Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Faddy eaters or Food Fashions?

I filled up the feeders in the garden today, a regular event with the sunflower seed dispensers, but not need to do the peanuts yet again.

I had a look through some old photo's of birds feeding in the garden, and until this year Great Spotted Woodpeckers were always on peanuts, but now that's changed, I hardly ever seen them
on their old favourite, now it's sunflower hearts.

Jackdaws still hang around on the roofs and occasionally come down for food on the lawn (really a patch of rough grass), but I haven't seen them on a feeder for ages, this was about five years ago, and it may have been just one or two birds that learnt the trick.

Even Great-tits, at one time peanut addicts seem to have quit taking them. It seems that most birds have learnt that Sunflower seeds are easier to extract from the feeder, possibly higher in energy and definitely easier to take away and eat in a safer place.

Starlings just haven't been very evident this winter, with just a few gathering in the trees each evening, and an occasional visit for a drink. Only exceptionally now do we get any on the feeders, but I have seen one or two still taking peanuts. I wonder if this change is general or more specific to my garden?


Anonymous said...

Interesting observation that Tony. Nothing ever takes peanuts in my garden.

Nigel B said...

I agree. We've stopped putting peanuts in the feeders because they just go damp and mouldy. Same goes for black sunflower seeds, the birds don't take them from the feeder. We've now reached the simple solution of sunflower hearts in the feeders and peanuts/sunflower seeds in with the ground feed on the table and the ground.

Wendy said...

It seems as if only badgers enjoy peanuts these days - just occasionally a bluetit will feed from the peanut feeder. Like the rest of you I'm going to stop feeding peanuts but I'm still having to regularly replenish sunflower seed feeders. Wonder how long it'll be before they get tired of those!

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony,
I stopped feeding them peanuts too a couple of years ago. The birds weren't eating them anyway but then a fox began stealing the feeders and chewing them to pieces. Now they just get the cheap seed mix which they seem happy enough with. 20+ House Sparrows most days.

John Foster

Tony Morris said...

Hi John,
I find cheap seed mixes have a lot of large wheat seeds that don't get eaten, what do you use and any idea what it contains?