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Birds in the garden - Page 50 - Carers UK Forum

Birds in the garden

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553 posts
and my house is directly under there daily flight path , as they head to the fields for the day and back to the Loch in the evening.
already heard some geese , sadly it was the flock that stay all year. as some decide to stay at the Loch rather than flying back home lol.

and even though there are trees ,,, 2 golf courses between me and the loch ,,, not forgetting several roads , you can still clearly hear the geese calling from the water.

Love this time of the year when they start arriving in little gangs and join in to make big rafts .
I'm after some advice please from all you 'bird experts'! I want to buy a nice bird feeding station for the garden - to put outside the lounge window where my mum (who now sadly has dementia) sits in her armchair. Nothing much interests her any more, but she does seem to enjoy watching any birds that appear in our garden (and speaks to any Robins who come close when we're outside!).

My question is - is it best to buy one on a pole which I just position into the ground, or should I buy something free standing that I can move around? (I was thinking I could also buy the pole type and use a heavy garden parasol stand to secure it?). If I position it in the ground, presumably any stray seed will then start sprouting in my garden next Spring? I guess it's better to go for a quality one rather than a cheapie?

Any tips on where to start with type of feeder and type of feed?

We have loads of squirrels around here so I want to deter them from stealing the bird food - presumably a greased up pole would achieve that?

Any advice would be gratefully received. Thanks!
Hi Maz

In regards to cheeky squirrels , sadly once they discover a free easy meal it is more or less game over for any slow small bird lol.
You will have a fight on your hands , and they are 100% fully committed little sods .. Have a look on You Tube for squirrel videos at bird feeders. great for a laugh while you have a cuppa and having a few mins brake.

You can buy "" squirrel proof "" feeders ,but it is not unusual for the odd one or two smart ones learn how to "" brake in "".

in terms of feed , this is partly down to your self and your mum in what birds you would like to attract.
Some bird species will feed from feeders hanging , but some ideally like feeding off the ground.
with Autumn / Winter approaching why not get the attention of a robin ,, they like a bit of Rich tea biscuit ,, well most birds do lol. but an absolute fav for a robin is dried meal worms , Pets at Home sell this , as well as some super markets in the pet / wild bird section.

If you are on a budget there is absolutely no harm in buying a cheaper feeder , one of my pole feeders was £20 and this will be its 5th winter , but it is out all year round ( in summer i stick hanging baskets from it ) .. Also have a search for Window feeders , this will let your mum get even closer , they just stick onto the outside of the window with suckers.
hopefully this link is allowed , but by all means mods remove it if needed.
the RSPB is not the cheapest for food , but it can give some hints , tips , advice and an idea in the feed available ... infact just seen this offer on the RSPB http://shopping.rspb.org.uk/bird-food/b ... offer.html
the feeder in that kit is the one i have , though i bought it from else where.
I've actually found that Lidl are the cheapest for a mixed seed bird feed and suet balls :) My lot love it ! (Wilkinsons are also very good for a wide range of different types of bird feed).

I have two of the pole type bird feeders - one came from Wilkinsons and was under £20, the other with more 'arms' was from B&Q and was about £25; I've had both for about 3 years now and they're out in all weathers and are still OK.

Both of my feeders are hammered straight into the ground and are quite stable - even with half a dozen pigeons hanging off the containers !). Some brands of seeds have been pre-treated so that they don't seed themselves, but it's not really a problem as a lot of the seed that falls to the ground is gobbled up by the ground feeding birds like robins (and, yes they really do love the dried mealworms) or the ever greedy pigeons. Goldfinches love sunflower seeds and Jays go wild for peanuts ! Most birds also enjoy the suet balls and bits of bacon rind chopped up very small; also an apple chopped up into small pieces goes down well. Don't bother with buying the suet filled coconut halves you can make something similar yourself - just let any saved fat from roast dinners set in a small plastic container and then add it to one of the feeder trays.

Three things to remember -
1) once the birds get used to the feeder (and that can take a week or two) they need you to keep re-filling it !
2) they also need regular access clean water - especially in very hot weather and when it turns icy.
3) the hanging feeders and trays need to be regularly cleaned.

Small birds like the feeders to be positioned near a bush or tree so that if they feel 'threatened' they can hide and you'll NEVER be able to keep squirrels off the feeders - they'll eventually find a way to get into even the, supposedly, squirrel proof ones - they are tenacious little b*ggers
Our local squirrel developed the skill of bowling a whole fat ball along the path once he'd freed it from the holder....
Now we have cats we rarely see a squirrel but neither do we feed the birds any more. It would be luring them to an untimely end :(
Thanks for all the info - very helpful.

I really do dislike those squirrels - they dig up my lawn to hide their nuts and now I've got to go into battle with them again when I get my new bird feeding station. I will certainly try to make the pole very greasy. I've seen those squirrel proof feeders but they always look so big and I wonder if they do actually work. I shall visit our local garden centre tomorrow to see what's on offer.

Anyway, I can but try. Will be worth it to see the birds feeding and hopefully my mum a bit more entertained (with or without squirrels)!
Maz - greasing the pole will have no effect whatsoever, it's been tried before; the little s*ds can leap from just about anywhere and still land on either a feeding tray, the water dish or a hanging feeder :shock: I know the squirrel proof feeders look big, but the baffle needs to be that size to make it as difficult as possible for them to get the food !
We have one of those very light stick-in-the-ground poles that takes two feeders. One is with nigella for finches and has attracted goldfinches. The other has fat balls in it. The squirrel does try it but not for long, as I think the pole wobbles more than is worth it. But we do get magpies and starlings on it too. Half-way down the garden we have a huge bird table from which a squirrel-proof feeder is suspended. The squirrel often has a go at it, and in fact it got through the last one, but that was only because the little chain inside holding the lid had broken. I'm OK with the squirrel at the moment, but it does bury nuts in the lawn and we often have to remove walnut saplings from the borders.
I reckon I have finally beaten the squirrels: my feeding station is almost impenetrable.
I tried using dirty engine grease on the pole, and that was futile. I even tried hanging the feeders off a suspended string in the air, but squirrels are willing to fly several feet through the air in search of a snack. My peanut and fatball feeders have a rigid cage around them that is too small for squirrels to penetrate, and my seed feeder has a trapdoor that snaps shut if any weight is on the door.
My finest moment this year was the arrival of a Jay: presumably hoping to snatch some hapless chick.I doubt I will ever beat that.


Yesterday morning about 5am we had a very heavy but short lived downpour - so heavy I thought the bedroom windows were going to cave in :shock: When I eventually got up about 8am and opened the curtains the first thing I saw was a very water logged, fluffed up robin on the path - I think he'd fluffed up his feathers so much in an effort to get dry - he looked just like one of those round, fat robins that you see on Christmas Cards. I think the downpour must have caught him on the wing and knocked him to the ground. I did try to get close to him with some seed but he ran off under the fence to next door - he was that water logged that he couldn't fly :( Haven't seen him since but I hope he recovered !
553 posts