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Please don't put fatballs out in the pastic mesh they come wrapped in as birds can get tangled in them. Tip: If you put fatballs and other suet feeds in the fridge they last longer. Try moving your feeders superbrill, if they are too near a bird box it can cause problems, also birds like to have some trees/shrubs nearby the feeders so they can duck back under cover if predators show up. I have a dog and also a regular visiting sparrowhawk but it doesn't seem to put the birds off for long
I have blue tits in my bird box, and had blackbirds in my bay shrub,the magpie got the baby blackbirds and they have now gone, also had a baby pigeon that died overnight probably somebody's cat. any ideas how I can protect the birds better. ps the bluetitis seem ok but I have seen a sparrow trying to get into the box is this normal ?
Sparrows and blue tits use the same boxes, so yes, that's normal. What you need is, of course, more boxes. North-facing, ten feet up, with plenty of clear space in front of them so the birds can see around before they leave. I'd say they should be somewhere with low traffic, but I've seen house martens nest in pub doorways and blue tits nesting by a farm's main door.
Experiment still not done: RSPB's cheaper treat blocks, RSPB's mroe expensive treat blocks, Garden Bird Supplies' treat blocks, the GC's treat blocks and the local shop's cheap treat blocks, in multiple feeders, rotated every couple of days, to see which ones the birds like most.
To protect blackbird chicks from marauding magpies, I recommend an underlever .177 at 11.5 ft-lb, a fixed magnification scope (if you get a 2x50 you can see into shadows with it), plenty of practice on paper targets at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 metres ... and sharp reflexes, because those baby-snatching b*****ds are fast. I still suspect they're psychic. They can tell when you're thinking about aiming at them.