London (change)
19 messages
20/12/2012 at 21:32

I have had a bird feeder hanging in my garden for some time now and it has always been very well used by a variety of little birds, who in turn sprinkle enough to keep the ground feeding birds happy too.

About a month ago I notice that it was grubby so took it down and gave it a good wash and then refilled.

Since then the birds just aren't using it anymore. I see them in the garden but they arent going anywhere near the feeder.

I'm baffled! 

20/12/2012 at 22:11

Could the smell of whatever you washed it in be stronger than the smell of the food?What are you offering? Sunflower seeds go quickest here. Peanuts and niger second. Mixed seeds are scattered eveywhere to get at the sunflower seeds so I usually put it on the ground. A few fat balls bring in all sorts of birds. 

20/12/2012 at 22:29

I did wonder about that but I cant recall if I even used a soap and if I did I rinsed it really well.

I've got mixed seed in there but I was thinking of seeing if I could tempt them back with sunflower seeds as they do love them best.

I tried fat balls but the squirels finished them off in a day *sigh*

Maybe another full rinse out and some sunflower seeds will do the trick. What pampered birds!

20/12/2012 at 22:38

try sunflower hearts, in my experience if they don't bring them back nothing will, at one stage I had two feeders one with a mix and one with sunflower hearts and they would leave the mix alone and fight for the hearts must be the bird equivalent to chocolate  

21/12/2012 at 00:53

Hi Yvette,  Keep an eye on the tops of the tallest trees/buildings around your garden.  Exactly the same recently happened to me and I discovered it was because a Sparrowhawk had moved in!  I still get birds, but they are now extremely skittish and tend to feed on the ground under shrubs and avoid the hanging feeders.  I'm going to move one of the feeders to a position out of the line of sight of where the hawk often perches to see if it helps.  The sparrow population in my garden this year had only just recovered to what it used to be, too.  Oh well, that's nature for you - "red in tooth and claw" as the saying goes.  At least the cats aren't bothering them at the moment, with all this wet weather!

21/12/2012 at 10:32

Right sunflower hearts it is then and when they head back I'll keep my fingers crossed they dont get picked off by a sparrowhawk!

21/12/2012 at 10:44

iv just put bird feeders out and my first visitors would you believe 2 small rats just cant win  back to the drawing board,maybe a metal pole will do it


21/12/2012 at 15:18

I find this every winter they abandon the feeders,why?

22/12/2012 at 22:18
I was going to say the same as santaslittlehelper. Sounds like a sparrow hawk. Try putting up a large owl ornament thing. That my stop them???
22/12/2012 at 22:21

I'm a suburban you get Sparrowhawks in Middlesex?

22/12/2012 at 22:27
Yep. You do im afraid. They have wiped out all the birds in my dads garden. Hes in a suburban area aswell.
23/12/2012 at 07:50
Sam Glendinning wrote (see)
Yep. You do im afraid. They have wiped out all the birds in my dads garden. Hes in a suburban area aswell.

They wont have been 'wiped out; they will just be avoiding a trouble hotspot. Unfortunately it is disappointing when this happens in the place where you are keen to watch 'your' birds.......

23/12/2012 at 17:07

just nipping out to get  a Owl......

23/12/2012 at 17:59
flowering rose wrote (see)

just nipping out to get  a Owl......


23/12/2012 at 22:17
Lol...smarty know what i meant. One of those big plastic statue owl things
23/12/2012 at 22:29

What-like this


24/12/2012 at 12:10

just discovered (after getting an Owl) that in fact I think its the Pigeons who are doing the scaring ,so moving bird hanger and contents to a more favorable area.

24/12/2012 at 12:12

P.S, where can buy an Owl like that?like it.

24/12/2012 at 21:19

An owl will likely have the same effect as the Sparrowhawk in terms of scaring.  You can by cages to put your feeders inside. The birds will get used to feeding inside them and the Sparrowhawk will not be able to pluck them off the feeders. You can also position canes around your feeders but it will not look so pretty.

email image
19 messages