Please think about feeding your garden birds this year.
Once you hang up a birdfeeder you will be amazed how quickly word gets out and they come to feed on and off all day every day. Feeding your garden birds is one of the joys you can have in a garden whatever the size of the space.
I buy the feeders and the bird food from the RSPB shop.
This feeder below is for suet nibbles and closes if a heavy bird or squirrel lands on it. It works well and is perfect for woodpeckers who come every day. As I don’t have the patience of a wildlife photographer there is no woodpecker on the feeder in this photo but trust me, they do come every day.
We have parakeets around here and the rotters swarm around the feeders now and then. Nothing I’ve done will keep them away apart from running round the garden waving my arms about, which turns out to be an exhausting and impractical long-term solution.
The important thing is to keep going once you start, keeping the feeder full every day of the year. A good feeder from the RSPB shop will last for years and everything I’ve bought from them has been an investment.
I have a free standing pole with a heavy stable base in both the front and back garden. I hang sunflower seeds from one arm and suet nibbles from the other. It makes a mess on the ground of course but that’s ok.
If you don’t have a free standing pole, here are some tips on how and where to hang feeders.
Throw a chain or rope up over a tree branch and bring the two ends down to where you can easily reach. Hang the feeder on with a clip which needs to be easy to use as you’ll be taking it off to refill every other day.
If it’s on a tree the squirrels will raid it and there’s not much you can do to stop them, the little blighters. Squirrel-proof feeders. Ha Ha. You can slow them down but never stop them entirely. They are very very clever.
However, I minimize the squirrel raiding by putting grease on the pole so they can’t hang on with their back feet. They hurtle up the pole but then slowly slide down, wondering what’s going on. Jolly good laugh watching them. I use this, from Amazon
We have cats and there’s never been a problem feeding the birds as long as the feeder is far enough off the ground that the cat can’t just easily jump up. Don’t let having a cat stop you feeding the birds.
Buying bird food
I buy bird food from the RSPB shop in 12.5 kilo bags and it’s cheaper if you buy 2 bags at a time. I found that pure sunflower seeds were more popular than a seed mix. I’d say a big bag lasts a couple of months. You get through a lot of seed, believe me.
So if you can afford the investment, get a free standing pole and base and a couple of feeders. Put it close to your window and watch the daily show. Feeding your garden birds will transform your life, bringing movement, beauty and fun into your garden.
For a quick look at what the front and back garden look like, click here