Feeding The Birds

Come feed the little birds,
Show them you care
And you’ll be glad if you do
Their young ones are hungry
Their nests are so bare
All it takes is tuppence from you
Feed the birds, tuppence a bag
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag
Feed the birds,” that’s what she cries
While overhead, her birds fill the skies

Lyrics from Mary Poppins.

Well it would be nice if it were so cheap to feed the birds wouldn’t it? I’m not complaining though all the little and not so little birds have bought me a lot of pleasure these last few days. The difficulty has been keeping up with their appetites. With all the ground covered in snow there has been little natural food available for them and keeping the fresh water topped up has been problematic in sub zero temperatures. Hubby and I have learnt a few things in recent weeks when it comes to feeding the birds….

Given a choice between peanuts and seeds the birds tend to go for seeds first. If you change the seed mix or brand it will take the birds an hour or so to get used to it. Chapelwood No Ice bird bath treatment works.

With the No Ice liquid we were unsure of adding it to the birds water but as it’s from a reputable bird food supplier we thought we’d give it a go. The label says it stops water freezing down to -4C so obviously those days when we’ve been way below that the water still froze overnight. It did however thaw a bit quicker during the day meaning we didn’t have to go outside too often to top up with water that would quickly freeze over again. We’ve seen most of the birds drinking the treated water and they keep coming back so it must be ok for them.

We have 2 tall poles in the garden, on one we have a nut feeder, a fat ball feeder and a seed tray. On the other pole is a nut feeder, a seed feeder and a water dish. We also scatter seeds and nuts on the ground for the ground feeding birds and the larger ones that can’t use the hanging feeders. We can see the birds feeding from our comfy seats in the living room.

Normally I’d be at the window with my camera but with my arm out of action I’ve had to rely on Graeme to take photos for me. He’s taken some good ones too as you can see….

These are just a small selection of the birds that have visited the garden in the past month. Some birds like the blue tits, great tits, chaffinch and robin are regular visitors throughout the year, others we see occasionally¬† at times when food or water is in short supply in the wild. We’re lucky that we live on farmland, we have lots of trees and bushes in the garden and in our own garden we don’t use pesticides and garden as naturally as we can.

For those of you interested here’s a list of¬† the birds we’ve seen actually in the garden in the last month…

Blackbird

Blue Tit

Bullfinch

Chaffinch

Crow

Goldfinch

Great Tit

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Jay

Nuthatch

Pheasant

Robin

Starling

Tree Sparrow

Wren

Yellowhammer

We see the buzzards flying overhead regularly and along the lane we see partridge from time to time. There have been tawny owls hooting away in the trees and on one rare occasion we saw a beautiful barn owl very early in the morning. The sparrowhawk sometimes zooms into the rosebush in the middle of the lawn and takes a little blue tit for lunch. It’s amazing to see, it’s not pleasant but it’s nature, everything has to eat.

So please remember to feed the birds, it may cost you a few pounds a month but it really is worth it :-)

3 Comments »

  1. craftyfuchsia said,

    January 12th, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Haven’t heard of that No-ice before. Will have to try and get some. So far we have had starlings, sparrows, goldfinches, parakeets, green finches, blu tits, great tits. pigeons and doves and a robin and a wren. New in the snow are redwings and a kestrel. And we are fairly urban!! We get a good brand of seed mix delivered. Husband complains they are looked after better than him!!

  2. John said,

    January 30th, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Lovely! – Like you say we get a lot back from the few quid on seeds! Big garden birdwatch today so you’ve indspired me to set up the camera myself :-)

  3. Laura said,

    February 17th, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Hi Jools — nice to come across your blog. :) We spend quite a bit on the birds, too — but it’s worth it. Wish we had adorably twee robins in our area…

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