Any bird lovers or ornithologists here?

B

Big Tone

I’m being driven nuts by pigeons!

I have been trying to encourage birds into my garden for a year or more and after a long time and much patience, (and food they just leave to rot), I’ve got them to realise there’s grub in my garden for them at last.

I’m getting blackbirds, starlings, robins, blue t1ts, thrushes and the humble sparrow, to name most. But all that’s happening is I put food out and these big fat bloody 'tree rats' swoop down and scoff it.
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The other birds are hardly getting a look in.
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One thing I’ll say about pigeons, they have incredible eyesight!
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I have only to move in my shaded living room from the armchair and they spot me through the blinds making a move towards the sliding door and fly off, but I can’t keep vigil like that of course and obviously not when I’m at work.

Now I have been thinking how to get around this...
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You can put fat balls in hanging cages but again most birds have a birdbrain and don’t seem to know it’s there. The only bird I’ve seen cotton-on to that one is the blue t1t. They must have a higher IQ or something. If I crumble it on the lawn everyone tucks-in. So the fatties can't get a grip on those cages but only one type benefits from it.

I’ve got a fancy table with provision for five of these dangly things but they like or favour eating off a flat surface like the lawn or the small table on my bird tree, which the pigeons also have access to.

So I was thinking of making a wire ‘tent’, maybe the hole size of a wire fence, which would prevent the fatties getting through. It may also serve as protection from the million cats I have in my neighbourhood.
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My concern is that I don’t want to harm anything; I don’t want anything getting caught. I read that the balls of food you get in the plastic net is bad on its own and small birds can get their legs caught in them and even cut one off as they struggle free.
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The safe way is to put them in a proper cage, so I’m told, which I’ve done. At least the t1ts appreciate that.
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It’s been very interesting seeing the habits so far...

The blackbirds often come down in twos, male and female. They have a funny pattern of eating whereby they run forward, have a peck and run back then start again. Oh they love peanuts too, it’s their favourite I think; that and bread. :D

Starlings always come en masse, in groups of seven or more. Protection in numbers perhaps, like meercats?

The only bird I’ve seen having a drinkies is the robin. Cute little thing dips his beak in the water and you see a big blob on the end and you wonder if he’s ever going to swallow, then suddenly he slurps it in. :D They come right up to my door, fearless little things or maybe dreadful eyesight. I’ve yet to see one having a bath in my garden which is always sweet to see. I've seen pigeons land on the water bowl and practically tip it over. Lard asses' :evil:

So it’s all been worth the wait but I’m ready to give in because all I feel I’m doing is feeding pigeons. :evil: Anyone ever built something to help please?

I'm not gay or anything BTW
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L

lifesagasman

blackbirds spend so much time fighting off intruders they miss out on most of the grub. they're early risers and soon after daybreak they now wait, (about 15 of them), for me or the missus to open the cupboard door, rattle the box then chuck out their real fave, raisins. starlings soon follow but they have to make do with bread. pigeons and doves arrive later but i don't feed them.
for the small birds hide bits under shrubs where they would normally grub around.
 
B

Big Tone

That's interesting lifesagasman ta.

I have noticed dinner times are different for different birds but I haven't got it sussed yet.

The trouble there for me, I think, is with the timing. I'm commited to putting it out before I leave for work. So it's there from 7ish in the morning until about 6 p.m.
 
E

EddieM

Just keep on keeping a variety of feeders, attracting robins is great as they set up "home" in your garden, although it won't be the same robin, as 1) they're very territorial and 2) they only live 1-2 years.

We had loads of birds in the garden ranging from green and spotted wookpeckers, bullfinches, goldfinches, blue boobs, great boobs, wrens, yellow hammers, and bless 'em house sparrows. Delight to watch, no trouble with Pideons, but pleny of competition with tree rats.
 
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We use smaller feeders.
The pigeons or gulls are too big to land on them!
 
B

Big Tone

We had loads of birds in the garden ranging from green and spotted wookpeckers, bullfinches, goldfinches, blue boobs, great boobs, wrens, yellow hammers, and bless 'em house sparrows. Delight to watch
:eek: I don't know where you live but it sounds lovely.

There's something very relaxing about watching them. It makes me feel like I've escaped the bullsh1t world of work, politics, money, love, hate...

This is nature. Not a dog or cat or other domesticated animals from which we derive selfish adoration, but unchanged survival and beauty.


This all started last winter when I felt sorry for the little things and started to put out seeds and fresh unfrozen water for them.

It's pure and humbling to watch I think. I have all this stress and worry in my life and we all worry about so much all too often, but we're here just the same.

I'm reminded of that wonderful verse by DH...

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself."

Well not on my watch you won't birdies....
 
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you could always do what my dad does.. he sits in the living room with the patio door open and a loaded air rifle next to his chair..
he uses flat head pellets so it doesn't kill them but it must leave a heck of a bruise and sting like a bugger..
 
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you could always do what my dad does.. he sits in the living room with the patio door open and a loaded air rifle next to his chair..
he uses flat head pellets so it doesn't kill them but it must leave a heck of a bruise and sting like a b*****r..

Can you whistle CJ ........ ouch ........ :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
 
E

EddieM

Just remember once you start feeding them, you've got to keep on feeding them, creatures of habit. It must have been extremely tough on wild birds this winter.
 
B

Big Tone

lower the roof of your bird table to make it harder for the pigeons to get under it..
Ah, nice tip but unfortunately I have one of these...

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All rotten except for the one ball of food in a cage, which the blue t1t likes :)



you could always do what my dad does.. he sits in the living room with the patio door open and a loaded air rifle next to his chair..
he uses flat head pellets so it doesn't kill them but it must leave a heck of a bruise and sting like a b*****r..
I have one, a very good German one, but it would shoot blotting paper through the fusilaige of a B29 and I could never bring myself to kill anything.

Out of interest, is it illegal to kill pigeons?
 
L

lifesagasman

all wild birds, eggs and nests are protected.

those feeders don't work very well..
 
B

Big Tone

all wild birds, eggs and nests are protected.
Quite right too IMO.


Just out of curiosity I shot one of my flat pellets into a double mains socket housing which is heavy gauge, (no thin weak Coke cans in my tests), and although it didn’t go through there’s no doubt it would pass through flesh and small bones with ease.

Not very clear from the picture but the amount of deformation it quite substantial I can tell you.

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those feeders don't work very well..
Yeah, I know :cry:
 
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I've discovered that a lot of the feeders don't have enough room for the birds to perch on - they like to have several stages of getting to the food.

I've got mine in a tree - a couple of them the pigeon can get at - it's a bloody battle of wills - but give them credit - they ain't stupid. I've resigned myself to the fact that they've got to eat too.

Most of my feeders I have arranged near a small thin twiggy branch so that the little birds can land on the branch and eat instead of trying to land on the built in perches - they just won't use them.

I got one feeder that's like a little pagoda type house and the built in perches on that are good - they're far enough out for the birds to land comfortably on.

It's like this:

http://www.dobbies.co.uk/acatalog/gardman-a01066-gazebo-seed-feeder.html

But the perches on it are more like this:

http://www.dobbies.co.uk/acatalog/gardman-a01316-dual-feeder.html

The feeders you got......................could you drill a small hole through them and push some dowel through to give a bigger perch? Put it just under the opening where they eat from so that they've got plenty room to land and can reach the hole.

Some birds are ground feeders as well - can't remember which ones - but I think blackbirds might be ground feeders. I have two blackbirds that sit and shriek at me when there's no food out!!! I also have a crack Commando troop of pigeons that the second I open the front door, the buggers swoop down thinking it's lunchtime!

You're right about the fat balls - take them out of the net - little feet and even tongues can get caught in the net.

The cage feeder you have there - push some dowel through that too - the more landing space they have, the better.

Another thing to think about is maybe the feeders are swinging too much.

I'd also maybe move the station further away from the bush you have there - so that they can land on that and then go to the feeder - they maybe don't think it's safe - if you've got lots of cats about (as do I - I'm like some mad woman chasing cats out of the garden), are they likely to be able to hide in the shrubbery and pose a risk to the birds?

Make sure that any feeding stuff you put out gives the birds a clear view of predators to give them a chance to escape.
 
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