Bird feeding in winter

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Primrose
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Bird feeding in winter

Postby Primrose » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:41 pm

I think the owners of our pet shop in the village will probably be millionaires by the end of this winter! . Bird food is flying off the shelves and they can't get new deliveries in quickly enough so it's good to know that the birds around the area are being looked after. They just need to have good memories to remember where all the feeding stations are !

As I type, we have a flock of about 25 parakeets all desperately fighting to get on our different bird feeders. Walking around the area I haven't noticed any of the usual berries still lingering on bushes or shrubs so the birds must be getting pretty desperate by this stage. I've given up trying to protect the last remnants of my curly kale, kavalo nero and Swiss Chard. The various birds have eaten virtually everything now down to the stalks.

We have just found a jar of slightly mouldy raisins in my cupboard. They're not fit for human consumption but I'm sure they will make valuable food for the birds but I need to clean them up first. Can anybody suggest what I can soak them in to clear off the mould so the birds won't be harmed by eating them?
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Re: Bird feeding in winter

Postby Pa Snip » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:49 pm

I would use plain warm water, anything else may be absorbed and taint the raisins
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Re: Bird feeding in winter

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:09 pm

I would pour boiling water on them to kill the mould then soak them in fresh warm water to plump them up a bit. But in these temperatures they will most likely freeze solid if you've soaked them. At least they'll provide some moisture. The water has frozen as soon as I've thawed it out today.
I ve tried to put something out to suit all the different birds, raisins, bread, mixed seed, fat block, suet pellets with mealworms and dried mealworm.

We've had 21 species including a grey wagtail which seemed to be very hungry and sampled everything. I hope they find somewhere cosy to roost it's already heading for -7.
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Re: Bird feeding in winter

Postby robo » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:54 pm

I always use chicken corn in the feeders it's a mixture of seeds and at less than £7 for twenty kilos it's cheap I bring a tub full home from the plot were I use it to treat the chickens
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Re: Bird feeding in winter

Postby Westi » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:03 pm

I've been collecting bits & bobs for the birds at work - I now have a pocket full of crumbs & peanuts. I wouldn't have bothered too much as we have the lake & trees & berries, but they have gone around & cut all the trees & hedges early & cleared the reeds & conservation places around the lake, so the wee chaps have little shelter as well, but at least the trees may grow a bit before nesting. I've been recruiting others so can't guarantee they will get a suitable diet but has got to be better than nothing & my recruits seem to know the bread danger!
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Re: Bird feeding in winter

Postby tigerburnie » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:12 pm

Pathogens in mouldy food is fatal to birds, please don't feed wild birds with anything you wouldn't eat yourselves, the reason Greenfinches are in serious trouble is thought to be from bird feeders that haven't been cleaned.
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Re: Bird feeding in winter

Postby Geoff » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:44 pm

We've had masses of birds today. Six bickering simultaneous robins have been keeping us amused. Wasn't too impressed by the large smooth tailed furry creature that appeared, I'm sure I shot it but it managed to run off.
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Re: Bird feeding in winter

Postby Monika » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:57 pm

The birds have been quite frantic today, searching for water and food. The blackbirds even tried to eat from the hanging feeders, the first time I have seen that! I have even tolerated the greedy and squabbling starlings, feeling sorry for them.
And the great spotted woodpecker fed happily on the same feeder as the tiny siskin .......
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Re: Bird feeding in winter

Postby Primrose » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:13 pm

We,ve seen our blackbirds exhibiting the same behaviour, again for the first time as they’ve always been ground feeders and the usual ground feeders are hovering beneath the feeders anxiously waiting to catch anything that drops from the rich man’s table.
Apart from keeping the bird feeders regularly topped up we,ve been putting dried oats, crushed fat balls and chopped apples out on the ground and the birds are so desperate for food they’re down from the trees before we’re even back in the house. Its been impossible to keep the bird drinking bath ice free despite regular top ups with boiling water. The wind is absolutely bitter.
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Re: Bird feeding in winter

Postby Geoff » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:48 pm

I've doubled up the fat balls the last couple of days, given them fresh water and a second batch of food on the tables mid-afternoon. And shot the rat!
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Re: Bird feeding in winter

Postby Primrose » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:00 pm

Send us the rat Geoff. I’m sure the ravenous kites circling overhead would make short work of it !
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Re: Bird feeding in winter

Postby Diane » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:37 pm

Husband braving the Beast from the East blizzard conditions to feed the birds in our garden.
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Primrose
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Re: Bird feeding in winter

Postby Primrose » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:23 pm

Similar scene to what's happening in our garden !
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Re: Bird feeding in winter

Postby oldherbaceous » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:13 pm

Primrose, do you mean you have sent your Husband out into the freezing garden too! :)
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Primrose
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Re: Bird feeding in winter

Postby Primrose » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:18 pm

Well he likes to do the brave Cave Man hunter gatherer stuff so I wouldn ,t deprive him of the pleasure! Actually he’s a real softy for looking after his birds...even more than me. I darent t ask how much he,s spending on birdfood at our village pet shop but I suspect in weather like this it probably equates our weekly grocery bill !! More tactful not to ask ! Pet shop owner said this morning she is ordering in suet pellets for birds by the pallet load. It’s the only way she can keep up with customers’ demands.
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