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I feed the birds a variety of food - mixed wild bird seed, peanuts late in the season when the babies have grown up and mixed seed plus mealworms. I also give them leftovers with home made wholewheat bread mixed with cooked pasta and grated cheese which is a great favourite.
We feed the birds all year long, with nyger seed, mixed bird seed and peanuts, but recently we have started putting out raisins and the blackbirds now eat it from our hands. The other day I was a bit late in putting the raisins out and upon leaving the french doors open, whilst I was in the kitchen a blackbird came right in.
Living near farmland i and other neighbours have a lot of magpies and blackbirds in our gardens fighting for the food we leave for the small birds. What food can we leave out for the small birds if any that the magpies etc won't touch.
Lesleyroses, We are in a similar position. I find that using the regtangular feeding cages allows the small birds in to eat safely and in comfort, and keeps the bully boys like starlings out. It ha small entrances for the birds .


Hi, interesting comments, but what are "regtangular feeding cages" ? How do they work, or am I just being a bit slow? Any thoughts?
What a lovely suprise I had yesterday morning. Scruffy my male blackbird [that looks as though he has done 10 rounds with Tyson], came flying down before I had finished putting their food out, with one of his babies followed by his wife with 2 other babies. I sat there watching them feeding for ages, then came my blue tits, jenny wrens and sparrows all busy and a female robin. It was lovely sitting in the sun watching them. This is the third brood Scruffy and his wife have hatched this year.
"Rectangular feeding cages" - Ground Guard - are placed over the food on the ground. You can get large mesh or small mesh - I have just bought a large mesh one which allows birds up to the size of blackbirds in (I only wanted to keep out pigeons and magpies). They're not cheap, but should last for a long time. Mine came from
We too have a male blackbird that comes into the kitchen and eats from our hands. Sadly this year the magpies killed all the young from the first 2 clutches as soon as they fledged. They brought the chicks from brood 3 down today, so we have been on chick guard all day. If anyone has a foolproof way to deter magies I would love to hear it.
There's nothing that the large birds won't touch. The best thing to do is to get a few feeding stations that prevent larger birds from gaining access. For e.g a cage designed to keep squirals out around a seed feeder will also prevent magpies et al from getting at the goodies.
usual peanuts/meal worm/black hearts/seed/blocks of fat.can any one beat 31 collored doves,3 magpies,2 greenfinch,
2 pied wagtails a couple of sparrows / starlings ALL at one ''sitting''.....I do feed them 3 times a day.
great spotted woodpecker is also a visitor as well as a couple of Jays and the other top ten garden birds.
I've been feeding the birds all year round till this summer, when I had a major rat infestation (not living in my garden, but feeding from the bird food remains). How can I feed the birds but not the rats? The area where I was feeding the birds is in a hawthorn tree in the middle of a corner wild garden (my garden is all on the roadside, ie in full view of passers by, so the little rodents, while no bother to me, were of major concern to my next door neighbours). Any useful advice would be very welcome, as I loved feeding the birds, and we had a very healthy starling and sparrow population, as well as blackbirds, robins, blue and great tits, goldfinches and wood pigeons and collared doves.

I hang peanut and fat ball feeders from a high cross bar held up on two 2.5 metre posts.  There's also a tray with loose seed in that the ground feeders are learning to use as well as the turtle doves.   This means I can put less food on the ground and, by teh tim ethe pheasants, jays and early ground feeders have finished there's not much left for the rodents.  I have other penut and fat ball feeders strung up around the garden near roses so waiting birds come and feed on any aphids.

I put sachets of poisoned food down near their tunnele ntrances every now and again and that delas with the rats.

JEA72 its ok to put the dried fruit out just as it is. I have never soaked mine and the blackbirds and robins have no trouble eating them. I cannot keep time with the feeders lately. No sooner I fill them up, they are empty again. I bought a large tub of fat balls not so long ago and they are all gone. My hubby reckons the birds get fed better than he does !!

I usually feed the birds all summer, this year they missed two weeks whilst on holiday but the birds continued to come and seem to have fed on pests and weeds in the garden whilst I was away or it could have been all the rain which kept alot of pests away because there doesn't seem to be much of either this year, loads of spiders and ladybirds though.

Niger, sunflower seeds, bird mix, fat balls and musli are my chosen bird feed, on a tall bird station. I don't put stuff on the ground but ground feeders tend to pick at the lawn and hop amongst the flower beds.     

I get the odd field mouse which the cat usually catches and occassional frog but for some reason the cat ignores these!

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