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in Wildlife gardening
I had some old hanging-basket frames that I got at a a garage sale, and I have successfully used two of these to create a cage in which to hang the peanut feeder. It's aimed at protecting from squirrels, which don't just take the nuts but will pull apart the whole feeder, or knock it down and hide or remove it.
I'm now considering making a second one to protect the fatballs from the jackdaws and magpies, who demolish them in no time, but I can't decide whether I'm just bieng soppy in wanting the tits and finches to have first peck at them.
@lunaz.. i am glad that you have found a way to keep them all happy.. i have found it only way as i love the starlings comind in.
i rememeber when i saw the blackbird feeding at the feeder for first time.. took him ages to get hand of holding onto the perch..
@lurnaz.. i get my suet pellets at local pet food supplier.. cheapest i can get is 5kg for 11.49.. how does that rate with e-bay and postage costs etc.
Have you looked at the RSPB's online catalogue? They sell all kinds of devices to keep squirrels and larger birds at bay e.g. you can buy a ground feeder cage which will exclude starlings or even a feeder which will defeat the dreaded parakeets.
Personally I'm cleaned out on a regular basis by jackdaws and squirrels.Also I don't put food on the ground because my neighbours are so worried about rats. (The woodpigeons pretty much hoover up instantly anyway).
have you thought about squirrel bafflers? I think they are a good alternative to traps - eventually they just won't come into your garden...
We built a wooden frame, 2ft by 4ft, and 1ft high. we covered it with cheap rigid green plastic 2inch square mesh. We lay the food in the middle, and the little birds hop in and out, while gulls, jackdaws and wood pigeons etc, strut around the perimeter in sheer frustration. It has worked a treat for years.
It can be difficult to be selective on what birds you want or don't want. How can I keep the woodpeckers, thrushes and blackbirds but deter the jackdaws and squirrels and pigeons, but the main problem is the rats on the food the other birds discard. I trap them and then leave them out for the Red Kytes so I and the neighbours can't use poisons, which don't work too well anyway. A tray beneath the feeder works quite well to catch food discard but the pigeons and jackdaws love it too.
It's so sad to see how the numbers if Starlings and House sparrows have dropped over the past 25 years. Up to 60% in some areas? Stick with it Sweatpea93. It took me a while to build up the numbers that come to my garden. Where starlings are concerned....give them a bird bath, or shallow dish, always filled with water. It's a bigger attraction than food. Even in the winter, I have to add hot water to the bird bath, if it freezes. They love the water. It can be hilarious, and it only takes one to start splashing, the rest will literally queue up, or jump in and join it. Where sparrows are concerned, a little patch of hard packed earth is their preferred beauty parlour, and once they've had fun in your garden, they never forget.
I have a similar problem with wood pigeons and ground feeding birds.
I bought the largest wire hanging basket I could find and turned it upside down over a food bowl, little birds could hop thru the gaps but the pigeons could only reach as far as their necks could reach so didn't eat everything.
Treehugger - I've done just that with my bird table too and it works a treat. Its gapped so the blackbirds, starlings, and little brown jobbies can get in and out easily but the pigeons (who are quite numerous here) only get the discarded food on the floor.
Sweetpea how long have you been at your place? We didn't get anything for months when we moved here but slowly they came and started to tell their friends. Our hedge is now full of house sparrows that have moved in since we did. We even had a resident robin nesting somewhere nearby that will "announce" itself to anyone who walks in the garden knowing you will scuttle off and put some fresh food out while scaring all the other birds off so it gets as much as it desires!
I've had a jackdaw problem for the past few weeks and I have to admit I'm being outwitted and thwarted by the beady-eyed villains.
In an ideal world I'd be happy to have them nesting in the turrets of my castle but sadly in real life they cause a squabbling mess near my neighbours washing and outdoor furniture
I tried a similar thing to the hanging basket idea with the mushrooms the army uses to prop up cam nets but it didn't work. This morning I've taken receipt of some ground feeding stations one of which I've put over the bird table and I'll have to see how that goes.
In case anyone thinks I'm being mean to jackdaws, I do feed them too (further away), I just want to be able to restrict how much they have and have some remaining for the birds who don't like to get involved in the frenzy.
In fairness we've only been here since September, I have bird feeder at the allotment but find it's contents are spilled on the ground!
All members of the crow family are among the most intelligent of birds and they are great opportunists too which is what makes them so successful.Perhaps try bringing bird feeders closer to the house,this might help.However,less bold species like Blackbirds are still very common birds which suggests they will survive despite being bossed around at the bird table.
Jackdaws are clever - and funny... I used to feed the birds at a previous workplace and I've seen them drag peanut holders along the branches until they fall onto the floor and also pick peanuts out and spit them down to another jackdaw on the floor.
I also like how they join mixed flocks and not just in times of hardship
Funnily enough Fishy, I took the coconuts and bird cake off the table today as everyone has their washing out and left them next to the side door which has been open all day thinking no bird would see them there only to surprise a blackbird later on, feasting on the step.
I would move my feeders closer to the house were it not for my chickens who live there already, due to the risk of transmitting bird diseases...
Hi Victoria, yes some of the shyer species like Blackbirds and Robins are actually more trusting of humans whereas the Crow family tend to have a natural wariness of us.Its also notable how Crows and Ravens (Magpies too) are often depicted as sinister in folklore.I can remember years ago,my brother and myself walking the 'high street' path along the peaks in the Lake District.There was a pair of nesting Ravens on some crags and we were followed for quite some distance by one of them.It was really rather creepy and felt as though we were being seen off the premises.Its also estimated that your average Raven has the intelligence of a two year old toddler.So that's me done for then
They are sinister, but that is what makes them so cool... I once saw a corvid (?) family member chase off a heron...
And if I had to have one of the two, I'd take the average raven
Loving reading all your posts. all the bird species have their own characters. I could sit and watch them all day. Just now it's the starlings, the fast foodies who create the most fun. The young are so noisy, the poor parents will push anything in their beaks, just to shut them up. We have a regular unwelcome visitor to our garden. A sparrow hawk. Fortunately with plenty tree and shrub cover, the wee birds head for motionless safety. However they dont have the sense to keep clear of seagulls, which are now killing the fledglings, and eating them.
I don't think Sparrow Hawks should really be unwelcome species to your garden.....they are at least quick efficient killers and need to feed their young.
Seagulls can be a real pain but really only because we humans , on the whole are such disgusting rubbish strewing people and have , albeit unwittingly, encouraged them away from their natural habitat to feed on what we throw out.
Don't misunderstand......I can well see your point about the little birds which we all like to see and try to encourage...........I have Rooks, Jackdaws, Seagulls and Sparrowhawks visiting my garden...........you can't really pick and choose which birds to have in your garden.
I agree with all that you say, Philipa , but watching birds being ripped apart and eaten while still alive, is very upsetting. The scary thing about many of the larger birds, is that they live to such a grand age, and once they've learned a new trick, the others copy.