Hi doggie, yes I'm eager to hear all thoughts on it :)
The 'nursery tree' is packed out right now, every available perch is taken, but the gang are just trying to keep dry. Food is the last thing on their minds for now. I have to tiptoe around the garden at dusk. Once they start shuffling about, it takes forever to get them calmed down. I mix several types of seed, mueseli, crushed peanuts, suet, mealworms and sunflower hearts. This seems to keep them occupied. All four perches on the feeder are occupied non-stop, with others waiting patiently in the tree for their turn. The sparrows always land on the top right of the tree and work their way down to the bottom left where the feeder is located. The blue tits fly directly to the feeder and never join the queue! Bathtime is entertaining too and on hot days, the females line up on the fence to dry out once the bathing is over. It is all very organised. The males tend to bathe and drink separately from the females, although there are times when one of them might forget sparrow etiquette and join in! When the entire gang is in the garden, it can get chaotic, especially if the starlings turn up. They number about twenty in total and things can get tense as they compete with the sparrows for food. For such a small suburban garden, it provides endless entertainment and non stop photo opportunities.
Hi Lil Wren, this is a lovely thread, I'm inundated with juvinile Starlings at the mo and today on the local pond we were watching Coots feed their young.
I see what you mean, but it is a robin. I have taken photos of him every day since the end of May. He now has a few reddish breast feathers showing and has decided to make the garden his 'manor'. The other browner robin was also around when I first saw the other one, but it disappeared for a few weeks. Maybe they are siblings. Nevertheless he/she is sent packing daily with a series of dit-dit-dits and lots of low level flying attacks. These baby robin antics have been going on for about a week now and have added a new dimension to the avian chaos! The mother of the dominant robin used to come to the door each morning for some pastry (I'll see if I can upload some footage of this activity that I took on my mobile), but she has disappeared. Her mother (from 2 years ago), had a broken leg (at the 'knee' joint) but still managed a brood and survived the bitter Winter before disappearing. She nested on a shelf in the garage. I was able to determine that the robin with the broken leg was a female as I caught her 'In the act'... So the current robin is 3rd generation of the same family. I hope that it will also become as tame as its predecessors.
Hi monkeycheese, your stories certainly give me inspiration that you have so much activity for a small garden, as you say. I think Ive had about probably 10 starlings in the apple tree thats there and taking it in turns to feed from the feeders. I also have a bird bath too but I very rarely see them bathe.... Any ideas why that is? Has the wet weather got something to do with it, or do they probably bathe at times Im not here??
I'm not sure why the sparrows (and other birds) bathe when they do, but it does seem to be the case that when one decides to drink or bathe, then the others join in. This is certainly the case with the sparrows, it is very orderly. The starlings on the other hand just dive in and ruck with eachother. I don't have a bird bath as such, just three dishes that I have put on the ground for them. I get to see everything from the kitchen window as everything they need is in one convenient place: food, drink and a place to sleep (a spa for sparrows). Sometimes they bathe during a downpour (which makes no sense). I've got some bathtime photos...
Finally, three more to end the day...
A tasty little snack...
Which bath should I try first?
It's true, I'm part Meerkat, part Great Tit. Honestly...
those are brilliant and its certainly given me some ideas!! I can imagine the starlings just diving in and splashing about!! Brilliant though
Love the sunbathing sparrow Monkey. But they are all great pics. Thanks
Hi monkeycheese and Jason, your stories were wonderful and a delight to read :) Both of your gardens sound like little pieces of bird heaven! Thank you for all your great pictures, I like the idea of the three bath dishes.
Hi Birdie Wild, thank you so much for posting, they are just adorable! It's good to hear of your starlings too :) I agree with you Snowman, they are all great photos :)
I spent an hour taking photos of the gang this afternoon, just after 5pm. I think you'll enjoy the results. Youngsters feeding, fighting and having fun!
The sparrows on the feeder. Note: they are all females, including the one at the front of the queue to the right.
Young sparrow and young robin deciding where to bathe...
Feeding on the fence
A much safer location for a snack
Back at the table (again, all females)
The young starlings are slightly less dignified!
These are fab once again monkeycheese :) I particularly love the last one, haha
All these photos of adults feeding their young have reminded me of some odd behaviour that I spotted at the end of April, just before the eggs were laid (I am assuming this since both adults were away from any nest). I noticed the female would squat down and fluff herseIf up and shake her wings (as an infant would). The male would then feed her. I was wondering if this is designed to activate the feeding instinct in the male, especially as it is the male Robin that feeds the young when they have fledged? I first spotted the Robins doing this and was delighted and amazed, since it is so rare to see both adult robins together. Sadly I was not quick enough with the camera, but I did manage to get a couple of pix of the Blue Tits doing the exact same thing. Has anyone else been fortunate enough to see this?
By the way, they are not sitting on a giant pizza! The tray contains crushed peanuts rather than bacon and melted cheese...
I've seen the same with the Robins, i think it was said at the the time on the forum it is part of the bonding ritual.
Absolutely great photos there! I love the one with the sparrows all feeding together! Would birds generally feed with more confidence if the feeders were in a tree like yours with the sparrows, or would they come nevertheless if feeders were in the open? All the feeders i have in the open then usual starlings/tits/robins come but no sparrows really