Feeding the birds

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661-Pete
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby 661-Pete » 25 May 2018, 8:59am

Sadly, we had a 'casualty' at our bird-feeders a few days ago. We have been enclosing the fat-ball feeder in what's known as a 'guardian' cage - similar to these:
Image
in an effort to allow the smaller birds access whilst keeping out larger ones like woodpigeons and crows. I am not convinced of its efficacy: certainly the starlings have become quite adept at stretching their necks through the cage to get at the fat. And even our local magpie has had some success at tackling the 'obstacle'. The main objective of the device was to stop bits of fat dropping onto the ground - where they were attracting rats. Not entirely successful!

Alas! The other morning my wife discovered a juvenile starling, dead, apparently hooked up in the cage and unable to free itself. We are now debating whether the 'guardian' is a good idea or not. I want to do away with it, but my wife would rather continue with it for the time being...
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 5 Jun 2018, 2:39pm

Hi,
Blackbirds seem in abundance in the garden and out on the bike.
Hell of a commotion on the way home the other day..............two black birds having a right old go at a magpie, exiting from a hedge.

Now twice black birds behaving like demons in the garden chasing off a magpie and not giving up when the magpie stops several hundred yards away.

But alas the resident seagull is showing signs of pecking at the ground under the feeder.
Jackdaws wrestle with anti squirrel feeder, fat balls are the delight of all birds, blocked off bird table so only blackbirds or smaller can get on, blackbirds are scoffing all the mealworms, dried variety.

How to keep scavengers' from the food for the small birds.
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brynpoeth
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby brynpoeth » 7 Sep 2018, 5:03pm

Hedgehogs are birds too, at least they are welcome harmless visitors

The Grauniad reports that hedgehog numbers have declined greatly in recent decades, though no-one really knows how many there are

Apparently hedgehogs and badgers lived together for thousands of years although the latter ate the former :(
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JohnW
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby JohnW » 7 Sep 2018, 8:34pm

brynpoeth wrote:..............The Grauniad reports that hedgehog numbers have declined greatly in recent decades, though no-one really knows how many there are.....................:(

Hedgehog numbers have certainly declined almost to extinction in our locality over the last 10 years. The reason is very clear - it's due to house-building and consequent associated destruction of habitat. In 25 years the number of dwellings in our one-time village area has at least doubled, and in the last 10/15 years over 40 acres of farm/virgin land have been lost. The hedgehogs have nowhere to live and no food source.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 7 Sep 2018, 8:45pm

Hi,
On TV they reckon that they number a million down from 35 million over the years.
Gardens a tip so we get some fat ones often, problem is that we get cats eating the food.
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JohnW
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby JohnW » 7 Sep 2018, 8:55pm

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
On TV they reckon that they number a million down from 35 million over the years.
Gardens a tip so we get some fat ones often, problem is that we get cats eating the food.

I've seen a hedgehog twice in our backyard this year - the first time it was when we'd put some chicken skin out for next morning's early birds. I was delighted to see the hedgehog - first time for years in our backyard. The following night we did the same, but we saw a cat take the food and worry the hedgehog away. I've not seen it since.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 7 Sep 2018, 9:04pm

Hi,
You need a box which is cat proof, keep meaning to lash one up or two.
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JohnW
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby JohnW » 7 Sep 2018, 9:08pm

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
You need a box which is cat proof, keep meaning to lash one up or two.

Is there such a thing - with access for a hedgehog?

kwackers
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby kwackers » 7 Sep 2018, 9:30pm

The local cats can't quite reach my hedgehogs food - although after I saw this picture I added a second 'entrance' staggered from the first.

We get 2 or 3 most nights.
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catpaw.jpg

JohnW
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby JohnW » 7 Sep 2018, 9:44pm

kwackers wrote:The local cats can't quite reach my hedgehogs food - although after I saw this picture I added a second 'entrance' staggered from the first.

We get 2 or 3 most nights.

Thank you for that Kwackers. Is that a proprietary - and available - hedgehog feeder box?

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 7 Sep 2018, 9:50pm

Hi,
Saw something similar on TV the other day, you need a tunnel leading to a box sorta?
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kwackers
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby kwackers » 7 Sep 2018, 9:58pm

It's just a plastic crate, shallow but a decent size.
Cut a door in the front and added a bit of MDF to make a second entrance.
(Obviously the picture shows it without the lid on)

Couple of house bricks on the top to stop the top being pulled off by cats (we also have a fox, but she's far too timid, won't even come near the food if it's left out).
Cats have given up on it completely now, before they'd keep having a go because they were soooo near....
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crate.jpg

JohnW
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby JohnW » 8 Sep 2018, 10:28am

kwackers wrote:It's just a plastic crate, shallow but a decent size.
Cut a door in the front and added a bit of MDF to make a second entrance.
(Obviously the picture shows it without the lid on)

Couple of house bricks on the top to stop the top being pulled off by cats (we also have a fox, but she's far too timid, won't even come near the food if it's left out).
Cats have given up on it completely now, before they'd keep having a go because they were soooo near....

That's good - good for you Kwackers - you clearly know what you're doing. We don't get foxes near the house any more - too much building gone on, and there's another 10 acres seeking planning permission now.

thirdcrank
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby thirdcrank » 8 Sep 2018, 10:36am

We used to get a lot of hedgehogs and at night: you could hear them rooting about in our bushes. I've a night time pic somewhere of two which remained quite motionless nose-to-nose for ages, totally unaware when I stood over them with the camera and they were not fazed by the flash. Not any more. The last I saw was in a very distressed state about 15 years ago and soon died a painful death. I believe it's the widespread use by some gardeners of slug poison.

Vorpal
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby Vorpal » 8 Sep 2018, 10:55am

We used to have quite a few hedgehogs. I heard them snuffling about in our garden on a regular basis, and put out cat food and water for them.

They were still there when we moved away in 2012.

A couple of times, there were hedgehogs out and about during the day. Once, there was one in the road. My neighbors stood around talking about what to do, so I went and got a towel, and crefully wrapped it up. I checked that it was responsive (i.e. hopefully just scared) and put it under one of the bushes in our garden with some cat food and water. It disappeared some while later, leaving behind only a few scraps of cat food.

Another time, I did something similar (next street over), and the poor hedgehog was obviously not well. I collected him and put him in a box and took him to the vet, but didn't hold out much hope for him.

After that, pretty much any time someone spotted a hedgehog in need in our part of the village, someone would ring me or come and get me. I thought it was kind of funny, but over 3 or 4 years, I helped out 2 or 3 hedgehogs each year. One of them hibernated in a wildlife sancuary. Something had obviously happened to his home & left him out in the cold & he was suffering for it. The ones that went to the vet never made it. :(

Hedgehogs live in Norway, too, but there are many more wild places, and I seldom see them.
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