Why we stopped feeding garden birds

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PaleoPerson 

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A few years ago we stopped feeding birds in the garden. Yesterday, due to the bad weather, we started feeding again.

I think we may stop again..
 

johnandyrob 

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What have you put on your bird table raw meat lol
Regard Andrew
 

Brosville 

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Perhaps I'm being slow here, but I can't understand the logic in that - here's some buzzards over my garden earlier in the year -



buzzard and rook in a dogfight



We feed birds all year, particularly heavily winter, and in return have the extreme pleasure afforded by the wondrous sight of many breeds of birds - who don't seem in the least perturbed by the presence of various different members of the hawk family (and magpies) - just because some birds eat carrion is no reason to my mind to stop feeding all of them.......
 

PaleoPerson 

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Perhaps I'm being slow here, but I can't understand the logic in that - here's some buzzards over my garden earlier in the year -

We used to have an eight foot hedge in our garden and the sparrow hawks used to fly over this and take birds off the bird table, sometime 2-3 per day.

A normal conversation would be "Ahhh, thats a nice long tailed ti......pile of feathers"

We often see the Sparrow hawks flying down our road at gutter height and then flipping over the rooftops to see what they can surprise. Being the last house in the road, they always end up in our garden.

Spars are very common here. We also have local buzzards, but they stick to the fields. I will try to photograph them over the next week.

Nice pics of the Buzzards.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Great pictures :)

Winter is a good time for sparrowhawks as prey is more easily seen so they do OK. Not so good for the usual garden birds. I make sure there are lots of places to roost and a little extra food.
This one sheltered on our balcony one particular downpour.

 

Poly Hive 

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I am more than happy to feed our birds but I certainly would not be feeding a damn fox.

Next door neighbour set up a really amateur poultry run. I warned him of two families of foxes and that very night they got in and the poultry enterprise became a few feathers.

There is a plague of foxes, shame they dinna prefer rats.

PH
 

PaleoPerson 

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I am more than happy to feed our birds but I certainly would not be feeding a damn fox.

Next door neighbour set up a really amateur poultry run. I warned him of two families of foxes and that very night they got in and the poultry enterprise became a few feathers.

There is a plague of foxes, shame they dinna prefer rats.

PH
If we were a bit more rural, I would totally agree.
Many foxes around here, would rather have healthy ones than sick/hungry ones. Besides, this is the ONLY day of the year we feed them.
 

Queens59 

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At lunchtime we had: 7 Blackbirds, 14 Blue Tits, 5 Long Tailed Tits, 3 Chaffinch, 1 Mistle Thrush, 2 Thrush, 3 Redwings and 4 Fieldfares...this afternoon - 1 sparrowhawk hiding in the prickly pear tree...it must be Christmas!
 

Mandeville 

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I am more than happy to feed our birds but I certainly would not be feeding a damn fox.

There is a plague of foxes, shame they dinna prefer rats.

PH
:iagree::iagree::iagree:

Foxes here are a nightmare - last summer a tunnel over 4 feet long was dug under my rosebed!! And the damage they do to my vegetable beds is so frustrating :banghead:

Our neighbours haven't managed to stop them coming into their house via the cat-flap.

They are destructive, dirty and noisy - don't belong in urban areas. :cuss:
 

PaleoPerson 

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In the first and third pictures, the Sparrow Hawk is very active and looking for prey, nothing in the garden stirred.

In the second picture, she had settled and was preening a bit, three blue tits searched the branches around her for food, totally ignoring her. 5 minutes later, the Magpies plucked up courage and harassed her off to another tree.

All the birds can read the signals as to when it is safe and when it is not.
 

johnandyrob 

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I was amazed when earlier this year a sparrow hawk took a black bird in our garden shows how strong they are
 

oliver90owner 

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Buzzards are generally scavengers.
Hawks are generally predators.

The sparrow hawks are surviving by eating some birds - whether in your garden or next door.

Chicken wire between two poles will protect the birds from a particular direction of attack, but may be fatal, if not seen by the raptor.

RAB
 

MJBee 

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:iagree:

I keep collared doves in a netted area, they are free to come and go as they wish via cat proof entrances. Last summer there was a great kerfuffle and I went to see what was going on. - I found terrified doves and a female sparrowhawk stunned on the ground. she recovered from her high speed crash into the netting after a few minutes and flew off, never to be seen again. The doves didn't venture out for quite a few days:rofl:
 

PaleoPerson 

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It would appear that Sparrow Hawks get "The Red Mist" when they are set on the hunt and do not see a lot of things. Frequently they hit fences, windows posts etc and are the number one raptor hit by cars due there propensity to fly through hedges straight into roads.

I have a stuffed Sparrow Hawk which did exactly that many years ago and head-butted my car.

I do not want to put netting up in the garden as they have two avenues of attack and the bottom of the netting would have to start at approx 2.5 metres high.
 

Monsieur Abeille 

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At lunchtime we had: 7 Blackbirds, 14 Blue Tits, 5 Long Tailed Tits, 3 Chaffinch, 1 Mistle Thrush, 2 Thrush, 3 Redwings and 4 Fieldfares...this afternoon - 1 sparrowhawk hiding in the prickly pear tree...it must be Christmas!
Queens - thats one big Christmas feast, thought our turkey and goose was overindulging
 

Mandeville 

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All the birds can read the signals as to when it is safe and when it is not.
A sparrowhawk flies over our garden occasionally - all the sparrows disappear into a big pyracantha bush instantaneously - it's like a light being turned off.
 

Midland Beek 

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:iagree:

I keep collared doves in a netted area, they are free to come and go as they wish via cat proof entrances. Last summer there was a great kerfuffle and I went to see what was going on. - I found terrified doves and a female sparrowhawk stunned on the ground. she recovered from her high speed crash into the netting after a few minutes and flew off, never to be seen again. The doves didn't venture out for quite a few days:rofl:
A dove is a big meal for a Sparrowhawk. If you live in a wooded arae it may have been a much less common Goshawk - very similar in appearance to Sparrowhawk but larger.
 

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