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Thread: Anybody elses garden finches as greedy! :-)

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Anybody elses garden finches as greedy! :-)

    One of our (my partner and I) simple enjoyments in life is to watch the garden birds visiting our bird feeder. This is situated a few metres from our ground floor flat, lounge window, where we are able to enjoy watching these events, including in Spring, when we see parents feeding the fledglings.

    The type of bird feeder we opted for was those commonly seen in smaller gardens, which stands maybe 6 or 7 ft tall, with double symmetrical arms to hang bird feeders from, as well as a water feeding station together with a small tray/table, where scraps can be placed, for what should be the larger breed of birds.

    Now, both of the bird feeders are just under a foot in height and the circumference (depending on size of your hands) is 1.5! They also appear to come in 3 sections but these are simply the dividers/bands to which the perches are situated. Each feeder having 4 separate perches, allowing a maximum of 8 birds to be seated at 'Chez Cathy' at any 1 time!

    The main birds that we attempted to draw to our feeders, were gold finches, in the main, as well as a couple of other breeds that we knew already visited our garden.

    Over the past few years, this has worked wonderfully and at times maybe too successfully! This is said only because that we regularly have more than 8 finches trying to perch and eat at the same time. Our best count to date, is having 13 finches, 8 eating and others perched on other parts of the feeding station itself. Truly a magnificent sight, although this can cause squabbles!

    We have recently realised that both bird feeders are having to be refilled much more often and decided to keep a short diary as to how often this occurred. Both feeders are always filled at the same time. It is then as short a period of 3 days, before they need refilling!

    We were just wondering whether any other members have as 'greedy gardenbirds' as we do!?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    We have a variety of garden birds visit our feeders, including great spotted woodpeckers.

    The largest drain on the food supply is the furry bird, aka the grey squirrel who has mastered the art of running up a slippery metal pole and hanging upside down to defeat the supposedly squirrel proof feeders.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sea queen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Our garden birds are very greedy and also picky. We seem to get more starlings than any others, but also sparrows.
    We have a few Gold Finches who enjoy the Niger seed but don't feed with us the whole year round.
    I have a ground feeder, where Black birds, Robins and sometimes Coal Tit ( I think ) feed.
    I was doing really well attracting different birds then along came a nasty pasty - big black and white bird which makes a chuck chuck sound and steals from smaller birds - you know which I mean.
    Many birds stopped coming !!
    Sea Queen

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Epsom, Surrey
    I have a single seed feeder in the front and 4 feeders in total (2x seed feeders, 1x peanut feeder and 1x fat ball feeder) in the back garden. All my seed feeders are smaller than those detailed in the opening post and each has only perches allowing two birds at a time to feed. This forces those birds arriving in a large flock to have to queue for their turn to feed. This prolongs the amount of time there is bird activity at the feeders.

    In the seed feeders I feed Sunflower seed, which is a mixture (mixed by myself) of black 'Sunflower Seed' and white 'Sunflower Hearts'. This attracts plenty of Goldfinches, Greenfinches along with an occasional Bullfinch, as well as House Sparrows in very large numbers. Occasional visitors include Robins and Blue Tits. Starlings readily accept and squabble over my Fat Ball offerings.

    One final point. Experience tells me that Sunflower Seed and Hearts varies in quality depending upon its source. There are 3 retail outlets here in Epsom where I can purchase bird food (Sainsbury's, Wilkinsons (Wilko) and a Pound Shop). The birds definitely ignore the seed from the Pound Shop (the cheapest) preferring instead that sourced from Wilko's even over that available from Sainbury's (the most expensive).


  5. #5
    Senior Member sea queen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    We regularly have a noise squabble when a flock appears.
    Most of our food is bought from Pets at Home and sometimes a Garden Centre.
    The birds ignore the nuts, sunflower hearts and eat very little of the seed - it gets flung out onto the floor.
    Meal worms ( which are costly ) Pellets and the fat blocks are what they go for.
    Sea Queen

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Fantastic to read other posters enjoy and partake in garden bird watching. Only recently found out a flock of Finches are classed as a 'charm'. A charm of finches, has a perfect ring doesn't it! After all, to sit and observe at different times of day, feeding habits and so some degree their squabbles, enjoyable, very.

    We also feed mixture of sunflower hearts and nyger seeds. However, due to cost (recently they have been eating us out of house and home, but they are worth it) my partner tends to mix with general birdseed, which the other smaller birds will take. There is absolutely no kidding the finches, they know what they want and they gets it.

    The other bird types we receive are a couple of robins, which is perfect for this time of year (it also helps even viewing a single robin, when things feel difficult. Give such a rise to the heart and mind). There are a few hedgesparrows, wagtails, blue tits and even for some months, and we checked and double checked and checked again, crested tits (apparently these are only ever to be found in forest/woodland in a specific place in Scotland-will have to look this up again) but we definitely had a pair, or a couple of pairs visiting for a few months.

    We also get the odd flock of starlings, which seem to have shrunk is size from memory, or they could be yearlings. Obviously there are the few pigeons that tend to clean up after all others and are at least useful for this. We also tend to get our fair share of magpies, which we find interesting.

    It is a shame that we share communal gardens, although as there are only 6 flats in our little block (3, 1 bedroom ground floor, and 3, 2 bedroom above. It seems to be general rule that those upstairs have the smaller piece of lawn in front of their front doors and those in downstairs, whose lounge windows look directly over, have the majority of lawned area), as we would love to put down 'trick seed containers' which would require a puzzle to be solved before any goodies are relinquished, as it has been observed how clever magpies indeed are.

    Have to wait and see what Autumn now brings due to the cooler and wetter weather!

  7. #7
    Senior Member mikeydt1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    around here there are a lot of front gardens and i was walking past one only to see a robin red breast, this is the first one i have seen in endless years and it was good to see one again after all this time.

    we do have a regular magpie and it all ways walks past our patio window.


  8. #8
    Senior Member catlover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    We aren't allowed to feed the birds We've been told it attracts vermin so it's been banned.

  9. #9
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Yes it does attract vermin and although we should feed the birds we are told not to because of that problem. It is a no win situation.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Hi Beau and Catlover, I suspect, as we do, you may also reside in social housing and adhere to landlord/tenancy regulations. However, I doubt whether they would be able to stop you feeding birds via 4,5,6 ft bird feeders/hanging feeders.

    We went through this and confirmed that our landlord could not stop us as the vermin excuse could not be put against feeders. As explained, we live in small block of 6, absolutely every neighbour gets on fantastically, save for a family of 4, living above us, 5 neighbours then. We all generally enter each others homes, coffee, general chat, as neighbours should and indeed used to (it's important I mention the family of 4, mother, father, and 2 children under 10, different sexes, in a 2 bedroom flat, especially when a 3rd child from fathers previous relationship stays over each weekend. Especially when the 2nd bedroom is a box room). They began causing problems for us, and eventually alienated themselves from other neighbours. It was down to the father, knowing, as we and other neighbours at the time, also enjoyed feeding the local urban foxes.

    So much so, that we were able to leave morsels on our lounge windowsill and they would take this, when this escalated to feeding from the hand from the window also (I know what some peoples opinions are of feeding foxes and even moreso, by hand). There was 1 in particular who had clearly been treated by a vet, who we named 'solo' due to having only 1 eye, the other having been operated on. It could be seen that 'solo' was not getting to the treats any where near as fast as fast as others in his group. This is why hand feeding commenced, merely to make sure he got his due!

    This was never better, that Summer, now 2 if not 3 years ago, when as front door open, I had managed to get seated on doorstep and solo came up, sat on hind quarters and seemed quite content to be fed from hand. These tended to be the sliced meats you are able to buy for sandwiches. Even our local butcher used to give us chicken bits, legs and not for selling to human left overs, which we fed.

    However, the upstairs neighbour ruined this not just for us, but other neighbours who enjoyed foxes and their cubs. Warning letters were then received by all, and since our foxes have disappeared, plainly out of spite of 1 person.

    However, there was nothing he or the landlord could do about neighbours feeding birds.

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