Feeding the Birds

The Feeders

Its taken a while to find seed and fat-ball feeders that the squirrels can’t chew their way into (link here) but even now we have to wire the lids shut – they have no difficulty undoing them otherwise. And they have learned to shake the seed feeders until its all on the floor if we leave them suspended.

We occasionally leave the wildlife camera pointing at them and some of the resulting pictures are included below. The quality isn’t great (to put it kindly) but it’s good enough to see what’s going on.

PICT0299asqirrel

We now have four seed and three fat-ball feeders (picnic, middle and bottom clearings) but even so they empty quickly – just a few hours for the seed, three-fours days for the fat balls – and the birds then have to hold out until we come back the next week.

The mixed flocks of tits that move around the woods use the seed feeders all year but the fat balls feeders only attracted serious attention from mid-November this year. The most common birds on the seed feeders seem to be Blue, Coal and Marsh Tits. Nuthatch, Blackbird, Robin, Jay and (a rarity here) Magpie also try their luck or pick up fallen seed. The Great Tits prefer the fat balls (up to six birds at a time) as does our Great Spotted Woodpecker.  We see Long-Tailed Tits around but no clear photos at the feeders.

See them all on our time lapse video here,

The Gallery

Robin: Hopefully needs no introduction!

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Great Tit: more info from the RSPB here. They seem to roam around the wood in a little flock. Obviously a competition going on for most birds in one feeder at the same time.

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Coal Tit: more info from the RSPB here. Easiest to tell them from Marsh/Will Tits by the white stripe on the back of the head and no black beard.

P1060111 Coal Tit
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Blue Tit: you all know this one – more info from the RSPB here.

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Marsh Tit: more info from NatureSpot here. Easy to confuse with the Willow Tit but the Marsh is more likely in woodland so we’ll assume that’s what it is.

P1030789 marsh

Long Tailed Tit: more info from the RSPB here. We’ve seen 10s of them together in the summer and they still seem to prefer to move around in little groups in winter.

Blackbird: more info from the RSPB here. We all love our Blackbirds don’t we? Heard in our wood but not often seen around the clearings when we’re there.

Nuthatch: see our separate post on Nuthatches here. They seem to prefer grain that’s fallen on the ground.

PICT1269nuthatchsnow

Great Spotted Woodpecker: Very handsome but on the downside they eat the chicks from the tit nests.

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Jay: more info from the RSPB here. Another predator of smaller birds but on the plus side they help out by planting acorns.

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Magpie: like the Jay, a handsome bird but not altogether welcome because of its chick-stealing habits.

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