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Gardening

Bird table...... birds avoiding it....

(92 Posts)
Shinamae Sun 06-Dec-20 11:36:58

I have two bird tables, one in my front garden that used to be in my back garden but moved to the front and is used a lot by sparrows and only sparrows, and next doors cat likes to get on it and eat whatever I put out but this does not deter the birds!!About three months ago I bought another bird table to put out the back garden and since then I’ve not had one bird on it I know that because I know what I put out and it’s just going rotten so I’ve replaced it with just one fat ball and still nothing, When The one that is now out the front was out the back it used to get quite a lot of activity on it so I really don’t understand what’s going on. Hope you can understand this as it seems a bit muddled even to me have enclosed pictures of the front garden bird table which has got the fat ball feeder as well and the back garden one. Hope this is the right thread to post on!

Roses Sun 06-Dec-20 11:42:17

Could it be that it's too close to your house?

If you put it near a tree or bush that the birds can fly into before using the table you might have more luck

Shinamae Sun 06-Dec-20 11:46:41

It’s in the same position it was when I had a bird table out there before and the birds had no problem with it and the one in the front garden is much closer to the lounge window so I don’t think that’s a problem but thanks for your input....

tanith Sun 06-Dec-20 11:55:21

I’d certainly move it away from the fence from which the cat could just leap to the table. Maybe a bird feeder which hangs from a central pole would work better.

Willow73 Sun 06-Dec-20 12:01:13

Can we feed birds and ducks bread or not? My son says we can but I remember somewhere that we couldn't. I get alot of spare bread as my husband insists on fresh every day and only 4 slices at the most get eaten.

kittylester Sun 06-Dec-20 12:05:27

I dont think we should feed them bread. Can you not freeze bread and get out the required number of slices?

As for the bird table problem - could you put stuff in other places in the garden to entice them in.

tanith Sun 06-Dec-20 12:07:41

It’s supposed not have much nutritional value so only give in small quantities.
Willow73 why don’t you freeze a loaf only take out what you need for a day or two it seems such a waste.

Firecracker123 Sun 06-Dec-20 12:11:32

Perhaps the new feeder table is too small and enclosed and they are frightened of it, your other one looks bigger. I have a window feeder and get lots of tits and a Robin, they love black sunflower seeds, crushed nuts and soaked meal worms.

WOODMOUSE49 Sun 06-Dec-20 12:13:48

It's possible a sparrow hawk has been down. We have quite an array of feeders and lots of species of birds visit. However, last year we'd seen a sparrow hawk and following that the number of birds dropped off dramatically. Slowly over the year, they did come back.

Notinthemanual Sun 06-Dec-20 12:14:41

Could it be because it is new and doesn't smell 'natural' yet?

Glorybee Sun 06-Dec-20 12:19:53

Willow73 - “The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said it was fine to feed small amounts of bread to ducks but people should also feed them sweetcorn, porridge oats, peas and bird seed.
"Just like us, birds need a varied diet to stay healthy," said Tony Whitehead from the charity.
"Although ducks and swans can digest all types of bread, too much can leave them feeling full without giving them all of the important vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need.
"So, although bread isn't harmful, our advice is to only feed small amounts to birds." “. From bbc news website.

Whitewavemark2 Sun 06-Dec-20 12:21:28

I always hang feeders under good cover, especially since a few were taken by a sparrow hawk. I’ve recently hung a new feeder in one of the holly trees. It took probably less than a week for them to use it.

It is also impossible for any cat to jump up to it which is important.

I think that is what is important- safety from the birds point of view

Callistemon Sun 06-Dec-20 12:22:17

Our garden birds have avoided the fat balls this year for some reason.

You could try sunflower seeds, mealworms etc instead.
The birds always avoid the feeders for a day or so after they have been refilled - perhaps they smell danger.

As tanith said, can you move it away from the fence? A cat could easily sit on the fence which will frighten the birds away.

We keep bread in the freezer too and just take out what is required.

Willow73 Sun 06-Dec-20 12:33:18

Thank you for that. I'll tell my husband to freeze his b..... bread!

Shinamae Sun 06-Dec-20 12:56:52

The sparrows on the front garden feeder absolutely love the fat balls, like I say it’s the new one in the back garden that is not getting any birds so far and it’s been that there are good few weeks now, I did buy some very good quality birdseed but I’m reluctant to put it out because the last night I put out just went mouldy and I had to clean the table disinfected et cetera so nowI’ve just put a fat ball out. The cats cannot get on theBack garden feeder very easily,they can at the front but I cannot move that table as you can see it’s very close to the trees I have at the front but the birds out there just fly and get in the trees and avoid the cats and they honestly don’t seem bothered by them. I know I do have magpies in a big tree at the bottom of the back garden but they’ve been there years and like I say when the table was out there before I got a lot of birds on it so it is a bit of a puzzle just have to wait and see I guess

Shinamae Sun 06-Dec-20 12:59:33

At least I’m still getting my hedgehogs in my back garden which is a joy. 🦔🦔🦔🦔

Whitewavemark2 Sun 06-Dec-20 13:03:14

Callistemon

Our garden birds have avoided the fat balls this year for some reason.

You could try sunflower seeds, mealworms etc instead.
The birds always avoid the feeders for a day or so after they have been refilled - perhaps they smell danger.

As tanith said, can you move it away from the fence? A cat could easily sit on the fence which will frighten the birds away.

We keep bread in the freezer too and just take out what is required.

Blimey! Mine don’t avoid a refilled feeder. They flit around just above the feeder as I take it and then re hang it. I’m no more than 5ft away and they immediately come down.

Mind you I have to refill every single day at the same time every morning including the fat ball (1 a day) so I think it is familiarity and routine. It’s the first thing I do before my first cup of tea.

travelsafar Sun 06-Dec-20 13:07:42

I have three feeding stations and my husband has bought some strips of plastic with spikes on the top to stop cats climbing up the fence to get the birds, so far it seems to be working. The hanging feeder is near some shrubs so we have had to make a kind of net cover to go over the top as the cats were climbing in the bushes and nabbing the birds when they fed. The third is near the house and the birds use it but havent seen cats near it.... yet!!!

PollyDolly Sun 06-Dec-20 13:09:49

We have bought countless fat balls but the birds just don't seem interested in them. However, I found a recipe for fatty bird food blocks, lard, oats, seeds etc set to in a yoghurt pot with string running through it. We hang it outside and it's gone within days!

annodomini Sun 06-Dec-20 13:13:32

I had to give up providing fat-balls because jackdaws and pigeons scoffed the lot almost as soon as they were hung up. I do have a squirrel-proof feeder for seeds so am looking for a fat-ball container that would keep out the bigger birds. Any recommendations?

Whitewavemark2 Sun 06-Dec-20 13:16:16

annodomini

I had to give up providing fat-balls because jackdaws and pigeons scoffed the lot almost as soon as they were hung up. I do have a squirrel-proof feeder for seeds so am looking for a fat-ball container that would keep out the bigger birds. Any recommendations?

I have definitely seen them. Try the rsbp site

vampirequeen Sun 06-Dec-20 21:21:44

Our birds aren't feeding at the feeder atm but it's probably because they're feeding on the fields and in the hedgerows. I'm expecting them back when the hedgerow food runs out.

grannyqueenie Sun 06-Dec-20 21:42:01

My bird table seems to be just for decoration apart from the visiting sparrowhawk last week! I’ve begun using sunflower seeds in the feeders which hang on the tree and now have hoards of goldfinches visiting which is lovely and very entertaining too But the mess underneath is awful, it’s ruining the grass. Having had field mice in the garage recently I’m worried it’ll attract rats. Any ideas on how to solve the problem?

lemongrove Sun 06-Dec-20 21:46:40

It is strange, if the new bird feeder is in the exact position as the old one.It does look close to the house....but that can’t be the reason.Birds do take a while to get used to new structures,
The best thing is to hang feeders in trees, or failing that from bird feeder poles.I think Notinthemanual could be right, it’s the smell of the new feeder.
I think patience is needed.

lemongrove Sun 06-Dec-20 21:50:34

What is the mess underneath grannyqueenie ? We have several feeders with sunflower seeds in ( sunflower kernels...hearts)
Is that what you mean, are you buying ones with husks?
We have no mess and the odd bits that fall ( from goldfinches mainly) are pounced on by chaffinches and robins.