Whats happened to my feathered friends

  Grambo 08:21 18 Apr 2007

Over the winter I have been feeding the birds in my garden and was getting used to them visting and dropping in for a bite to eat. Over the last few weeks the starlings, blackbirds and robins are no longer around. I hope that an expert can confirm that they have migrated (but why go in the spring?)

  BT 08:50 18 Apr 2007

They are probably nesting and will be looking for worms and insects rather than the food we normally put out for them. Our local blackbirds have been seen collecting worms when my neighbour was digging his garden but still come to our bird table for a quick snack of wild bird food set into fat in old tuna tins - they love it! They eat this themselves as they normally serve worms etc. to their chicks.

  €dstowe 08:58 18 Apr 2007

I have plenty of blackbirds, sparrows, bluetits, two wood pigeons, four collared doves, quite a few jackdaws and a robin as regulars in the garden.

There is a passing brigade of greenfinches that appear about once a week.

There is a very obvious change in the eating habits of the blackbirds and sparrows recently. Much more scrabbling about the ground for grubs and worms. The others are as before, eating from the feeders.

  Stuartli 09:19 18 Apr 2007

Plenty of birds in our garden, both visiting and nesting.

The blackbirds, in particular, are not fazed by anyone going out into the garden as they realise they will not be harmed and even tolerate the local cats (whilst keeping a wary eye on them).

However, we've had a complete absence of sparrows for some years, although they can be found in some parts of the town.

In the summer we regularly watch the bats flying round our property at dusk; they must be living in a nearby property or out building as we are in the midst of a built-up residental area.

  anskyber 09:21 18 Apr 2007

The RSPB recent Big Garden Bird Watch results also suggest a general decline in garden bird numbers. click here

Global warming has lead to fewer migrants and more food in the natural habitat so there is less need for the birds to come into gardens. They do go at ti time of the year to nesting sites and the more abundant food supplies in the countryside.

  anskyber 09:39 18 Apr 2007

I'm sure most people know this but feeding peanuts to the birds in the spring and summer is potentially dangerous unless provided in a mesh container or the like.

Whole peanuts or large pieces can be taken and fed to the young who choke on the food. click here

  spuds 10:14 18 Apr 2007

According to reports, there as been a decline of house sparrows over the past few years. What I have noticed is the slightly aggressive attitude of the house sparrow towards the smaller bird species. We have a number of various size and type bird boxes around the property. Last year we found a number of dead blue tits, both young and adult. We found the culprit's were the house sparrows, who were getting into the bird boxes that the blue tits were using and were causing mayhem. After the destruction, the house sparrows just carried on as normal.

This year, we have noticed an increase of blackbirds and robins, but the thrush population seems to have disappeared all together.

Last year, we had a regular visit from a pesky heron, but so far this year, no returning visit as occurred. Better fishing elsewhere perhaps!.

  Stuartli 11:06 18 Apr 2007

The holes in the blue tit bird boxes might not be small enough.

  Ho-Lin-Sok 11:24 18 Apr 2007

We get plenty of the most common species as mentioned by others, I can feel their little eyes staring at me from the shrubbery and trees if I dare go out and disturb the feeding ritual. They always seem to sit on the fence with a hangdog expression when the feeders are empty. Dumb animals eh!

  spuds 11:41 18 Apr 2007

" The holes in the blue tit bird boxes might not be small enough".

They are now. Many years of wear and tear had enlarged the holes slightly, so maintenance procedures on all boxes was the order of the day.Weekly/Annual maintenance and cleaning of appliances plus recommended hole sizes are now duly undertaken.

When I contacted the RSPB as to the 'killing' episode, they were unable to give a positive answer, so it still remains a mystery as to the true cause of the then problem!.

  postie24 13:57 18 Apr 2007

I love seeing birds in my garden,only problem is,there are so many cats about around here,they dont stand a chance :(

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