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Feed the birds - hobby for your retirement !
Bird Feeding Station
Member Name: catsholiday
Bird Feeding Station
Date: 14/07/09, updated on 16/08/11 (149 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap entertainment and helps widlife
Disadvantages: A bit messy & you get lots of plants growing in least expected places
We bought this bird feeder as we have recently retired and now enjoy a more leisurely breakfast. Our kitchen table is near a nice big window that overlooks our lovely garden but we rarely saw birds in our area. Our neighbour has been feeding the local bird population for years and so I went to inspect what she had. She recommended this pole with various different things hanging from it. It is not the most beautiful thing in the world but it is not objectionable and serves the purpose.
On to Amazon to spend some of my Dooyoo points and I found this for about £12 which seemed reasonable. It came in a large box with a water tray, large seed tray and 3 hooks for bird feeders. I had to go and buy extra bird feeders to hang on the hooks but they were only about £1 each from a local discount store.
My knowledgeable neighbour told me what to buy for which birds. Peanuts are popular and best put in the feeder with wire mesh as they are too big for most birds when whole. Birds attracted to peanuts include Woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, creepers, titmice, and wrens. The attraction to peanuts is that those dropped are unlikely to germinate under the feeder.
Sunflower seeds, the best are the black oil sunflower seeds as they have more content inside. These seeds provide a good amount of oil which helps the birds cope with cold winter weather. Birds that enjoy these include sparrows and goldfinches. You can make it easier for the birds by buying the more expensive sunflower hearts (no skins) which means they don't have to struggle opening them. Judging by the number of lovely sunflowers I have growing in strange places in my garden quite a few of mine were not opened and eaten by birds.
My main purchase has been the mixed seed as this attracts a range of birds from sparrows to blackbirds and a large number of dives and wood pigeons. If you want to attract more finches then Niger seed is what is required but this is quite expensive.
I did realise I was opening a McDonalds and we had a gourmet restaurant next door but despite this we have quite a few visitors to our feeder. Many more in winter than summer as food is easier for birds to find in the wild in summer and also our breakfast time in winter is as the sun is rising whereas in summer it has well and truly risen by our rising time.
The ten most common birds in British gardens are, in descending order:
* House Sparrow - we've had lots of these
* Common Starling - a few of these
* Blackbird - too many of these
* Blue Tit - my favourite and we have had quite a few
* Chaffinch - only a very few - went next door to the gourmet restaurant
* Greenfinch - see above
* Collared Dove - we have lots of these
* Wood Pigeon - great number of these, they are huge
* Great Tit - quite a number of these
* Robin - quite a few of these but mainly in winter
We have also had thrush but they love the snails so I encourage them. Magpies and the beastly jackdaws which like to fly down our chimney and create havoc inside ( but that is another story)
Along with my purchased offerings I also add crumbs from our bread and any left- overs I think they might enjoy - usually bread based things, cake and biscuits that the grandchildren have dropped. They seem to quite enjoy the odd bit of croissant too.
I'm not sure that I will ever become a real bird watcher but I do enjoy seeing them in my garden. Now that we no longer feed our cats outside we no longer have the entertainment of seeing a pheasant eating out of a bowl beside the cat!!
They do tend to make a bit of a mess while feeding and under the feeder I have to weed out lots of grass like shoots. The bird poo washes away from underneath on the grass or pebbles. I have to change their bath water regularly as they also poo in that which is pretty disgusting but other than that and topping up the feeders there is very little maintenance.
I would certainly recommend one of these pole feeders as they are easy to set up - join the two bits and then push it in the ground wherever you want. They can easily be moved if you don't like the first position. They are cheap and provide you with entertainment whilst doing your bit to help the bird life in England.
Thanks for reading. This review may be published on other sites under my name
Summary: Cheap hobby and useful one to wildlife