and watch them for hours (and I do).

Sparklingbrook Tue 16-Jun-15 08:31:37

yes, we have a feeder with hooks on and hang fat balls up, and they get seed and peanuts. All out if the way of Sparklngcat.

We get

Blue Tits

But we also get a beautiful Woodpecker. smile Oh and squirrels. hmm

prepperpig Tue 16-Jun-15 08:35:03

We have lots of birds since we live in woodland but don't feed them unless its winter (the chickens get all of our scraps). I love watching the Jays. They're so pretty.

Dunnakos Tue 16-Jun-15 08:37:31

Oh, I have woodpecker envy!

I feed mixed seed, Nyger, sunflower hearts, fat balls, suet pellets, dried mealworms (soaked), soaked raisins, a bit of grated cheese, and special bird scones (my own recipe)

Dunnakos Tue 16-Jun-15 08:38:37

I'll cut back the feeding in the summer months once all the babies have fledged, especially the fat.

chemenger Tue 16-Jun-15 08:43:03

My children are concerned that I spend so much on birdfood there will be no inheritance. I buy seed in 25 kg batches. I have most of the birds listed above plus loads of bullfinches and chaffinches. This year we have seen two woodpeckers together for the first time, 4 years ago we had one juvenile male. My favourites are the baby starlings, who stand on the feeder with their mouths open being fed but gradually learn to feed themselves. I'm also very fond of the crows, they are so clever. Unfortunately we have a new addition to our feeders this year, a massive, fat, grey squirrel. Will need to research squirrel proof feeders or I really will be bankrupt.

utahforever Tue 16-Jun-15 08:48:54 too grin

First time feeders this year and we love it.

We have lots of tits - don't know the different types yet.
and our favourite collared dove - who ds has named Poppet (jack sparrow) and she comes down onto the patio when the seed is shaken

and a mouse!

Dunnakos Tue 16-Jun-15 09:01:00

Where do you buy from? I get basic seed from pets at home, but things like mealworms and suet from a proper online bird shop, haiths or cj wildlife. Really cheap fat balls from pound shops etc don't seem to go down as well, I think they can contain a lot of cheap stuff and seem really gritty.

The young starlings are scarfing the raisins and mealworms I just put out. I've been out here for 90 minutes now (day off work) blush

utahforever Tue 16-Jun-15 09:32:07

I've just been putting the cheap seed from Tesco out - did try the posh RSPCA food....but they wouldn't touch it. Shelled sunflower seeds go on the patio. Should I try anything else?

SqueezyCheeseWeasel Tue 16-Jun-15 09:33:24

No because I've got 2 cats. 1 of whom is very prey focused.

chemenger Tue 16-Jun-15 13:52:57

I get my food online from Wiggly Wigglers, not the cheapest but very reliable and the birds seem to enjoy it.

I have two cats too, but they focus their predation on rodents. Which is why there is a live baby rabbit in our house, somewhere.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Tue 16-Jun-15 13:56:51

Yes we have a feeder hanging from the main tree in the garden.

We get lorikeets, galahs, eastern rosellas, corellas and king parrots on our feeding table (not in the UK wink).

We have also fed kookaburras (can you tell where we are yet?) and grey butcher birds with meat on our porch rail but stopped that when the magpies got interested, as they can be very vicious out here, very territorial and defensive in breeding season. I've been attacked by one, and I don't want to encourage them in the garden.

chemenger Tue 16-Jun-15 14:12:06

Thumb do you have Frogmouths? They are so cute.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Tue 16-Jun-15 14:18:17

Not in our garden, no, but we see them at the local wildlife park a lot. They are funny! grin

Dunnakos Tue 16-Jun-15 17:33:48

Jealous of parrots. I would love those green parakeets that have gone feral in the South East, we don't have them round here yet.

chemenger Tue 16-Jun-15 21:26:41

Baby rabbit has been found, caught and returned to the field he probably came from smile.

millymae Tue 16-Jun-15 22:19:41

We spend a fortune on bird food (but only buy from the local market and places like Home Bargain & Poundstretcher) so definitely not top of the range RSPB food. One thing we have discovered is that hedgehogs love dried meal worms. We put a handful out every evening and often see them eating then having a drink from the water bowl afterwards

We get all the birds the OP does, plus the occasional greenfinch. I've also seen a woodpecker and a bull finch once and we get the odd visit from a
sparrow hawk who on one occasion I actually saw swoop down and grab a bird from the feeder.

I cant bring myself to like starlings - I swear they sit in the bushes just waiting for the food to come out. They arrive en masse and are so greedy and can demolish one of those suet square blocks in a flash.

My favourites are the blackbirds when they're in the bird bath because the water splashes everywhere, and the great tits because of their lovely markings.

Several years ago we had rats living under our shed and the rat man told us that we were doing ourselves no favours by feeding the birds. We did stop for a while but it didn't take us long to get back into old habits. We're just a lot more careful now about clearing up the bits from the floor.

One thing we have learned is that hedgehogs love dried meal worms followed by a drink of water. We've had 3 visit the garden tonight and every last meal worm has gone.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 17-Jun-15 01:12:13

Dunnakos - depends on whether you have fruit trees or blossoming trees or not - they strip them bare sad
I was visiting Hampton Court Palace a couple of springtimes ago and a huge flock of the beggars were hanging around a magnificent magnolia - the gardeners were spitting about it, because they take all the buds off sad

Where I lived in the UK I had sparrows nesting in my eaves. This used to annoy me rigid because they would be scrabbling in the eaves outside my bedroom early morning and wake me up. I wirenetted it to stop them but a sparrow got caught in the netting sad so I un-netted it and let them get on with it after I discovered they were heading towards endangerment!

AnulTheMagnificent Wed 01-Jul-15 21:59:59

I was putting seed out until I realised it was growing in the lawn which had become very weedy.

I stopped that and continued with the fat balls in the apple tree, they get the apples off that. In the meantime I cut up apples and spread them around the grass.I also buy 'buggy bites' but they aren't very popular.

We live in an area where there are green parakeets, I hear them but have only seen one once. Blackbirds, wood pigeons, robins, magpies and blue tits - on the edge of London here.

At a previous house we had green woodpeckers and jays, it was semi rural so had deer in the garden too.

DevonLass70 Sat 01-Aug-15 19:19:22

I used to, but it did get rather expensive. Plus a lot of the neighbours have cats. Looked out of the kitchen window one day to see a cheeky puss sat in the bird table (it had a roof) no doubt awaiting a snack! grin

My absolute favourite was a pair of bullfinches. The male turned up first, the female some time later.

Squeegle Sat 01-Aug-15 19:24:40

We have got one of these in our garden! A goldcrest. Very small and so cute

Tangoandcreditcards Sat 01-Aug-15 19:31:14

Moved to a new house (first garden!) in April and was hoping to start feeding the birds, but figured you didn't do it in the summer. Should probably do some research (so posting here for tips!)

We have collared dove, blue tits, sparrows, blackbirds, a pair of green woodpeckers, jackdaws, possibly a shy little ween; we spotted a juvenile robin today and thousands upon thousands of bloody parakeets. My pear tree is heaving with pears, wonder what my chance of getting any of them myself is?

bruffin Sat 01-Aug-15 19:32:21

We get in our garden

blue tits
great tits
long tail tits
coal tits
Wood pigeons
collered doves
Mistle thrushes
spotted woodpeckers
somes green woodpeckers
indian ring neck parakeets

Squeegle Sat 01-Aug-15 19:32:55

You can feed them in the summer, the blue tits seem to keep on with the nuts all year, but in smaller quantities.

CrabbyTheCrabster Sat 01-Aug-15 19:42:24

Yes we do - I love the birds! smile

I think we are single-handedly supporting our ever-growing flock of sparrows, as there is never a point when I look out into the garden when I don't see at least a couple of them. They nest in the eaves of the house at the end of the garden, and are here constantly; on the feeders, in and around the pond (picking off our emerging dragonflies angry), eating the berries, waking me up at dawn. I love them, but they bully a lot of the other birds off the feeders and dear god they are tuneless. grin They are red list, though, so I feel privileged that we have them and are supporting a flourishing quarrel (what a great collective noun!) of sparrows. grin

We also get blue tits, great tits, starlings, blackbirds, robins, goldfinches, collared doves, wood pigeons, the occasional g.spotted woodpecker. Jackdaws , crows and sometimes rooks in next door's cherry tree. Used to have dunnocks and wrens, but not this year, sadly.

Occasional/rare visitors have included sparrow hawks, fieldfares (during cold snaps), linnets, thrushes.

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