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in Wildlife gardening
Hello Deb - although I don't particularly put food out for large birds they manage to land without a problem on my wooden bird table, rummage around and take what they fancy. It is a wooden pole on a strong base with a large landing platform with high edges claiming to be cat proof which so far has deterred my felines. I have separate feeders in the trees for peanuts and fat blocks etc.
Magpies seem happy to eat virtually a whole suet block a day in one of those wire cages which hangs from a branch of the big tree. I rarely put one out there, as if you've got magpies in your garden the smaller birds will go elsewhere - magpies rob their nests and eat their eggs and fledglings.
I know that magpies have got to live and feed their young too, but I do prefer not to attract them into the garden.
Deb I have a cheap and cheerful ornamental metal pole bird feeder that take two fat pigeons with ease. If the ground is very wet it sometimes gets a lean on but a quick shove straightens it up nicely.
Alternatively you can make a flat feeder from a piece of wood and use chain to hang it off a tree branch like these
(WEbsite choosen at random from a Google search)
The Collared Doves are very happy on the little metal plate that fastens to the underside of the Niger seed feeder; 2 of them at a time!
I'm with Dovefromabove: I dissuade all the crow family from my feeding station.
I found they sat on the fence onto which my bird feeders were fixed and reached up to eat the fat balls, so I had to move the feeder out of reach.If you want to feed them you could try that??
Rattling the back door handle is enough to scare them off but the smaller birds seem to know I'm not " after" them.
I too, have seen all members of the crow family killing baby birds and stealing eggs from nests and find it all too upsetting to encourage them.
Each to his own and live and let live etc etc, but in other people's gardens, not mine. Good luck though
If you manage to attract small birds you will have plenty of food for magpies and crows!