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Feed the Birds please !


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Sive
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Joined: 18 Apr 2008
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Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:16 am    Post subject: Feed the Birds please ! Reply with quote

I'm not sure how badly affected the rest of the country is by snow/frost/low temperatures. Here in North Wexford, we are snowed in, and while it is very beautiful, birds will find it difficult if not impossible to find enough food to survive.

So please consider feeding them.....and then maybe keep going through the winter !

Suitable food:
Peanuts ( not salted )/ Bird seed / grated cheddar cheese / oatmeal / soaked bread/soaked raisins ( soak overnight ) /apples / pears / grapes/cooked rice/ bacon rinds or fat, cubed into small pieces

And if anyone would like to join the Birdwatch Winter Survey which starts tomorrow, take a look at this page on the Birdwatch Ireland website:

http://www.birdwatchireland.ie/Ourwork/GardenBirds/tabid/121/Default.aspx

I've been doing the survey for the past few years and it's most enjoyable...and you learn a lot about birds too. Try it !

Thanks!
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Sive
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to mention something almost as important as food....... WATER. Please put out a shallow container of water, and fill it every day as it will freeze overnight. Birds will be struggling to find water in these temperatures.
Has anyone noticed any unusual visitors at the bird table ? I have dozens of starlings looking for food......and three robins...as well as lots of other birds.
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, I have tonnes of berries here on the plants to feed the poor little buggers, but water is the issue.
I'm keeping on top of that.

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The Fly
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't seen a greenfinch this year yet.
Are they getting scarce .
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Sive
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of greenfinches here in north Wexford, or at least there were before this crazy weather. You may be unlucky in your area as there is a virus that is affecting them. You have to keep moving your feeding station and keep the water containers very clean, otherwise you could help the virus to spread.
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The Fly
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks SIVE
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Protein
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a crate of apples that haven't stored well, so I am placing them back on the tree (threading the stems of the tree through their flesh)

They have gone down a treat!

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hitbit
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:07 pm    Post subject: Bird Feeding Reply with quote

Reading your post last year kicked me into playing my part looking after our little feathered friends. Now the whole family has become involved in providing for them all year round. I have included some pictures of our feeding station which attracts all kinds with starlings the big player at the moment. In addittion to your food type suggestions we have found leftover, bread, biscuits, cake, fat off cooked meats chicken etc to be well received. We avoid leaving out chicken bones.
Thanks for the idea this has become a very pleasant, worthwhile and most interesting activity.

hitbit



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Sive
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there hitbit, what an amazing feeding station you have made.....I'm not surprised you are getting so much pleasure out of it.
Yes, there are a lot of starlings around at the moment, many of which are juveniles shadowing their parents. People may think of them as very ordinary, but their numbers are falling around Europe, so it is important to encourage them.
Could I make one suggestion ? Could you remove the fat balls from their plastic netting, and put them into the special feeders made to take them ?
I have read that the plastic netting can sometimes get tangled around birds' feet and can cause injuries. I wish the manufacturers just didn't sell them like that. In fact you can buy tubs of fat balls which is probably a cheaper way to buy them too.
Anyway long may you enjoy your birds....and maybe you will join in the Winter Bird Survey one day too ! It's very addictive !
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The Fly
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hitbit, It is some feeding station.
Keep it at a low key or we'll have no birds in Tipperary if they find out it's location.

Well done.
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hitbit
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:16 pm    Post subject: Birds Reply with quote

Thanks for the nice comments people. We have taken your point about the nylon on board and will work to resolve this issue. A big problem we have found with feeders is too many birds trying to feed in such a small area leads to a lot of fighting and possible injury with the smaller birds such as sparrows and finches tending to stay away. With the individual fat balls, suet/cake blocks, feeding platform for insects,oatmeal fruit etc and top house, the little house at the top is full of seed, there seems to be room at the table for everyone. Does anyone know if single fatball holders are available.
I have written to my local Aldi and Lidl stores to urge them to increase the number of times they stock bird related products each year as they are much better value than other retailers in Dubln, at least. I believe their cheaper prices encourage people to provde for birds. I would urge everyne to drop them a few lines. The more the merrier.

Again our thanks.

Hitbit
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mariafp
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Birds Reply with quote

hitbit wrote:
A big problem we have found with feeders is too many birds trying to feed in such a small area leads to a lot of fighting and possible injury with the smaller birds such as sparrows and finches tending to stay away.
Hitbit


As longer as the bird feeder are empty, I have different small birds around here. When I top up the feeders, crows arrive and the small birds disappear. It's not like I do not want to feed them, but I kind of feel bad for the small birds... I do no know if it's possible to feed the other birds with a second feeder of food that crows do not like or a second breeder where big birds can't access...
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Sive
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know what you mean....I find the local rooks here fly away when they see any movement, so I frighten them off a few times and then they get bored waiting and fly away ! If it's very cold and/or they're very hungry, it's a battle to frighten them off at all, and then I put extra food out for the little birds....but under a kind of cloche that my better half made.......well, a cloche shaped wooden frame but covered in the strong netlon-type netting that has gaps big enough for the little birds to get through.
That could be an option for you.
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avs0020
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I lost my temper at the price of lard balls and decided to make my own. Dead simple. Just melted lard like Atora and added peanuts and seeds (about 60% mix to 40% lard). i then pour this mush into those bendable Plastic muffin trays - easier to remove from a flexible mould when the mixture sets. I also bought loads of those coconut shells filled with commercial bird lard, let the birds emptied them and then refilled them with my mush.

I am not saving a single cent, in fact probably the opposite because I now have more birds eating more food. I have around 8 feeders so I can see them out of all of my windows & up at the greenhouse. I dont have a wide variety of birds but I have so so many of them.

One advantage with the lard balls is that the birds discard less husks so its actually less messy than seed feeders (unless you use the expensive seed feed where the birds eat 100% of it)

For the ground birds I have found that 2 of the cheap plastic coated baskets (used for flowering baskets) turned upside down with the second one at a different placing then the first so that the gaps between the wires are reduced. This works to keep big birds off my offerings but didnt work with my local fox who just dragged the baskets off the food and snuffled up the weevils and lard shavings and seed. So i then hammered a short piece of rebar into the ground and popped my baskets back (the baskets I use have a small circle at the top). This prevented the fox from dragging them anywhere (so he stole a pair of my runners in protest, left one chewed up one in the field next door - dont leave shoes outside to dry is yet another lesson I have learned but the neighbourhood fox is a bit of a kleptomaniac. Busted him coming out of the car port carrying a garden trowel. He froze and had the decency to look guilty, and then dropped it politely when I said "Drop It" - he cracks me up)

i have a half acre plot in the Kerry countryside and I go through a 25kg sack of peanuts in 4 weeks, and around 20 boxes of lard. then there's also the expense of seed and dried weevils. Its a huge expense and there are many days that I doubt the wisdom of my actions but I have just looked up at the nearest feeder and counted over 40 tits and finches in the immediate branches and on the feeders.

My husband and I recently talked about giving up to save money - instead I gave up buying coffee and snacks when I'm travelling. They are worth every penny and I hope I can keep on affording to do this.

BTW I have 4 cats and have almost no problems. Photo attached of one of them about to launch an offensive on my poor fox



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Sive
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely to read about your birds ( and fox ! ) and the pleasure of feeding them.......yes, expense too, but I'm sure we waste money all the time on much less important things in life ! Clever thinking about the hanging baskets too....silly me, I bought just one and decided it was too small to work, but I can see how the two together would work fine. Have you ever thought of doing the Birdwatch Ireland Winter survey ?? It's brilliant fun.
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