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in Wildlife gardening
So far I've only really scattered a few peanuts around, but mainly squirrels get those...and whenever I tried a sunflower shaped wire bird feeder (hanging type) all the nuts kept getting soaked and spoiled.
What's the best type to use which also protects the food from wet?
I have loads of blue tits, blackbirds, robins and some wrens.
Blue tits need a feeder at this time of year, filled with crushed peanuts, otherwise they may take whole nuts back to their nestlings, which will kill them.
Robins and blackbirds prefer to feed off the ground. Mealworms for robins. Raisins, apples for blackbirds. Wrens mainly eat insects.
If the food is getting wet you might like to look at the feeders from CJWildfoods.
Jess it might be a good idea just to put a smaller amount of nuts out and fill more often. I just use fairly standard feeders, the metal ones to stop squirrels destroying them, but as welshonion says blackbirds and robins and many others feed from the ground so you can do that but with a different mix instead of whole nuts-they're are many available according to the birds you get. I use ones for all the small birds-finches, robins, tits etc and mealworms as well, but avoid the cheaper makes as they have a lot of barley which just attracts pigeons. You could also think about getting a bird table too if you have room
Jess i use this type from Wilkinsons
I only fill half way with mixed seed in one and sunflower hearts in the other
when almost empty i clean out and refill. In the past i bought hanging horn suet feeders made by guardman from my local garden centre theese were loved by the birds in my garden especially the blue tits. sadly they no longer stock them.I have a coconut suet feeder at the moment but they don't seem interested in it.Just looking on line for the guardman horns.
I've just used a really chunky suet feeder which looked like a candle-not sure where I got it sadly, may have been garden centre- but it had mealworms in it and all the birds loved it!
My feeders are similar to yours Aliesh but metal, as the squirrels just destroy the plastic ones. I used to make suet feeders too- melt suet with some bird food and other bits and pieces and refill the coconut shells or put a string/wire in a container, pour the mix in , and lift out when cooled and set. For those with young children- they love doing it
I use the feeder as shown below at amazon. I think they are good and you can put a good
variety of food for all the birds. I have however removed the water as this gets dirty weary quickly.
I replaced it with an old sieve and fill that with seed.
Hmm seem to be having problems with providing url's. try this one
I had some problems with rats when I first started feeding the birds, I now have trays under the Niger seeds and the suet balls. I use hulled sunflower seeds as the husks make a real mess.
Fat balls with a tray attached using a large nylon washer and nut and bolt. Annoyingly the trays can only be attached to one brand of bird feeder; the sunflower hearts have to be in a metal and plastic container to stop the local squirrel from destroying it.
I no longer feed seed mixtures as the birds just discard what their species don't eat.
This is a water feeder, if it is windy all the water drains out!
After water feeder, dried meal worms, I think - it is really hard to see photos as I'm uploading them. Above is Niger Seed for the Finches, they are messy feeders so have to have a tray.
Great pix Art! Yes- vermin can be an issue and it's usually if there's excess food still around when it gets dark but when you're a keen bird feeder it can be difficult to sort that. You've done the right thing with the trays etc. WE had an issue with mice for the same reason and it was mainly because the stuff dropped from the feeders was still there as it got dark. Like you I never use anything except sunflower hearts or the hulled ones because of the mess.
Our pet shop will not stock fat balls with net on, a lot of birds get beaks and feet caught in them, i have rescued 2 recently so i dont buy the netted ones anymore
Well if you want a quality feeder that has a lifetime guarantee I would go for a droll yankee or onyx feeder. They are not cheap but are made in the US where greys come from and you can buy rain guards for them to keep the rain off. You could also try a caged feeder but make sure it can come apart to be cleaned as disease can easily spread from bird to bird from a dirty feeder. Good luck! its weel worth feeding the birds, Ive seen so much that I have never seen before!
I also use Droll Yankees all metal parts so squirrel resistant. also they have a lifetime guarantee if the squirrels do get at them. I wasted a lot of money on cheap feeders made of plastic. I feed sunflower hearts, a good quality feeder mix (no wheat), , niger seed for the goldfinches, and cranberry fat blocks in a metal cage for the great spotted woodpeckers. I get over 20 different types of birds in the garden regularly, as well as the rarities that we may only see once, such as red poll and goldcrest. We also get bats, foxes, and mice and voles. We don't need springwatch, it happens in our own garden.
It's also important that we don't use any pesticides in the garden, so the insect eters have something as well as the seed eaters. A natural balance is soon obtained.
You're right Anne - it does take a little while but balance is the key-and patience! First thing I do whenever I move is get bird food out and get the birds in. If you create too sterile an environment, with weedkillers and too much hard landscaping, pests will take over as there are no predators. Wildlife friendly planting and a pond make a big difference as well.
It's taken 20 years, starting with 200ft of grass, but with the advantage of 2 x 150 year old oak tree with preservation orders. Year 1 start digging up the lawn. rip out all the roses covered in blackspot. Buy a big green house. Year 2 Dig a pond. 2m by 5m, with a shallow end for birds bathing and frogs exiting, and a deep end for hibernation.
Propagate like mad, from seeds and cuttings, then start planting.
Feed a mix of bird seeds for differing types of birds. Make sure there are some shrubs for cover. Don't spray pesticides. Barrier methods (nets etc) and pheromone traps in the fruit trees. I adopt a mass slash it all down each spring , scatter seed around, and then give it a good looking at for most of the summer.
Despite doing it all the wrong way, we usually have more fruit than we know what to do with, plenty of veg, flowers for the house, and a grassy space for entertaining. It's not very tidy though, so if you suffer from OCD tidiness it's not for you.
Last year I took over next doors old dog run , churned up by 2 great danes. I'm just waiting for the new wild flower meadow to start flowering. This is to encourage more seed eaters, hoverflies and bats.
Anne it sounds great. I hope you have the health to enjoy it for many more years too! The pond is the greatest source of entertainment isn't it? I was lucky enough to live for a while in a house with a huge pond and a smaller one beside it. You didn't need anything else as it was just terrific watching the wildlife. Dragonflies in particular are so lovely. I had to rescue them frequently from the smller pond as we had some young fish in it and had a net over it. They were quite happy sitting on your hand.
In the pond we have frogs , toads and common newts. There are lots of dragonfly larvae, and at the moment, millions of tadpoles. A heron comes to look for food when it's frog gang bang time, and most March's we get a pair of mallards who have a look for a suitable nesting site. They then go back to the Erewash canal, a couple of hundred yards away. We had a Coot once. One of the neighbours said she had seen a kingfisher, but we have never seen one, and the neighbour was awfully fond of the vodka bottle.
What a fantastic response from all of you - thank you! I am off to my local garden centre to check out the dogs' B*** of bird feeders then
My paltry sunflower shaped feeder looks kind of rubbish now...
I have made an area about 8' x 6' with a weed membrane and gravel, I pushed the birdfedder stand through the membrane and have bird feeders with mealyworms, sunflower hearts, fatballs and niger seed, if the seed germinate s when it falls its easy to pull out.I also have a 2' corner on the patio just outside the patio doors, I have put a glass top on it to keep the food dry, blackbirds, robins, sparrows, and dunnocks soon get used to it, at night I hace 2 hedgehogs who polish off the mealy worms and suet.suietpellets
I moved house a few months ago and I also purchased the Duncraft squirrel proof feeders and they are amazing! Whenever they climb onto them their weight blocks off the food. Also works when bigger birds try and eat the food! Really recommended, they are expensive but will save you money in the long run!
I bought two "mini" ones and can assure you they're quite big and heavy! I also bought the peanut one, again excellent quality. You just need to make sure the squirrels won't be able to reach it from another branch, they are really smart!
I got them from this website, cheapest I could find back then