Feeding the birds

Use this board for general non-cycling-related chat, or to introduce yourself to the forum.
pwa
Posts: 10240
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Feeding the birds

Postby pwa » 8 Sep 2018, 11:18am

I have a tortoise whose hibernation I have to manage, and if I encountered a hedgehog whose hibernation had been disturbed I would do as I would with a tortoise in the same situation. I'd not re-hibernate them immediately. Instead I would keep them warm for a week or two, feeding and watering to build them up, then gradually decrease heat and light to induce drowsiness, with a nest available for them to resort to when the urge to hibernate takes over. Then store them in a location where coldness is guaranteed but actual freezing cannot happen. A refinement for tortoises is to monitor weight loss during hibernation and rouse them if it reaches a pre-determined limit.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17201
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Feeding the birds

Postby Vorpal » 8 Sep 2018, 11:31am

pwa wrote:I have a tortoise whose hibernation I have to manage, and if I encountered a hedgehog whose hibernation had been disturbed I would do as I would with a tortoise in the same situation. I'd not re-hibernate them immediately. Instead I would keep them warm for a week or two, feeding and watering to build them up, then gradually decrease heat and light to induce drowsiness, with a nest available for them to resort to when the urge to hibernate takes over. Then store them in a location where coldness is guaranteed but actual freezing cannot happen. A refinement for tortoises is to monitor weight loss during hibernation and rouse them if it reaches a pre-determined limit.

I wasn't too certain what to do with it, and didn't really have a good place in my garden for a hedge hog to hibernate, so I called a wildlife rescue center, and they said to keep it warm, offer it food & water, and bring it to them as soon as I could. So that's what I did. They sent me little updates about him, when he hibernated, and when he came out in the spring.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 46388
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Feeding the birds

Postby Mick F » 8 Sep 2018, 12:19pm

Never seen a hedgehog here in over twenty years at this address despite being surrounded by woodland and fields. Never seen a dead squashed on the roads either.

Reason?
Badgers I reckon. They eat all the stuff that hedgehogs eat.
Mick F. Cornwall

pwa
Posts: 10240
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Feeding the birds

Postby pwa » 8 Sep 2018, 12:26pm

Mick F wrote:Never seen a hedgehog here in over twenty years at this address despite being surrounded by woodland and fields. Never seen a dead squashed on the roads either.

Reason?
Badgers I reckon. They eat all the stuff that hedgehogs eat.

I don't think hedgehogs particularly like woodland. More a hedgerow beasty, hence the name I suppose.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 46388
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Feeding the birds

Postby Mick F » 8 Sep 2018, 12:29pm

Loads of hedgerows here.
Surrounded by them, plus all the lanes have them both sides.
Mick F. Cornwall

pwa
Posts: 10240
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Feeding the birds

Postby pwa » 8 Sep 2018, 12:36pm

Mick F wrote:Loads of hedgerows here.
Surrounded by them, plus all the lanes have them both sides.

Bit of a mystery then. I think they actually thrive on traditional suburban gardens, but they are a bit less hedgehog friendly than they once were. Only yesterday I talked to an elderly couple who were, with the help of relatives, replacing the front lawn with a rectangular bed of gravel over a mat. That is another source of earthworms gone.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 46388
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Feeding the birds

Postby Mick F » 8 Sep 2018, 12:49pm

Just chatting to the font of all common sense - Mrs Mick F :D - and asking why we never see any worms in the garden.

She said it's because we don't have any soil, just lots and lots of stones.
I remarked that things grow well - trees, grass, shrubs, daffodils, primroses ........ plus brambles and bracken and thistles.

She asked if we could dig a trench and plant potatoes in it.
No we couldn't, but we could dig a hole and fill it with soil.
She replied that all that would happen is when it rains, all the stones would rise the the surface and you'd be back to square one.

That's it.
We have no soil, so therefore no worms, and therefore no hedgehogs.
Mick F. Cornwall

NickWi
Posts: 80
Joined: 28 Apr 2011, 8:14pm

Re: Feeding the birds

Postby NickWi » 8 Sep 2018, 8:20pm

I've also been feeding our local Sparrowhawk family. Well not directly, but since they nested earlier in the year in a neaby wood we've seen a lot of them (particularly the male). I guess they've learned our garden birds come ready stuffed!

Serious, they have learned that they can fly in low over the adjacent field, then come up and over the side hedge and suprise what's in the garden. They only ever do it coming in from the right and the male is particulary good at it. When they were feeding the youngsters the spring I felt pretty guilty about putting food out for the Sparrows and others knowing what might happen, but took it as just part of the cycle of nature.

User avatar
NATURAL ANKLING
Posts: 10586
Joined: 24 Oct 2012, 10:43pm
Location: English Riviera

Re: Feeding the birds

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 8 Sep 2018, 9:42pm

Hi,
Yep if its not cats and leaving the pigeon carcase probably in tact.......its a sparrow hawk sitting on its prey a pigeon eating it alive :)

Feed the birds and 40 % will be pigeons.

Just come back from shopping..................bargains galore........1kg mealworms for £7.99....now they are out of season for sparrows.......black birds luv em.
Er indoors spots a keen customer with a trolley full of bird food :? .......She says to shopper wow I'd love to live in your garden if I was a bird..................answer............ but you'd struggle to take off again :lol: .......Pet shop not 50 yrds away and full price.
If You Don't Try You Don't Do.....Don't Do You Don't Get...I'm Still Trying....Well Very..
You'll Find Me At The Top Of A Hill...............Somewhere...After Dark..

JohnW
Posts: 6226
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Feeding the birds

Postby JohnW » 8 Sep 2018, 10:04pm

NickWi wrote:I've also been feeding our local Sparrowhawk family. Well not directly, but since they nested earlier in the year in a neaby wood we've seen a lot of them (particularly the male). I guess they've learned our garden birds come ready stuffed!

Serious, they have learned that they can fly in low over the adjacent field, then come up and over the side hedge and suprise what's in the garden. They only ever do it coming in from the right and the male is particulary good at it. When they were feeding the youngsters the spring I felt pretty guilty about putting food out for the Sparrows and others knowing what might happen, but took it as just part of the cycle of nature.

Luckily for us, we have a hawthorn in our backyard, and the sparrows retreat into the heart of it to escape from the sparrow hawks and kestrels. We don't get many sparrow hawks nowadays, since the building took place, but the kestrels seem to be adapting.

kwackers
Posts: 13549
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Feeding the birds

Postby kwackers » 8 Sep 2018, 10:26pm

We've no shortage of pigeons and doves, had over a dozen doves wondering across the lawn earlier. For some reason they also seem to be the one's most likely to kill themselves on the windows.
When they do I usually put the carcass out on the lawn where either the fox or a local cat finds it, either way it's gone the next day.
Very occasionally one gets taken out by a sparrow hawk although I don't seem them round here that often.

Today we had a starling attack, I tried counting them and there were over 40 on the bird feeder and many more marching around the lawn and drive. Lasted about 20 minutes and then they all disappeared as quickly as they came. The noise they made was incredibly. Mrs Kwackers reckons they're the 'louts' of the bird kingdom.

brynpoeth
Posts: 10994
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Feeding the birds

Postby brynpoeth » 9 Mar 2019, 8:14am

The Grauniad has an interesting article about Eurasian Wrens
A wren weighs 6-10 grams
In Scotland they are even heavier, they store fat to survive the winter
The smaller Wrens in the south can manoeuvre better, that helps them survive too, being heavier would disadvantage them
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life

mercalia
Posts: 11322
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Feeding the birds

Postby mercalia » 9 Mar 2019, 9:41am

3 floors up I get visited by lots of Tits - blue tits, great tits and a couple of long tailed tits. There is a Robin who comes dont know what to do with it as it dont like the feeders ( they are ground birds?) shame as its song is better that the squeaks from the tits.

User avatar
fausto copy
Posts: 2453
Joined: 14 Dec 2008, 6:51pm
Location: Pembrokeshire

Re: Feeding the birds

Postby fausto copy » 9 Mar 2019, 10:01am

Perhaps your Robin is just a slow learner or not hungry enough.
Ours has adapted to the nut feeder, fat balls and even the seed feeder this year and no longer bothers with ground feeding like the chaffinches (some of which also use the feeders) and dunnocks.
Maybe (like me) it doesn't like heights and ain''t comfortable three floors up. :wink:

mercalia
Posts: 11322
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Feeding the birds

Postby mercalia » 9 Mar 2019, 10:08am

fausto copy wrote:Perhaps your Robin is just a slow learner or not hungry enough.
Ours has adapted to the nut feeder, fat balls and even the seed feeder this year and no longer bothers with ground feeding like the chaffinches (some of which also use the feeders) and dunnocks.
Maybe (like me) it doesn't like heights and ain''t comfortable three floors up. :wink:


well it sits on the wall of the balcony looking around hopefully so dont seem to be averse to heights