Bird feeder blues

It’s bank Holiday Monday, and as there is nobody in today we are taking the opportunity to catch up.

Julia is planting the new vertical planters (also known as adapted pallets) and I am doing a few odd jobs, including fixing a broken bird feeder, answering emails and writing this.

I have the  better of it, as the wind is playing havoc with the planting. The planned row of lettuces is looking particularly floppy after an hour of being battered by the wind. We will have to see how it goes.


Over the years I’ve accumulated a number of bird feeders of various designs, including a number of cheap ones that feature a plastic hanging loop.  I suppose it’s obvious, when you think about it, that continued exposure to the elements would eventually cause the loop to deteriorate and break.

It’s a nuisance rather than a problem, but as luck would have it, I cannot find any wire or any binder twine in my drawers to make the repair.  That is the trouble with being tidy.

Whilst writing this I’ve also been Googling “bird feeders”. I was immediately attracted to this site. I will include the link  because it’s interesting, though I’m not sure how practical many of them are. The shoe feeder looks interesting, but I’m not sure that my neighbours “are sure to think that you are the most creative person ever”. They would probably think I’m an idiot who nails shoes to trees.

Meanwhile, the jackdaws have discovered the feeder with the suet pellets in it. Is there nothing that they can’t do?


It’s an example of how man interferes with nature. It isn’t such an obvious example as some, but it is a fact that before we brought the pigs to the allotment we didn’t have jackdaws round the centre. Though there were jackdaws about the village they didn’t interfere with our bird feeding and we were able to feed a variety of birds in feeders and on the floor. At the time we fed a lot of fat pellets, because we’d been given several buckets of them, and had no trouble with jackdaws.

Now, after drawing them to the area of the centre with pig food, they won’t leave the bird feeders alone. They are birds, but we don’t need so many large, disruptive birds at the feeder. it seems that anything with fat in it is like a magnet to the jackdaws and that as a result of trying to limit jackdaw activity we have fewer chaffinches, hardly any dunnocks and no wrens. There is very little for robins and blackbirds to eat either, as they like to feed off the floor.

It isn’t just the amount they eat, but that they scare other birds away. They even mobbed the woodpecker when it came for its second visit of the day, though it stood its ground and gave as good as it got.

I’m onto Plan D now, I think. All will be revealed after Open Farm Sunday. I am

Meanwhile, for a discussion on whether we should even be feeding birds, have a look at this.






12 thoughts on “Bird feeder blues

  1. Hilda

    Thanks for adding that last link. Even here in snowy Canada I only feed birds with what grows on the property – which seems to be plenty. I refuse to tamper with their natural diets just to get them closer to my window – I step outside if I want to see them.

  2. thehappymeerkat

    Some of those bird feeders certainly look like they’re for aesthetic reasons only, lol, though if you’ve lost or ruined one of a pair of shoes why not stick it to a tree and fill it with seed :).

  3. clarepooley33

    I haven’t put any feeders out since last July – nearly a year. I became extremely disheartened by the amount of food I was giving to squirrels, rooks and woodpigeons. The squirrel wrecked four feeders last spring including two very expensive ones I had put out two days before. Initially, I had only intended to stop feeding for a short while but nearly a year has gone past and I still haven’t restarted it. We still get birds in the garden as our garden has plenty of shelter for birds and animals and lots of plants that attract wildlife and I also put over-ripe apples out on the lawn now and then. I am considering putting a couple of feeders out in a few weeks time. The rooks in the rookery will have finished nesting by then and maybe the squirrel might not notice the food immediately. I have wondered if the local birds have suffered by my not feeding them or whether, as the link says, I have caused the birds behaviour to change for the worse.
    At this time of the year the birds wouldn’t miss the fat pellets etc. Maybe you could stop supplying them with that for a few months and see if the jackdaws go off somewhere else.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Yes, I’ve taken all the fat balls and pellets out for now. Looking at the articles I probably shouldn’t be feeding fat right now anyway. Luckily we don’t get any squirrels at the moment (fingers crossed!)

  4. arlingwoman

    Good luck with the feeders. I usually let them take care of themselves unless it’s a freezing, snow-covered winter. But it’s nice to watch them and see what varieties come, isn’t it?


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