Feeding the birds

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Cyril Haearn
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby Cyril Haearn » 18 Mar 2017, 2:37pm

Very interesting, just what I like to read on a cycling forum, I will look out for birds on my next ride. They are so diverse for example two owl species have different strategies: one always lays 6-8 eggs, depending on the conditions 1-7 survive. Another species apparently knows how favourable weather and food conditions will be and lays between 1 and 7 eggs, all hatch and survive

I remember many years ago an angry correspondence with the RSPB, I have forgotten the reason. What is the RSPB up to now, is anyone here a member?

Bird names are fascinating, the greater crested grebe has dozens of different names in German

Is it necessary to buy food for birds? Maybe they would enjoy our leftovers
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Vorpal
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby Vorpal » 18 Mar 2017, 3:03pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:Is it necessary to buy food for birds? Maybe they would enjoy our leftovers

I often put out leftovers for the birds. It does require some care, though. Highly processed grains, such as in white bread are not very good for them. I put out whole meal bread that has gone stale, leftover salad bits from the kids lunches, apple cores and that sort of thing.
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cycleruk
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby cycleruk » 18 Mar 2017, 4:23pm

If I find any apple windfalls, that are not good enough for a pie, I quarter them and the Blackbirds strip them down to the peel.
You'll never know if you don't try it.

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661-Pete
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby 661-Pete » 18 Mar 2017, 5:08pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:I remember many years ago an angry correspondence with the RSPB, I have forgotten the reason. What is the RSPB up to now, is anyone here a member?
Mrs P is. Our main involvement is (a) doing the Big Garden Birdwatch every year, and (b) buying bird food and a few other products from their online shop. But that last is rather expensive!

I don't know which controversy you're thinking of, there have been a few in past years, for example their refusal to totally condemn shooting of game birds for 'sport'.

Bird names are fascinating, the greater crested grebe has dozens of different names in German
We have taken to looking up names of birds in French, so that we can chat to our (non-English-speaking) neighbours about our sightings. Some of them are fascinating: the French for the long-eared-owl (posted earlier) is hibou moyen-duc - literally "half-duke owl". I've no idea how that name originated! But it does look quite aristocratic...
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Psamathe
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby Psamathe » 18 Mar 2017, 6:28pm

old_windbag wrote:wilko's do an excellent bird food range. That is my suet pellet source, I used to get them bulk through amazon but wilko's price( £7 box ) is only a fraction different and the quality is good. They don't turn to powder over a period of months.....

Whereas the suet pellets I inherited (from somewhere where the birds wont touch them) are left untouched.

Fat balls (commercial) to massively vary in quality. Several years ago I was sent to get a load for somebody (transport limited) and the garden centre chain had switched to their "own brand" and you could pick up a bad and the slightest pressure would cause the balls to crumble. And they were sitting in a "pallet sized" box (on a pallet) and the bags at the bottom were just dust and a few fragments. Useless (and I didn't buy them and did raise the issue with the company!).

People say that the cheaper commercial ones can contain sand to pad them out (cheaply). I buy fairly low cost ones and the birds seem to like them so I stick with them.

Ian

old_windbag
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby old_windbag » 18 Mar 2017, 7:57pm

Psamathe wrote:Whereas the suet pellets I inherited (from somewhere where the birds wont touch them) are left untouched.

Fat balls (commercial) to massively vary in quality.


I think it's a case of test what works and stick to it. The wilko suet pellets are woofed up, and the wilko fat balls will last one per day. Both products don't crumble.... if you look at amazon reviews for similar products you'll see there are some that the birds don't like. So for now Ill continue with these two items from wilko, they introduced the bulk pellet box at £10 but reduced to £7 and kept it there..... a good price. The ones I got from amazon that were very good were from maltbys of hull. I think they may source them from http://johnstonandjeff.co.uk/.

I made my own suet/seed mix at home, very cheep!, but it does rather pong the house out so I just purchase now.

blackbike
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby blackbike » 18 Mar 2017, 8:30pm

old_windbag wrote:wilko's do an excellent bird food range.


I agree.

I now buy my bird food there as well as my brake and gear cables.

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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby Vorpal » 18 Mar 2017, 8:36pm

661-Pete wrote:
Bird names are fascinating, the greater crested grebe has dozens of different names in German
We have taken to looking up names of birds in French, so that we can chat to our (non-English-speaking) neighbours about our sightings. Some of them are fascinating: the French for the long-eared-owl (posted earlier) is hibou moyen-duc - literally "half-duke owl". I've no idea how that name originated! But it does look quite aristocratic...

They are called 'hornugle' or horn owl in Norwegian. I've heard owls here a few times, but so fsr, the only place I've seen them is in the zoo.
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old_windbag
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby old_windbag » 18 Mar 2017, 8:55pm

blackbike wrote:I agree.

I now buy my bird food there as well as my brake and gear cables.


I view wilko's as what woolworths was back in the 70's, sold a huge range of things.... If wilko's were to disappear from the high street it would be a black day I feel. Bought a nice low cost copper effect kettle there a few weeks ago to replace my 24yr old russell hobbs.

They do have some useful bike spares( cable ends, lubes etc ) and I use their puncture repair kits.

Psamathe
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby Psamathe » 18 Mar 2017, 10:10pm

old_windbag wrote:
Psamathe wrote:Whereas the suet pellets I inherited (from somewhere where the birds wont touch them) are left untouched.

Fat balls (commercial) to massively vary in quality.


I think it's a case of test what works and stick to it. The wilko suet pellets are woofed up, and the wilko fat balls will last one per day. Both products don't crumble.... if you look at amazon reviews for similar products you'll see there are some that the birds don't like. So for now Ill continue with these two items from wilko, they introduced the bulk pellet box at £10 but reduced to £7 and kept it there..... a good price. The ones I got from amazon that were very good were from maltbys of hull. I think they may source them from http://johnstonandjeff.co.uk/.

I made my own suet/seed mix at home, very cheep!, but it does rather pong the house out so I just purchase now.

It's very dependent on your birds. At the moment mine are happily enjoying fat balls from somebody (50 miles away) because their birds would not touch them!

Ian

old_windbag
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby old_windbag » 18 Mar 2017, 11:01pm

Ian, i must have misinterpreted what you meant. Yes it can be locally specific what they prefer, i must be lucky with the wilko food. I get great pleasure from feeding and the different species i see and also their behaviour. I have blue tits who when they see me at an upstairs window fly up and hover for a couple of seconds in front of me as a hint to feed them. To be part of their world is nice. But i also see the ups and downs of nature too. Being surrounded by wildlife is so much nicer than humans though .....

JohnW
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby JohnW » 18 Mar 2017, 11:42pm

old_windbag wrote:...............The wilko suet pellets are woofed up, and the wilko fat balls will last one per day.................


+1 for the Wilco stuff at the moment.

Psamathe
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby Psamathe » 18 Mar 2017, 11:47pm

JohnW wrote:
old_windbag wrote:...............The wilko suet pellets are woofed up, and the wilko fat balls will last one per day.................


+1 for the Wilco stuff at the moment.

I suspect that price is not necessarily an indication of quality. Greed (by the retailer) can play a big part. the rubbish fat balls (that crumbled that I didn't buy) were not cheap and were from a national garden centre chain with a reputation for being expensive - I think in switching to own brand they were seeking bigger profit margin rather than lower price for consumer.

The local store I buy my bird food from is very low cost but the birds love the stuff.

Ian

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby Cyril Haearn » 19 Mar 2017, 7:15am

[vimeo][/vimeo]
old_windbag wrote:
blackbike wrote:I agree.

I now buy my bird food there as well as my brake and gear cables.


I view wilko's as what woolworths was back in the 70's, sold a huge range of things.... If wilko's were to disappear from the high street it would be a black day I feel. Bought a nice low cost copper effect kettle there a few weeks ago to replace my 24yr old russell hobbs.

They do have some useful bike spares( cable ends, lubes etc ) and I use their puncture repair kits.


We love Wilkos?
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mnichols
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby mnichols » 19 Mar 2017, 7:23pm

661-Pete wrote:Here's the long-eared owl. Not the best of piccies: I don't claim to have any skill at photographing birds.
longeared owl 9503.jpg


wow, that's gorgeous

I remember the first time I saw a Hoopoe. It was in Minorca, and came around a corner to our apartment and there were a pair sat on the lawn. I made the family including my two young children be very quiet whilst I took photos for half an hour. Then they were there the next day....and every day of the holiday, practically all day, just picking ants out of the lawn. There was also a small flock of fly catchers that used to flit between the trees. It was one of my favourite holidays

I've never seen a Long Eared Owl though. You were very lucky to get such a good view