Hi Jason i think the best thing is to give them options if you have the space, my hanging feeders are out in the open (about 8ft from my patiofrench door) but there are bushes close by for them to dive in for cover.I then have ground trays 1 on an old patio table (4ft from the window) 1 under the table and 1 on the floor next to a fence.
In that way they have the different options.
My photos are on Flickr and Website
Thanks for the advice. I'll certainly try different methods. Birds are not shy to my garden but I like to hear different techniques. I'll be definitely be trying the "hanging baskets" technique too, like the sound of that one
Yeah quite a few have tried that method and had great success with it.
Oddly enough I just commented on that in the Feeding Visitors thread. The sparrows only fed from the seed feeder after I put it in the tree. Before that (back in April) I had one pair of sparrows that occasionally dropped by and then cleared off. The only birds that really felt at home on the feeding station were the Great Tits and Blue Tits. Within days of moving the seed feeder, word obviously spread on the sparrow twitter network (ha ha) and now I have 30 or more of the little terrors using the feeder from dawn till dusk, hence the half a kilo of seed consumed each day. You'll see them on Channel 4's "Help! I'm a 30 stone sparrow" documentary soon! I'm sure they feel more secure there (especially given the large numebr of littluns in the group). Oddly enough, when the garden is full of birds; wood pigeons, starlings, blackbirds, robins, sparrows etc and they get spooked by something, all the other birds take to the air and fly off but the sparrows head for their tree. I'll see if they will allow me to get close enough to photograph them in the tree, so you can get an idea of the layout.
Said Mother Tern to Baby Tern "Would you like a brother?"
Said Baby Tern to Mother Tern "Yes, one good tern deserves another"
The comment about the proximity of bushes makes perfect sense. They do like a safe spot to fly to at a moment's notice. The more feeding options and locations seems to help too. Some birds like to flit in and out like a takeaway and others like to sit through 3 courses! Also, I have noticed that the wood pigeons will naturally head for the open bird tables because of their size and thus the smaller guys can feed undisturbed on their own feeders. Some high, some open and some in a tree gives them options. The chaffinches and dunnocks seem to spend nearly all of their time on the ground, so a few bits sprinkled under a bush, where they are concealed while they eat seems popular with my lot. Anything left over is soon polished off by the starling tsunami that arrives late afternoon! I've cleared the area under and around the feeding station so that there are no hiding places for cats.
Hi everyone, some great feeding techniques and ideas mentioned. I've never heard the hanging basket one before, that definately sounds worth a try! I agree with doggie and monkeycheese in saying that providing feeder options is a good move :)
Compared to these Wood Pigeons, those Starlings represent the epitome of style and panache at the bird table!
Haha, fab photos :)
Brilliant pics form everyone on this thread, unfortunately unable to get pics of our babies. The Swifts return every summer to stay at our house but they are up in the eves and are so quick it would take a lot of time and a great zoom to capture them.
On arrival life is pretty calm but by this time of the year, as the young hatch, there is an enormous amount of droppings under the nest which is just outside our kitchen door! We do not notice the morning feed time as we ae usually asleep but come the evening the screeming for food is extremely loud.
Judging by previous years, shortly we will be able to see little heads appreaing out of the nest waiting for parents to return with food. They gradually become more adventurous until they begin to take short flights and within a few days the mess outside the kitchen door stops until the following year.
There appears to be a line of these nests in local houses and we all get fed up with the mess but it is only for a few weeks so unlike some of my neighbours I am quite happy to leave the nest in place for next year's break.
We too have had a great selection of young this year, unfortunately didn't manage to capture the mistlethrush, goldfinch and dove babes (yet?) but below are those we did.
and of course the obligatory starlings - one of which was a lovely cream colour
Love the young blackbird. It looks as if it is wearing a cape made of feathers like some avian superhero! The young blue tit appears to be having a go at its parent for looking so scruffy! "Muuum, you're embarrassing me!"
If it's not outdoors it's not worth watching.
Actually Monkeycheese the young blackbird thinks he IS a superhero - cos if he wants a sultana nobody else is having one - the second time I saw him in the garden he ran into a male and female blackbird who were peaceably (for a change!) munching sultanas and scattered them both out of the way! Like several of the older blackbirds he is already begging at the patio doors................. The blue tit parent is looking better now (pic taken a couple of weeks ago) gradually getting back it's proper colour and has plumped out a bit and actually took some time for itself and had a lovely long bath - poor things they work so hard for their babes.
Thanks Snowman - love taking pics of the youngsters - but its a darn nuisance that the smaller ones are covered by huge leaves, which is great for their safety but rubbish for getting pics.
These two young sparrows spent the first part of the morning feeding and being fed. Once they had scoffed enough, they huddled together in the 'nursery tree' (justifying the name) and had a snooze while the rest of the gang continued eating. They were oblivious to the starling and other sparrows.
Can I ask which make and model of camera you used to take these marvellous photos? My camera is pretty good, but it doesn't have such a good zoom.