Feed The Birds...

Territory Hunting

WH308

Well-Known Member
I’m working from home two weeks in four at the moment, to add a little more interest outside the office window I have put a few bird feeders out. I have two peanut feeders and a triple feeder with fat balls, peanuts and a seed mix (no wheat). So far it is frequented by blue tits, great tits, robins, wrens, a nuthatch and a few other LBJ’s. now I have seen chaffinches, gold finches and greenfinchs in the hedgerows here but so far none have visited my feeders.

What else should I add into the mix to attract other species to the feast. There is plenty of water around as i have a few shallow cast cattle drinkers around the garden as bird baths.

Thanks
 

Freeforester

Well-Known Member
Ain't it nice to see the tits on yer fat balls! 🤣

Niger seed is good for the finches, but beware of spreading the killer avian virus which decimated greenfinch numbers a few years back. We found many siskins also succumbed to that illness, and now we scatter a handful of mixed feed out on the ground each day rather than put it all in a feeder with few access points.
 

WH308

Well-Known Member
Ain't it nice to see the tits on yer fat balls! 🤣

Niger seed is good for the finches, but beware of spreading the killer avian virus which decimated greenfinch numbers a few years back. We found many siskins also succumbed to that illness, and now we scatter a handful of mixed feed out on the ground each day rather than put it all in a feeder with few access points.
Ah, maybe I need a table. As my hens would soon cotton on to scattered feed!
 

Spix

Well-Known Member
I tend to plant to feed rather than feed, and this can be close to the windows too. Just simple things like leaving the lavender untrimmed until the end of the winter will allow the goldfinches to come for the seeds, leave some fruit on the trees rather than picking bare, a good few windfalls too (we had two dozen blackbirds plus thrushes on windfall apples one winter morning), teasels and a mixed native hedge if you can will attract them all too. Well worth it and keep your binos to hand!
 

philip

Well-Known Member
I tend to plant to feed rather than feed, and this can be close to the windows too. Just simple things like leaving the lavender untrimmed until the end of the winter will allow the goldfinches to come for the seeds, leave some fruit on the trees rather than picking bare, a good few windfalls too (we had two dozen blackbirds plus thrushes on windfall apples one winter morning), teasels and a mixed native hedge if you can will attract them all too. Well worth it and keep your binos to hand!
All I feed is Niger and sun flower seed heads,keeps the pigeons away, I grew what I thought were huge sunflower seeds to hang off the fruit trees, turned out to be multi head small sunflowers, but the finches love em, smaller seeds I guess but they are stripping em back
 

needsy

Well-Known Member
I have niger seeds, peanuts, fat balls, seed mix, but the favourite in my garden is Sunflower Hearts.
Lots of Goldfinch, & a mix of greenfinch, chaffinch, blue tit, Gt tit, collared doves, black birds the odd starling & sparrow & "Henry" the Cock Pheasant.
 

WH308

Well-Known Member
Well the bird feeder have been out for a couple of months now. Feeding peanuts, sunflower hearts, a wheat less seed, Niger seed and fat balls.

This morning so far I have seen 6 Goldfinches at once on the Niger feeder, blue tits, great tits, coal tits and a nuthatch on the peanuts and sunflower hearts, a robin on the seed and a few blackbirds attacking the fat balls on the table.

Yesterday I saw a grey wagtail, I’ve never seen one here before, we only get pied wagtails normally.

It’s great to see them going about there business tucking into the feed while the snow is on the ground
 

FrenchieBoy

Well-Known Member
Another thing to use to attract birds into your garden and help them through the winter are "Fat Balls". I always have a few fat balls out on my garden bird feeder but I prefer to make my own rather than use the cheap ones you buy at the bargain stores which often have very little in them except for cheap corn seed and very little else. I also regularly take some up to out local nature reserve where we have a great bird feeder station that people use for photographing the many different species of feathered visitors we get.
I make mine up using Lard, Suet, "blitzed" dried fruit and peanuts, dried meal worms, Sunflower Hearts, "High Energy Bird Seed" and Niger Seed. They are quite easy to make and can be "moulded" into balls to go inside the round "cage feeders". you can make them in polystyrene cups with a piece of string to hang them up with (The cups are easy to cut off when you want to use them) or you can fill half coconut shells with them and the birds really do both enjoy and benefit from them. I've had all sorts of birds come regularly to feed from the fat balls in our garden I make, including Wood Peckers!
I did a video of how to make them so if anyone is interested here's how I make mine and if you have young children they might well enjoy getting involved with the making of them. (I should add that this video is nearly 20 minutes long so I will not bother posting it on here but if anyone wants the link please PM me):
 

WH308

Well-Known Member
Hi Frenchie, I hate tipping fat down the sink so any fat that’s left over from roasts etc goes in a pot in the fridge. Last week I melted it down and added some bird seed, blended peanuts and dried fruit and made my own. The blackbirds love them.
 

FrenchieBoy

Well-Known Member
Hi Frenchie, I hate tipping fat down the sink so any fat that’s left over from roasts etc goes in a pot in the fridge. Last week I melted it down and added some bird seed, blended peanuts and dried fruit and made my own. The blackbirds love them.
What better way to use your excess meat fat from roasting joints etc, it's a win-win situation! :thumb:
 

glasshalffull

Well-Known Member
Mixed grain feeder in hen pen treat's the sparrows which are messy buggers and hence keeping the hens occupied below the feeder, both flocks happy. Topped up twice or thrice a day at this time year ;)
 

shakey jake

Well-Known Member
biggest problem with bird food and rats is the cheap blends with wheat in, small birds dont want it so scatter it all over the place, nigger seed, millet and no mess are pretty safe from rodents unless they get in bag in the shed
 

WH308

Well-Known Member
Normally I have a couple of free range hens that clean up any spillage, but to be fair the chaffinches and blackbirds aren’t doing too bad a job. Rats would see the pointy end of the 9mm.
 
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