Garden School:


Garden School:
Teaching this week: Biting the bullet: when to be brave, and to rip out existing garden features, in a garden which is not giving the owner any joy!

Friday, 30 April 2021

How to feed the birds - without feeding the Starlings!

 I've written about feeding the birds a few times: just type the word "bird" into the search box, top left of the screen, to get a list.

The key points include having trees, or fake trees (ie fences, pergolas, or even plain wooden poles),  for them to sit on and inspect your feeders, before they come down to eat: then to have bird feeders which are suspended off the ground: and to allow them time to get acquainted with your feeders - and for the "new chemical" smell to wear off - before they will come and feed.

However, getting the birds that you actually want, as opposed to the thugs and the greedy ones, is another question, and I have provided a few answers to that knotty topic, already: one of my answers is to exclude the bigger birds - pigeon, magpies - from my feeder, by turning it into a mini-fortress.

So what about starlings, then?

I was talking to a lady the other day, who is a keen bird-feeder, and normally she complains about the mess the Starlings leave under her feeders: not to mention the way they squabble, and the tremendous racket they make!

This time, however, she was all smiles.

Why? I asked.

Well, it turns out that she'd tried out a new type of bird feed, which was seeds mixed in with very small pellets of suet; and the mess was, apparently, indescribable. The Starlings, it seems, were flinging the seeds out, in order to get to the suet.

Interesting....

So she tried removing all the suet-based feed, leaving just seeds, grain, etc: lo! and behold, a massive reduction in the number of starlings.

Which leads us to an interesting conclusion: if you don't want starlings, don't feed suet-based food.

Try it, dear reader, and let me know if it works for you.....

 

 


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