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Attracting birds to my garden

Discussion in 'Personal' started by 60sunnysmile, Dec 21, 2019.

  1. 60sunnysmile

    60sunnysmile New commenter

    Hi everyone. I am spending a lot of time at home now due to illness and I enjoy looking at the birds in my small garden. I have a few bird feeders hanging from the pergola which attract blue **** and gold finches. A robin pops in daily to poke at the ground. I recently had a jay fly in and nose around but haven’t seen it since. Any ideas on how I can attract a variety of birds both small and larger? The garden is in the middle of a small housing estate but the estate is on the edge of the town so close to outdoor space. There are a lot of cats on the estate who like to visit my garden too, but less so now it’s cold.
    caress and Jamvic like this.
  2. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

  3. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    You could try looking at the RSPB website, Some birds like those fatball things with embedded seeds (cheap from places like Home and Bargain, expensive from garden centres). I get blue and great titz, some finches, and blackbirds scrape about below the feeders for dropped bits (they don't use the feeders themselves as they prefer cover). I throw other foods on the front lawn which is more open, and attract rooks from the local rook colony and thieving seagulls. Their behaviour is interesting. There are loads of cats round here, and I have one, but mine just watches through the window.
  4. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    We feed the birds a mixture of seed, suet pellets, meal worms and fat balls. A word of warning though, the food also attracts rats.
  5. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    Plenty of birds, but we don't feed them. The secret is to grow plants that attract them all year around.
  6. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    We get Kittiwakes, Seagulls, Crows, Robins and Sparrows
    60sunnysmile and Jamvic like this.
  7. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    I started using sunflower hearts and got a variety of birds including blue ****, coal ****, great **** and gold finches.

    Sparrows also visit regularly which is good to see and we had one bird last week that we had never seen before- we concluded that it may have been a woodpecker.

    The birds also like fat balls and peanuts. 4773CA08-633F-49DE-B1A9-6F897A365AF3.jpeg

    I made my own bird feeder which currently has about 6 feeders hanging from it.
  8. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Lead commenter

    Definitely think about what plants you have and if you can put up nesting boxes. An old teapot or kettles in a shrubby bush might attract a Robin or wren. A box on a shed or tree , blue t*ts and great t*ts.. pyracanthus is great for berries and blackbirds. We get lots of cats too but we still get a lot of birds as well.
    60sunnysmile and Jamvic like this.
  9. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    LOL. This rude word filter needs to be context sensitive.
  10. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    I recommend Nature’s Feast seed - gives you a choice of four or eight seed mix. I’ve found there is absolutely no waste with it, unlike some other varieties.
    60sunnysmile and Jamvic like this.
  11. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    If we have a really cold snap you’ll be surprised by the increased range of birds that suddenly appear if you put food out for them.
    60sunnysmile and Jamvic like this.
  12. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Don't forget a clean water supply as well. And break/remove the ice if it freezes.
    60sunnysmile and Jamvic like this.
  13. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Feeding them, regularly, throughout the year is important and that will build up the nuimbers steadily. But also important, as @border_walker says, is planting things which attract them. These would be plants with berries or seeds they can eat, such as fennel, pyracanthus, or trees like hawthorn and bird cherry (clue there...). Then think about safe palces, especially if there are many cats. Ivy is a good one, as it creates nesting places and provides berries in the winter when most things have been eaten.
    I have nest boxes, but no birds use them, preferring the ivy and clematis all over the walls.
    Also plants to attract insects will cause birds to come in too, to feed on the insects.
    Well done you! Many people like such tidy gardens that no birds come because there's nowhere to hide.
  14. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    If you've got feeders what you don't want to be attracting is corvids, who are crafty sods at the best of times. They will devour the food in quantity, leaving little or none for the smaller birds with ambivalent names. Small birds often like a bit of natural cover close to a feeder so they can hide from predators easily.

    I've been fighting an ongoing battle to keep my feeder corvid free and have finally devised one which has dangly bamboo sticks hanging around it, which the smaller birds can grip on to, but which snag on the bigger birds' wings, and are too smooth for them to get a grip on. They're intelligent enough to realise when it's not worth the effort and they go elsewhere.
    60sunnysmile and Jamvic like this.
  15. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Useful information here. It explains the types of food the various birds can and can't eat, depending on the shape of their bill, the various types of feeder and their purpose and the best types of feeder to deter squirrels and large birds nicking the food you hope to attract small birds with.

  16. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Regarding squirrels (or b*****d tree rats as I call them), after much trial and (mainly) error I found the simplest deterrent was a feeder that the average squirrel can't get its snout into. As for trying to stop them leaping onto it or climbing up it, forget it.
    60sunnysmile and Jamvic like this.
  17. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

  18. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Pets At Home Heavy Duty Fat Ball Wild Bird Feeder

    The holes are too fiddly for squirrel snouts. You should see their little fluffy tails twitching in fury when they can't get the food out of it. :)
    60sunnysmile and Jamvic like this.
  19. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    Kittiwakes? You sure? Do you live on a cliff and put fish out? Are you misidentifying some gull species?
    Jamvic likes this.
  20. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    We have a weeping pear tree which the little birds love. The dense cover gives them a safe place. They also love our apple tree with some feeding in it and some on windfalls.
    60sunnysmile, install and Jamvic like this.

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