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garden bird feeding


islandgun
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Gordon Bennet, yes I saw the BBC News piece.

When I moved in to this house in 2004 we might see 4 house sparrows at a time.

I have fed them and blue and great tits almost exclusively by design.

Consequently I now see up to 60 house sparrows at a time sitting in the hedge at the bottom of the garden and taking their turn to take seed from the feeders.

Oh I have also discouraged any bloody felines over the years.

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Since feeders have been a regular winter source of foods in my local woodland, where I shoot Squirrels, the number and variety of ALL species of Songbirds has increased dramatically, now some of this is down to a reduction in Squirrel numbers but I cannot believe that the food does not encourage all types and ensure the survival of many that would have starved.

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1 hour ago, DUNKS said:

I stopped feeding birds this year because of next door cats. I really was feeding them! Just cant discourage them and they are both fit and nimble.

You need a dog or really good water pistol. 

I feed all year round and happily see a good variety of different species,  feeders are positioned to deter lager species and felines, squirrels are shot, birds are thriving 😁

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4 minutes ago, Mice! said:

I feed all year round and happily see a good variety of different species,  feeders are positioned to deter lager species and felines, squirrels are shot, birds are thriving

I'm much the same - except as corrected above.  Apart from anything else, I love to watch the birds having their breakfast whilst I am having mine. 

It isn't really politically viable for me to shoot squirrels where my feeders are!  I did shoot a rat that was raiding the feeders - and that was accepted (if slightly reluctantly!), but squirrels a step too far right in the centre of a village.  Cats are not a problem as next door has a dog that keeps cats away.  Woodpeckers have reared young this year and brought them to the feeders.  Green woodpeckers love the ants in the lawn.

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31 minutes ago, JohnfromUK said:

isn't really politically viable for me to shoot squirrels where my feeders are!  I did shoot a rat that was raiding the feeders - and that was accepted (if slightly reluctantly!), but squirrels a step too far right in the centre of a village

Guess it depends where your village is, oop north it's not politically correct to not shoot grey squirrels 😁

32 minutes ago, JohnfromUK said:

Green woodpeckers love the ants in the lawn

Not seen a Green woodpecker yet.

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31 minutes ago, Mice! said:

Not seen a Green woodpecker yet.

We are very lucky; the greater spotted come to the feeder (they love a bit of suet), and the greens feed on the lawn.  There are some lesser spotted in woods a mile or so away, but I have only once seen one.  They are pretty shy.

 

33 minutes ago, Mice! said:

Guess it depends where your village is, oop north it's not politically correct to not shoot grey squirrels

My immediate neighbours are fine (he shoots as well) - but we are a mix of 'old country types' and 'business in town people' with 'homes out in the country' who (it seems to me anyway) don't like country ways and would prefer a town but with a bit more greenery (as long as there are clean pavements to walk the obligatory dog).  The chorus of complaints that goes up if anyone has a bonfire (which I do regularly) ........ but they all like their log burners - with wood coming from the local 'kiln dried log' company at about 3 times the price per KW of gas! 

Sorry, rant over!

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1 hour ago, JohnfromUK said:

I'm much the same - except as corrected above.  Apart from anything else, I love to watch the birds having their breakfast whilst I am having mine. 

It isn't really politically viable for me to shoot squirrels where my feeders are!  I did shoot a rat that was raiding the feeders - and that was accepted (if slightly reluctantly!), but squirrels a step too far right in the centre of a village.  Cats are not a problem as next door has a dog that keeps cats away.  Woodpeckers have reared young this year and brought them to the feeders.  Green woodpeckers love the ants in the lawn.

Trap them? 

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4 hours ago, bruno22rf said:

Since feeders have been a regular winter source of foods in my local woodland, where I shoot Squirrels, the number and variety of ALL species of Songbirds has increased dramatically, now some of this is down to a reduction in Squirrel numbers but I cannot believe that the food does not encourage all types and ensure the survival of many that would have starved.

This is the thing ! We all believe feeding is a good thing, now according to this article we are causing an imbalance, resulting in less nesting sites for some rarer species. I wonder what the Songbird Survival or RSPB will make of it.

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55 minutes ago, islandgun said:

This is the thing ! We all believe feeding is a good thing, now according to this article we are causing an imbalance, resulting in less nesting sites for some rarer species. I wonder what the Songbird Survival or RSPB will make of it.

I hardly ever feed the birds around here but concentrate on allowing natural food sources to flourish, for example allowing thistles and dandelions to go to seed. (I don't have any near neighbours to annoy). At this time of year there's hundreds of finches about the place.

When I read the article I thought it was about time someone questioned the amount of feeding of wilds birds and the imbalances it makes. I also wonder what damage is done to the environment with all the land taken up growing bird seed.

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I feed the birds all year and the garden is rammed of them. From tree and house sparrows to various tits and wood peckers and all manner in between. My cat does sit and watch, he has no chance catching the birds on the feeder and that's  by design. Its too high and they can perch way out of reach  What he's after is the mice that like the spilt feed. Last week he had his second squirrel, an adult and fully grown. 

I can't really shoot the squirrels as the wife and children would go on about it for months (at least if they know). 

If you feed them they get quite tame and often are just 3 feet from me when enjoying a coffee in the garden, carefree of our presence. 

Not seen a greenfinch for years  though. 

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7 hours ago, bruno22rf said:

Since feeders have been a regular winter source of foods in my local woodland, where I shoot Squirrels, the number and variety of ALL species of Songbirds has increased dramatically, now some of this is down to a reduction in Squirrel numbers but I cannot believe that the food does not encourage all types and ensure the survival of many that would have starved.

I agree.  The seven flip top feeders I have out at the moment for squirrel control are constantly visited by all sorts of small birds and in my own wood I have put purpose built tables which I keep fed with a good mix of small bird feed along with peanuts. I am pleased to say, as mentioned above a big increase in small bird numbers, particularly finches this year with a fantastic number of bullfinches being born and coming to not only the tables but also to our house feeders as well. I have not bothered to read the article. I know what is happening in my own back yard because I spend many hours a week observing and protecting. 

Definitely the control of squirrels and magpies and jays makes a big difference to the succesful breeding of songbirds.

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11 hours ago, Windswept said:

When I read the article I thought it was about time someone questioned the amount of feeding of wilds birds and the imbalances it makes. I also wonder what damage is done to the environment with all the land taken up growing bird seed.

Do you really think the prime grain is used in bird food?

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I feed the birds in my garden all year round and we all enjoy seeing them. The numbers are huge at times. I use flip top squirrel feeders in the woods but scatter feed about around them so that birds show interest and it seems to give the squirrels confidence. I have a live trap on the fence under a Hawthorne tree which I set when a grey squirrel happens to pay a visit and a small flip top feeder which only gets topped up when squirrels are about.

Seems a pretty good balance to me. 
 

As for the eco wisdom of feeding birds it’s providing employment and income for many. Blooming so called academics need to get a real job, if they can’t find anything better to use their talent.

Edited by Fisheruk
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1 hour ago, TIGHTCHOKE said:

Do you really think the prime grain is used in bird food?

Of course not, but what about the sunflower seeds, niger seeds, peanuts etc etc, are you claiming they are all completely waste products, not even fit for biofuel?

There are also other problems with feeding, many people don't clean bird feeders regularly which spreads disease. I gather this is one possible reason for the demise of greenfinches?

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Ive been told a lot of bird seed is grown in Africa and flown here  along with roses

Cant see why they dont grow food for themselves if they are hungry like the begging adverts would have us belive

 save food miles and aircraft pollution

Folks near us have fat balls out         the neighbours get the rats passing through

Townies

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On a slight tangent,  when we were away in Anglesey the other week there was a full field of sunflowers, next to a pick your own fruit place, signs went up saying there was a walk through the field, bit different to a maize maze, the field looked great, just a shame they weren't all in full bloom.

Talking to a lady who had been taking some photos she said it wasn't a commercial thing,  more to get people in, I'm sure the field will be chock full of birds in a few weeks time.

There is also something on about sunflowers,  but I'll have to find out when, given I buy a lot of sunflower seeds it caught my attention. 

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