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Feed the birds!


 
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Sive
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:35 am    Post subject: Feed the birds! Reply with quote

Happy New Year to one and all. I can't remember when we got such a long cold snap before....though I'm told the last one was 1963, when most of us lived in houses without any central heating...there's a shivering thought!
Could everyone make an effort to put out food for the birds please ?.......bread soaked in warm water, apples cut in half, grated cheese, peanuts ( not salted of course ) and birdseed.
We have the misfortune to live at the top of a hill, so we've been staying close to home as everything has been so icy. However beautiful the snow has been, it becomes tiresome after about.......24 hours.
It's interesting ( and very predictable ) that it is only when Dublin grinds to a halt that the media start to shout about road conditions !
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sal
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree


Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Posts: 266
Location: kerry

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

poor things,they hve been coming very close to the house and taking risks to get the chicken food,sadly my cats have killed loads lately,so much so i have tied 5 bells on maxwell as he is the worst,i managed to save one in the utility room that he`d brought in,a blackbird it was,it flew away after i put it back in the garden, but there was a robin dead already in there,it makes me so sad but its his nature,Cleo has 3 bells attached as she`s not as clever as Maxwell and Honey who is very old hasnt any as she couldnt catch a cold now.i have bird feeders up high but the robins and wagtails etc dont use them only the tits and crows,we have a curfew on maxwell,he from today goes out at night and is to be kept in daytimes,hope that works,cant stand the carnage.
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Sive
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Much and all as I love cats, I have decided not to have one again, once our last fellow (aged 15 ) dies. Like you, I can't bear the thought of the carnage they inflict on the bird population. And I hope a tabby kitten never strays into my life again, as I find tabbies to be special creatures, and I would be tempted to keep it!
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walltoall
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 705
Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:30 am    Post subject: cats is the bane of the bird population Reply with quote

Cats are believed to be responsible for the premature deaths of up to a quarter of the small bird population in urban areas around here. Quite a lot are killed in the vicinity of bird-feeders which for the [rather sparse] local cat population is like shooting fish in a barrel. Throwing bird-seed on the ground near cover is a guaranteed way to lower the bird numbers over time. I am much obliged to you Sal for heavily underlining this. Although I love ALL animals, I have NEVER kept a domestic cat and never would and almost entirely for that reason.

On a lighter note a neighbour here has bird-feeders high up in a 'tree' in his garden, which is regularly visited by our local ring-necked parakeet gang. He tells me they see off ANY cat that even comes near while they are feeding.

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Retired trouble-maker. twitters @walltoall and dreams of being promoted to Pedunculate Oaker.
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medieval knievel
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the RSPB's take on the matter - and you may find it surprising:

http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/gardening/unwantedvisitors/cats/birddeclines.asp
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Sive
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is really interesting mk.....I suppose we need to keep everything in proportion.
For years, I didn't feed birds as I had three cats, until I read that birds are actually safer when feeding in groups, as they will react to any one of them sending out alarm signals.....whereas a single bird foraging under bushes etc is more likely to be pounced on by a cat. Safety in numbers !
I would sooner see an occasional bird caught by a cat than many,many birds dying of starvation and cold.
Keep feeding the birds I say!
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sal
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
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Joined: 15 Sep 2008
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Location: kerry

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i let max out tonight as all the birds have flown home,and as not so long ago he caught a rat so keeping him in daytimes may be the answer to the rats that go after the chicken food,i found a hole in the hut a couple of days ago and dh blocked it with wood,my chickens are attracting them so maxwell has a job to do,
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Protein
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cats can be forgiven, but I can't forgive humans.
A few days it appears someone was out to poison the crows. I found one (still breathing) in driveway, and a further three on my road. I also found a dead red robbin, and a small little blue-ish bird. I was so infuriated

I have put out extra food this year, interest has been unprecendented ...

When we had cats, putting a collar with bells made it allot harder for them ... do any of u cat owner put bells on your cats? does it help?


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On a flower's grave" - T Waits
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sal
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
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Joined: 15 Sep 2008
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Location: kerry

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes my maxwell sounds like the court jester with 5 bells attached,he still kills but maybe some have been saved,anyway he`s on curfew,in after dawn, out at night fall,this is till the weather warms up and the birds are less dozy and desperate for food,Cleo chases birds hardly ever catches any ,in fact i`ve never seen her with a bird but she has 3 bells attached,my problem also is Maxwell and cleo sit in with the chickens and the little birds dont see them,
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anyone know any tricks for attracting birds to your garden?
we're in a bit of a concrete jungle here, and have a fat ball and peanut feeder out - we know there are birds in trees about fifty or one hundred feet away, but they don't seem to know about our yard with the feeders...
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Foxylock
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
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Location: cork

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have a tree or large shrub , quarter some apples and spear them on the branches , this is a favourite of blackbirds and all members of the thrush family. Giving dried bread is not recommended as it may swell in the birds stomach, moisten it first or alternatively pour some fat over it to make bird cake. They will love you for it. Some other foods include : suet, raisins fruit,cooked potato, bacon rind,oatmeal and seeds. These can be hung from trees or put on the bird table. Provide a bird bath and fresh drinking water and birds should flock to your garden. One important note is to continue feeding once they arrive as they will become dependent on you for this food. Enjoy the birdwatching Very Happy
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Sive
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you just have to be patient,MK...there are no "tricks" I can think of. All it takes is one curious bird flying into your yard and the rest will follow. But you need to be committed, making sure the feeders are always filled.
Let us know when the birds find you.
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Foxylock
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
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Location: cork

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Medieval Kneivel,

I just happened upon this book on Amazon you may find of interest. It has the rather longwinded title of : Attracting birds to your backyard, 536 ways to turn your yard and garden into a haven for your favourite birds. Yes I'm deadly serious, it could have nothing to do with wildlife and turn out to be a really bad dating guide but I assure you there is a large picture of a bird on the front cover ( feathered variety of course ) .

Anyway it might be worth having an owl rook at it, I better duck outta here before I make a tit of myself and get called a little egret ......or worse Laughing Laughing
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hitbit
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Joined: 14 Apr 2007
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Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:02 pm    Post subject: Finding food Reply with quote

It only takes one bird to find the fatball, peanut feeder or whatever food you leave out then its follow the leader and their all in. Our quite large feeding station, see pic, took 3 days to be discovered. Now its visited many times a day by Starlings, Pigeons, Blackbirds, Robins, Sparrows, Great Tits and even 2 Crows.

hitbit



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