Register with us or sign in
in Wildlife gardening
We've not got many birds on the feeders at the moment ......... might be something to do with Mrs Sparrowhawk who spent quite some time this afternoon sitting on a neighbour's chimney surveying the surrounding back gardens
Some bird foods really are quite expensive although some highstreet pet stores and retail outlets do have some real bargains. At first i thought they would be really poor quality but the birds seem to love the wide variety of suet feeders, fat balls and different seed mixes and are always back for more.
I have managed to find 1kg of bird seed ranging from general mix at 80p to sunflower hearts at £1.50
or 30 fat balls for £4
or suet block for £1
Keep searching and you will always find a steal
In winter I make my own bird cake. Large pan, melted lard, oats, breadcrumbs, sultanas, put into containers and freeze.
I do the same LF, but usually just small amounts with the bacon fat left from the girls having bacon rolls! I just stir in a little bird food and put in a foil lined ramekin. Ideal for teh little birds in their 'cage' on the ground.
You're right Mark - the cheap food is padded out and isn't worth having. Better quality means no waste and mess - or very little.
The birds around here have been eating so few seeds I've got to clear the feeders out this weekend as I've noticed they've started to germinate a little at the bottom of one of them!
I have found that a feeder I put on the far side of the garden (away from the house and unfortunately any view from the window) is starting to get a lot more attention so perhaps I need to re-evaluate my positions and move the feeders away from where I want them to be (hanging off an established apple tree in a position where I can easily see them from the house) to where the birds want them!
Try GJW Titmuss. I regularly check their prices and rarely get a better deal elsewhere. Some items are free delivery, too
Leadfarmer, please don't put breadcrumbs in your fatballs!! It has zero nutritional value and can reduce the birds' appetite by filling them up and then they don't get enough of the good stuff. Try porrage oats instead, and add a good amount of sunflower hearts or other proper bird food. Dripping can be added with the lard to make the fatballs firmer, especially in mild weather.
hi i make my own-suet, lard,sunflowerseeds and nuts. I also hang sunflower seeds and nijer seeds. I put out old apples and pears on the ground, plus i scatter sunflower hearts around garden. loads of birds today, goldfinches, tits, blackbirds and robins, wrens and dunnock.
Hooray, the goldfinches have turned up after going awol for a few weeks.
They are so colourful when the garden is looking a bit drab. The feeders are starting to be emptied much quicker now than over the last few weeks too.
I have just bought 25kg of halved, shelled peanuts for £29.99 delivered from a company on eBay called Winston Wilds Ltd. Aside from being very cheap, it's also convenient for me to have them shelled (less waste) and halved, as I put them into the hanging feeders with the feeding ports and so need to chop them up so that they drop into the portal without jamming.
My food is also being eaten quicker now and the tits are visiting regularly. I'd love to have finches but can't complain as I do get lots of other birds.
I had almost no customers for the Big Garden Birdwatch this year, but they're coming now. Breeding season starts and the blackbirds and robins are right there waiting for me to open the shed and get them their breakfast.
I've had some issues with feeder mixes. Get the mix with dried mealworms and the starlings throw everything else on the floor to get at those, and if you get the mix without it's the finches going through it looking for sunflower hearts.
I did a comparison a while ago on supermarket or local shop treat blocks and a specialist bird food company's treat blocks. I cut one of each into four quarters and put them in the feeder chessboard style. As a quarter was eaten, I replaced it with another of the same type. They ate 5 whole slabs of the specialist's (pricier, paler, squishier) block before they got rid of either of the quarter-slabs of the cheap type.
I use livefood.co.uk for the meal worms (2kg for £22 at a time) and get the other stuff from the RSPB. They do 12 insect or raisin or mealworm cakes for $24.40 or a variety pack of 12 for £19.49 ... which is a bit odd, really. The descriptions are the same on the site but I'm not sure the products are the same. I really ought to repeat that experiment with them.