Welcome, Guest. Please Login
Cotford St Luke
 
  HomeHelpSearch Sign Up Login Village Website  
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
feed the birds! (Read 802 times)
muddypawsgrooming
Advanced Member
**
Offline



Posts: 79
Gender: female
feed the birds!
02. Mar 2018 at 19:20
 
Due to the bad weather many of use may be seeing different or unusual bird species than normal visiting our gardens. This is partly because the cold snowy conditions have left the surrounding areas they frequent such as fields frozen and unable for them to find food. Over the last few days I have been lucky enough to see large numbers of chaffinch with brambling on the ground taking seed along with up to 20 fieldfare and a redwing in the garden. These are wild birds desperate for food. I have therefore started a post in the hope to help with what to feed birds now and also with identification for those of use who might be confused with what might be at the garden feeder. I have also been witnessing some extremely aggressive "territorial" behaviour, in that a newly found food source is fiercely defended by one bird who is keen to secure his/her survival. it is therefore really important for us all to do a little bit to help them and the rewards will soon be reaped.. who knows what you might see... so tips are as follows: if you don't have any bird food in feeders you can use cooked rice, grated cheese or some sultanas on the ground to help feed up the smaller more at risk species such as robin wren and dunnock to fill up on carbohydrate to ensure their survival. the larger thrushes thrive on berries such as holly but if you don't have them in your garden you can help them by placing apple halves on the ground to keep them going. You may even be blessed with a redwing or fieldfare! what ever you choose to use as feed remember that human peanuts are too salty and bread doesn't offer any real nutritional value. good luck!
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
trophy3681
Advanced Member
**
Offline



Posts: 78
Somerset UK
Gender: female
Re: feed the birds!
Reply #1 - 03. Mar 2018 at 10:16
 
I enjoy feeding birds too so found your post really interesting especially as I had just put some bread out Sad

Could I ask about suet balls as that is the one thing that all birds seem to like.
Do you have a recipe for making your own?
I'm not too fond of cooking for myself but might excel myself for our feathered friends.

I do have some bought suet balls but I can't get to any feeders at the moment. Would it be wasteful to just put these on the ground or will a pigeon or rook just take them away.
Back to top
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
muddypawsgrooming
Advanced Member
**
Offline



Posts: 79
Gender: female
Re: feed the birds!
Reply #2 - 04. Mar 2018 at 18:31
 
Hi thankyou for taking the time to find out more about how you can help the birds.. I have found a recipe online for making fatballs it does include peanuts and its important to note that only bird friendly peanuts should be used as our peanuts are too salty. you could make the mixture up and sprinkle on the ground or on a bird table. a lot of birds prefer to feed on the ground but I would advise just putting a small amount at a time until the birds find their new food supply otherwise it might just get wasted and spoil in this damp weather. a low ground feeding tray with holes to allow any moisture to drain off is a good idea. fat balls are a great way to attract smaller birds like dunnocks robins and wrens into your garden as they are unable to perch easily from the hanging feeders. I used a piece of broken tile recently and that has worked quite well. let me know how you get on! regards Angie  Winkhttps://twootz.com/article/How-To-Make-Fat-Balls-For-Birds
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
trophy3681
Advanced Member
**
Offline



Posts: 78
Somerset UK
Gender: female
Re: feed the birds!
Reply #3 - 06. Mar 2018 at 09:47
 
Thanks for the info.
I shall make some fat balls and see if the birds prefer some home cooking to the shop bought ones.

I am a bit worried about rats and tend to put the food well off the ground but in such a position that birds can sit on branches and get to the food easily.
Back to top
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
muddypawsgrooming
Advanced Member
**
Offline



Posts: 79
Gender: female
Re: feed the birds!
Reply #4 - 06. Mar 2018 at 18:40
 
I agree that feeding the birds can attract rats. I hope it doesn't put you off putting food out though especially at this time of year, it really helps them. i look forward to hearing about what species you see and whether you see any greenfinch in particular. I did used to see a good number when I first moved into the village but their numbers seem to have really dropped in recent years. regards Angie
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Nobody
Extraordinary Member
****
Offline



Posts: 513
Cotford St Luke
Gender: male
Re: feed the birds!
Reply #5 - 07. Mar 2018 at 09:53
 
I have three trail cameras set up in the garden to monitor the activities of Hedgehogs that  routinely use our garden. We leave food out for them and over the past 3 or 4 years we have never had any rats 'caught' on camera. We routinely see birds taking advantage of the Hedgehog food and on one occasion we saw a mouse.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
meldrew
Exceptional Member
****
Offline



Posts: 348
cotford st luke
Re: feed the birds!
Reply #6 - 07. Mar 2018 at 14:11
 
muddypawsgrooming wrote on 06. Mar 2018 at 18:40:
I did used to see a good number when I first moved into the village but their numbers seem to have really dropped in recent years.


The decimation of trees and hedges in the village probably doesn't help.  Sad
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
muddypawsgrooming
Advanced Member
**
Offline



Posts: 79
Gender: female
Re: feed the birds!
Reply #7 - 12. Mar 2018 at 19:56
 
The decimation of trees and hedges in the village probably doesn't help. 

Meldrew I agree that both hedges and trees are important as habitat for birds, however as regards greenfinch, there has been research to suggest that a parasite namely "tricomonosis" was to blame for the loss of around a third of the  greenfinch population and a fifth of chaffinch. It is thought that they contracted the disease via contaminated bird feeders in gardens and water contaminated with saliva. It is really important therefore to clean all feeders regularly with hot soapy water and diluted disinfectant  Wink
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/wildlife/7953345/One-in-three-greenfinche...
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
muddypawsgrooming
Advanced Member
**
Offline



Posts: 79
Gender: female
Re: feed the birds!
Reply #8 - 12. Mar 2018 at 20:14
 
Nobody wrote on 07. Mar 2018 at 09:53:
I have three trail cameras set up in the garden to monitor the activities of Hedgehogs that  routinely use our garden. We leave food out for them and over the past 3 or 4 years we have never had any rats 'caught' on camera. We routinely see birds taking advantage of the Hedgehog

Whilst I'm envious to hear of your trail cameras set up in your garden, I am relieved to hear of your lack of encounters with rats and excited to know that you have hedgehogs! they also have suffered a decline in numbers and need all the help they can get. Why not start a post where people can note their sightings?  Shocked
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
meldrew
Exceptional Member
****
Offline



Posts: 348
cotford st luke
Re: feed the birds!
Reply #9 - 12. Mar 2018 at 21:15
 
Interesting article on the BBC today, be wary of sick birds and keep feeders clean: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43349781

Edited:
Oh, I see you linked to a similar article on the Telegraph  Smiley
Back to top
« Last Edit: 13. Mar 2018 at 08:57 by meldrew »  
 
IP Logged
 
Nobody
Extraordinary Member
****
Offline



Posts: 513
Cotford St Luke
Gender: male
Re: feed the birds!
Reply #10 - 13. Mar 2018 at 12:02
 
muddypawsgrooming wrote on 12. Mar 2018 at 20:14:
Nobody wrote on 07. Mar 2018 at 09:53:
I have three trail cameras set up in the garden to monitor the activities of Hedgehogs that  routinely use our garden. We leave food out for them and over the past 3 or 4 years we have never had any rats 'caught' on camera. We routinely see birds taking advantage of the Hedgehog

Whilst I'm envious to hear of your trail cameras set up in your garden, I am relieved to hear of your lack of encounters with rats and excited to know that you have hedgehogs! they also have suffered a decline in numbers and need all the help they can get. Why not start a post where people can note their sightings?  Shocked


I will start a thread in the "Everything Else" section of the Forum.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
muddypawsgrooming
Advanced Member
**
Offline



Posts: 79
Gender: female
Re: feed the birds!
Reply #11 - 17. Mar 2018 at 21:12
 
Thankyou for article Meldrew I found it interesting and informative. I do hope that it gets a good number of reads  Wink
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
trophy3681
Advanced Member
**
Offline



Posts: 78
Somerset UK
Gender: female
Re: feed the birds!
Reply #12 - 20. Mar 2018 at 11:45
 
One thing that I have tried with some success is raw pastry. I put it in the fat ball/suet holders and it is a big hit.
The person that brought the pastry for me was slightly alarmed that I was actually going to make an apple pie or do some cooking of some description. Shocked But I reassured her it was for the birds.

I have seen blackcaps, blue tits and robins all eagerly tucking in. it is such an easy thing to feed as I don't cut it into very small portions or scrap sizes. There is no waste on the ground either Smiley.
Back to top
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
muddypawsgrooming
Advanced Member
**
Offline



Posts: 79
Gender: female
Re: feed the birds!
Reply #13 - 21. Mar 2018 at 21:24
 
I'm interested in your experiment with pastry trophy3681. its something I haven't tried but I'm impressed none the less to here that you've had success particularly blackcaps! Ive only ever had one blackcap visit my garden once in 8 years (to my knowledge) so I might perhaps give it a go! regards Angie Wink
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
trophy3681
Advanced Member
**
Offline



Posts: 78
Somerset UK
Gender: female
Re: feed the birds!
Reply #14 - 21. Apr 2018 at 20:04
 
Angie,
The raw pastry, puff or shortcrust, continues to be a success, even in the warmer weather.
Today I saw a blackbird climbing the lower branches of a tree to reach the pastry which is hanging in a suet feeder.
Later on I also put out some well ripened (nearly rotten) fruit on the ground, including chopped grapes, apples, bananas, strawberries plus some sultanas.

Mr Blackbird did grudgingly peck at a grape but then headed for the pastry in a more inaccessible place.
Just no accounting for taste. Certainly didn't have his 5 a day. Wink
Back to top
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print