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Posted
  • Location: Atherstone on Stour: 160ft asl
  • Location: Atherstone on Stour: 160ft asl

    In common with most people I usually have at least one nutfeeder on the go during the colder weather. But when is the right time to put feed out ?

    Not much point feeding wild birds in the summer as the natural food is in abundance. As a rough guide I usually fill up the feeders when the 1st frost is due as I figure this is when the bugs/flies etc are killed off. Am I right ? This then poses the question - When do I take them down ? Too early and the parents of fledglings will suffer as they've grown to rely on my feeders.

    Many people don't agree with feeding birds at all in the winter, as it's keeping the population at an unnaturally high level & nature should find it's own equilibrium based on the availability of food etc.

    Would appreciate some advice.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cambridgeshire Fens. 3m ASL
  • Location: Cambridgeshire Fens. 3m ASL

    I feed seed and peanuts all year round. Extra feeders and fat balls etc in colder months. As far as I'm aware RSPB etc say to feed all year round as when you stop feeding at the end of winter, the food supply the birds were used to has gone and they then have to look elsewhere.

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    Posted
  • Location: Atherstone on Stour: 160ft asl
  • Location: Atherstone on Stour: 160ft asl
    I feed seed and peanuts all year round. Extra feeders and fat balls etc in colder months. As far as I'm aware RSPB etc say to feed all year round as when you stop feeding at the end of winter, the food supply the birds were used to has gone and they then have to look elsewhere.

    Is that because they sell the feed in their catalogues ??

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    Posted
  • Location: Yate nr Bristol
  • Location: Yate nr Bristol

    I have also heard/read the above comments from the RSPB. Birds I suppose become used to us feeding them and rely on us no matter how good or bad the weather. Meal worms(?) are supposed to be helpful to adult birds who have a job finding enough grubs at certain times of the year for their young and not to leave peanuts as they`re no good for the youngsters.

    I read somewhere to leave millet sprigs tied to trees as this attracts birds too. I like to make my own fat balls for the birds with fruit nuts fat obviously :lol: but its good to feed them, if you want them in your garden then thats the thing to do, no matter what time of year it is.

    I bought a packet of sunflowers to grow, meaning them for the birds but never got round to it. So as well as buying seed etc we can plant for them as well.

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    Posted
  • Location: Atherstone on Stour: 160ft asl
  • Location: Atherstone on Stour: 160ft asl
    I feed seed and peanuts all year round. Extra feeders and fat balls etc in colder months. As far as I'm aware RSPB etc say to feed all year round as when you stop feeding at the end of winter, the food supply the birds were used to has gone and they then have to look elsewhere.

    That's a fair comment GO, but in my thoughts, am I creating an artificially high population ?? I've just moved house and was wondering what will happent to all the greenfinches I keep going last winter ? Have they bred well due to the abundance of food I left out from Oct to May last year ? Is the population now in trouble as my food supply has turned off ?

    Frost forecast for friday, so I'll put my feeders out, as the grubs/bugs etc usually die off then.

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    Posted
  • Location: St. Albans, Herts
  • Location: St. Albans, Herts

    As we live in the centre of the town and are fighting a constant battle to try to keep our local birds from extinction, we feed all year round: we tend to find that they don't want it as much in the summer months anyway, but then if it's really wet or horrible, they always have that source to rely on. My feeling is that they have such a bad time with cats, traffic, pollution, absence of trees, etc, etc the least we can do is make sure they're fed and watered....

    So they get scraps, peanuts and bird seed all year, and we top them up with fat balls and other tit bits in the cold times. We have feeders, a bird table and also sprinkle some food on the ground to attract the ground feeders . And we also have 2 bird baths which they love: especially the blackbirds who make a really big deal of having a wash!

    [isn't it tragic that I've just spent five minutes trying to think of alternative phrases to 'fat balls' and 'tit bits' as I just know that if OON sees this, I'm finished! ;):);):) ]

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    Posted
  • Location: Derby - 46m (151ft) ASL
  • Location: Derby - 46m (151ft) ASL

    Well we've had a seed feeder outside all summer.

    To date, its still full ;)

    Its at the furthest point away from the house, next to a fence (that birds sit on all the time), in a bed (garden bed that is) and underneath trees.

    Am I doing something wrong :)

    Or perhaps its something to do with us having a cat (we had 2 pigeons earlier this year....we now have none ;) ).

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    Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London

    I'm a member of the RSPB and have fed birds for years - I'm in the camp of feeding them in Autumn and Winter generally from November to early April but if it remains cold then I'll start earlier or finish later. I have a peanut feeder a long seed feeder with black sunflower seeds and a fat feeder for tits, finches etc. I also ground feed with bread, suet and a ground mix of seeds and when exceptionally cold apples for blackbirds and thrushes. Best bird feeding on my nuts has to be a greater spotted woodpecker.

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