Bird diets

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science_fox
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Bird diets

Post by science_fox » Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:00 pm

Like many people lucky enough to be blessed with a garden I hang out food for the local birds - mostly sparrows and pigeons. I have two feeders one gets filled with a seed mix, the other gets a mix of suet pellets and the seeds. (Suet balls have all disappeared from my local shops, I didn't realise shortages had got so desperate).

The suet is ravenously gobbled down within a few hours - literally between my breakfast and lunch - the pure seeds will last a day or two. Is this healthy for the birds? am I just providing the equivalent of a kebab shop, not necessarily bad, but unwise to be consumed every day? Should I limit how much I put out? Is there a sufficiently wide base of birds that individually it doesn't matter? (I've had a crowds upto 30 sparrows, 13 pigeons and a handful of starlings). Are birds sensible enough (bird brained?) to regulate their choices of what's available?

So far I've just been topping them up every couple of days once they've eaten the seeds they can have some more fat, but they still get through a couple of kg of seed a week!

Lew Dolby
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Re: Bird diets

Post by Lew Dolby » Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:03 pm

Fast food for garden bird is a good thing at this time of year. The adults can take advantage and spent the rest of the time collecting insects for nestlings.

I make fat balls using seed, suet and small plactic containers left from huming's food. We use veg suet (cos we are). One day, other half said "but the birds aren't. Better get some regular suet for the birds." Experimentally, they seem to prefer the veg suet !!
If you bring you kids up to think for themselves, you can't complain when they do

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science_fox
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Re: Bird diets

Post by science_fox » Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:44 pm

Lew Dolby wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:03 pm
Fast food for garden bird is a good thing at this time of year. The adults can take advantage and spent the rest of the time collecting insects for nestlings.

I make fat balls using seed, suet and small plactic containers left from huming's food. We use veg suet (cos we are). One day, other half said "but the birds aren't. Better get some regular suet for the birds." Experimentally, they seem to prefer the veg suet !!
I've found they are very resistant to change. If they've had a particular mix then they don't like different ones and will take a week or so to notice it's there (even in the same container!).

Trinucleus
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Re: Bird diets

Post by Trinucleus » Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:33 pm

The problem with the big cheap bags of seed and grain is that most birds chuck out the grain, and you then get a colony of rats setting up to eat the overflow

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