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Re: trying to attract birds to our garden

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:30 pm
by SiW
Last question from me (he says)!

Obviously my feeders aren't getting a lot of action. How often do I need to chuck away the food and refresh it? Seems a waste throwing it away when it's hardly been touched after only a couple of days?

Ended up splitting the big wide feeder so I can have 2 types of food in it. It has a wide landing area/tray so hopefully they'll like that.

Was it the normal bog-standard 'Wild Bird Food' that you go for?

Hoping the feeders aren't too low (they are very close to shrubs/heather, but there aren't really any cats).

Cheers as always

Re: trying to attract birds to our garden

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:54 pm
by Jacksparrow
The new bird table looks OK but how it performs in the Cumbrian weather will be the real test. We have not talked about what to put on the bird table but I would advise against putting any of the seed type food which might get wet and become inedible and therefore wasted. I use my table for small chunks of bread or other stale bakery items plus sultanas. Occasionally the leftovers from a roast joint may find it's way there too. I sure other forum members will have ideas about what food gets eaten best on a table.
I will be interested to hear how well your new feeders perform but be warned your birds will be very wary of them for a little while so don't get disheartened if they're not an instant success. It is my opinion that having a separate feeder for the sunflower hearts is the best route to take and use the other feeder for the seed mix. Suet pellets do not go well in a gravity feeder because they don't flow so either sprinkle a few on the ground or the bird table and see how they go.
I think for the time being it is best to leave your feeders at the current locations to limit the disruption for your birds.
Finally,good luck with everything you're trying. There are no guarantees and certain amount of experimentation will be needed before you hit on the ideal set-up. Do not hesitate to ask if there are any problems :nod:

Re: trying to attract birds to our garden

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:39 am
by SiW
Thanks again. Really appreciate you taking the time to assist.

At the moment I have some apple, suet and mealworms on the table. Will see how that goes. I've had Blackbirds on the feeder stations eating mealworms and yesterday I missed in some suet pellets and they went pretty quickly. The Blackbirds sometimes do their best to balance on a suet block that I have - I've added some twigs so they can balance! I've also had a Sparrow on the fat balls, but despite the added twigs here, they struggle to balance.

Hear what you're saying re the pellets and the gravity feeder - I've loaded it now so will leave as is and see. The ports are pretty wide so you never know.

Which of the seed mixes do you go for? Just the basic one behind the link that you posted? This? ... bird-food/ they have the ‘superior’ version ‘with fruit’ in our local shop.

Also, how often do I need to refresh the food (bearing in mind it's not really being eaten!). It's in quality feeders now that should keep a lot of moisture out.

I've got feeders hanging from the bird table too but they're quite close to the ground and near a heather shrub. Saying that though, my Dad has a marauding cat at his house and still gets tons of birds, even on low-down feeders.

Thanks again

Re: trying to attract birds to our garden

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:11 pm
by Jacksparrow
I have only used three of the Johnson and Jeff seed mixes. The basic one(i.e.the cheapest) has loads of cereal in it so I would only use it in emergency.I know I'm a bird seed snob :nod: The superior on with fruit is quite good but I avoid it because the "fruit"(actually raisins and sultanas chopped up) has blocked my feeders in the past. I actually use the supreme mix which contains suet shreds but as you feed suet anyway I would go with the fruit one.
Your Dad's situation may be different to your own but it may be worth asking him what he is feeding to his birds. Local knowledge is good :nod:
As I've already said it is good to experiment with different foods to see what gets eaten. You know they like the treats like suet and dried mealworms but it is expensive to keep buying that rather than the seed type foods. Buy in small batches at first until you know what goes.