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We are lucky to get a really wide variety in our garden, partly due to having a pond. The hardest thing over the past couple of weeks has been keeping a supply of water for them, everything is freezing within a couple of hours.
I've been thinking of putting a little camp stove and pan out, so they can melt some snow for themselves.
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Quote: a tray of meaty fat
. . . sounds like my dog.
Quote: I've been thinking of putting a little camp stove and pan out, so they can melt some snow for themselves.
With finishing work early some days, due to the weather, I have managed to keep a near regular supply of water at the feed station.
Bugger me, if the first thing one of the Robins did yesterday pm, after I had broken the ice and topped them up,was to take a bath.
I'm guessing it was one of the males, trying to make himself presentable for a bout of courtship
Quote: The hardest thing over the past couple of weeks has been keeping a supply of water for them, everything is freezing within a couple of hours.
I found that too until someone at the school where I work told me to add a drop of oil to it. I add a tiny dash of Olive oil but I guess any edible cooking oil would do.
I was sceptical and the water does still freeze but I have to admit that it seems to take a bit longer.
Some good tips here today about putting food scraps out for the birds, thereby not even costing a penny extra! There's a valid point about only putting enough out that can be eaten in one day so as not to attract any unwanted visitors! Not quite sure how you gauge how much is enough for one day though...?
We've got several hangers full of fat balls and seeds, as well as crumbled up bread. The seeds disappear so quickly, I'm going to have to file for bankruptcy soon, the little sods are beeding me dry! Still, it's nice to see them in the garden...
I've got a collection of circular discs of frozen water that I keep removing from the bird's water table. Refilling it as often as I can, but it's a fresh block of ice before the day's out...
Just been reading an article in the Telegraph. The RSPB recommends cake crumbs, mince pies, biscuits, grated cheese, dry porridge, cooked potatoes rice & fruits. NEVER meat or poultry fats. They cause "feather soiling & other horrors" whatever that means.
Just clarifying the points mentioned by Rog.
The cheese needs to be of the mild variety really.
Rice definitely needs to be cooked.
Quote: The cheese needs to be of the mild variety really
I'll tell Mrs Rog not to put out my Stilton then!
If anyone is going to feed the birds all year round then its best to buy from a specialist supplier opposed to a Supermarket, Garden Centre, Pet Shop etc as it will save you lots of money and still let you have a fag and a beer!!
I only feed Sunflower Hearts which attract vitually all species and is very high in energy...(it also doesnt make a mess as there are no shells or husks on the Heart of a Sunflower)
Birds will take it from feeders, or the ground.
If you can afford to buy in bulk then try suppliers like this
I always buy from them as the quality of product is good and they give free next day delivery on orders over £20
Couldn't agree more Paul
I tend to use Sunflowers & Sunflower hearts in approx 80-20 mix.........It keeps the cost down, plus fatballs, peanuts & Niger seed.
I purchase mine from Vine farm
I collect, rather than have them delivered as there is a substantial difference in the cost. About £6 per bag
Most of it is home grown too. Plus the farmer is a conservationist. Well worth browsing the web site
White sunflower hearts in my garden too although I also put out nuts n fat squares. Another cheap n cheerful alternative is lard...Treecreepers love it. I have also bought a couple of jars of "value" peanut butter and spread it in half a coconut (left over from the fat ones I bougt a while ago) and mixed in some cheap seed...goes down very well... rub some in the branches too. The birds are really getting through the stuff though, a 6Kg bag (approx £17-99) has lasted just a week. Beginning of last week I had Brambling in the garden (a garden tick for me) and then last wedsnesday a sparrowhawk swooped in & perched on the fence...and he has flown in since too. Get a good variety of birds in my garden inc Blue, Great & Coal Tits, Chaffinch, Greenfinch (5 today) Bullfinch (3 males and 2 females today) Blackbirds, Collared Doves, Dunnocks, Goldfinch (abt a doz today)...although not seen my couple of siskins in the last week..hope they are ok. Still got a good 7/8inches of snow here and it don't seem to bet getting any warmer.
Lol with wife nearly died earlier, spotted a large rat eating the bird food.
First I`ve seen, they must be getting hungry.
I take it my fancy coffees are exempt from this tax?
One word of caution regarding scattering food, especially if it is not all eaten relatively quickly it can go mouldy in these damp conditions and cause more problems than it solves. So whatever/wherever you feed the birds make sure it is kept clean to prevent the spread of disease.
Quote: One word of caution regarding scattering food, especially if it is not all eaten relatively quickly it can go mouldy in these damp conditions
Not only that but it also attracts vermin, we don`t put a lot out but are neighbours do.
Quote: Lol with wife nearly died earlier, spotted a large rat eating the bird food.
First I`ve seen, they must be getting hungry.
Rats are present in Towns and Country and if your overfeeding ground food for the birds opposed to feeders then you will attract vermin.
A little research into species that visit you will help with this problem..ie The Tit family only feed from feeders, Dunnocks will only feed on the ground etc.
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