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in Wildlife gardening
In all the years I have been gardening and feeding birds this is the first year that the blackbirds have decided to dig up everything in sight. The garden looks a complete mess after a couple of days, bark mulch all over the paths, bulbs and plants dug up and left laying around, it's a constant battle putting it all back and very cold too. Has anyone else experienced this. It has always happened but not to the extent of this year. I love the birds to bits but they are trying my patience this winter.
Jobird, we love the blackbirds but have always referred to the as "The Hooligans". This tossing around of bark mulch whilst searching for food sounds like normal behaviour to me. Got to say they've never dug bulbs up - the squirrel usually sees to that .
Just saving you a job
Your soil must be easier digging than I'm used to Jobird. The blackbirds sling mulches but the bulbs are in some pretty solid soil
They are just looking for something tasty to eat,annoying but that's the joy of wildlife,and they will eat all those pesky snails and slugs.
I have to say, I kept finding several bulbs and flowers damaged in the way. I eventually found out that it was squirels who were looking for food and random acorns they had buried earlier in the season, 2 of my large planters had to be re-done. Maybe if you are able to put some food out that they like they might stop searching for their natural food.
I feed the birds and put out plenty of sultanas, chopped apple and oats for the blackbirds, but I can't provide what's best for them - worms - they have to find those themselves, and they do.
I love to watch the blackbirds rootling around in my borders for worms - it means my soil must be in pretty good heart. After all, sweeping some bark mulch back off the path every few days isn't really that onerous is it? Far better than starving birds IMHO.
As for digging up plants and bulbs unless your bulbs are planted far too shallowly, or you've seen a blackbird with a trowel under his wing, it's unlikely to be them - far more likely to be pesky grey squirrels - plant your bulbs deep and in 'bags' made of small mesh chicken wire' - that'll stop the little blighters.
My blackbirds dig through my compost bins & they can fairly shift a sizable amount in a short time!! They love snacking on my worms. Pity they didn't like the slugs so much. The birds did a rubbish job on them last year. If humans ate them I could have raised 3 sets of triplets out of my garden alone!
That's a good attitude you have there David
Jobird......maybe it's because you left your spade out
my bird feeders are hung on a dead maple that i planted in a pot many years ago sadly it died on me last year, so i trimmed the branches and now its my bird feeding station, it has a slate mulch and the blackbirds constantly chuck it on the ground.
I would say we have a wildlife garden rather than a flower garden.....Mice and Squirrels dug up the Crocuses and Grape Hyacinths......Rabbits bit all the heads off my Tulips and spat them on the ground.....Blackbirds scattered mulch everywhere....Moles made hills and holes in the lawn....and Sparrows pecked the heads off my Primroses....not to mention the slugs and snails. But how we love them all ! W e don't have all that many flowers though !
Annoying as it is I'd take it as a compliment. The blackbirds have steadily become more interested as we've improved our soil.
I've got a similar problem. I have watched the blackbirds do it, not squirrels, but in my case all the blue lobelia bedding plants are sought out and then pulled from the bed and dumped on the grass or pathway. No other plant is touched. These are replanted when seen and within 24 hours are out again. I am going to lose in the region of 60 plants. Sadly I'm not finding this an "ah is that nice" situation.