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Old 22-01-2016, 12:16 PM   #1
dac54
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Default Feeding the birds,obsession or no choice?

Since I started feeding the birds in my back garden quite a few years back now,I see how they now depend on me for their food source.

Every morning they seem to lay in wait,sometimes looking in the window or coming up on the steps if I haven't put the grub out,if I go out to empty a bin first etc, they're fluttering around my head like the birdwoman scene from home alone.

As soon as I go out with the grub they are round me like a mad horde,
this was bad idea I'm thinking.
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Old 22-01-2016, 12:18 PM   #2
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Yep, you should never feed birds near your home.

If you really want to, goto a park if you live in a city, or a near by field if you live in a rural place.

But yep, i agree its a bad idea to feed birds in your back yard. But thats your own personal choice.
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Old 22-01-2016, 12:25 PM   #3
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I guess I have no choice now as a lot of the young pigeons etc were born after I started putting out food and they now see me as their nature food source,

when I shuffle off I figure there's gonna be a lot of thin pigeons in the neighbourhood.
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Old 22-01-2016, 12:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dac54 View Post
Since I started feeding the birds in my back garden quite a few years back now,I see how they now depend on me for their food source.

Every morning they seem to lay in wait,sometimes looking in the window or coming up on the steps if I haven't put the grub out,if I go out to empty a bin first etc, they're fluttering around my head like the birdwoman scene from home alone.

As soon as I go out with the grub they are round me like a mad horde,
this was bad idea I'm thinking.
Know what you mean. I've 'bonded' with our garden birds who somehow give me a 'dirty look' when there's no bread on the bird table. It's become one of the daily chores. I don't mind doing it rather than let surplus dry bread go to waste and they're excellent waste disposal units for any other unwanted food (they got half my fish and chips yesterday).

I suppose for the visual pleasure they offer in return it's a tiny task to offer (their droppings enrich your garden soil too).

The act of feeding birds by another species actually defies the laws of nature as it's an act of total altruism which doesn't usually happen up and down the animal kingdom. Perhaps they'll become spiritually advanced because of it and start giving something back ( I've often thought about training a group of Magpies to fly around picking up dropped coins and notes for me in return for food). If only they could talk...

Just checked my collective nouns...apparently it's a Conventicle or Tiding of Magpies.

As you rightly suggest, are we creating a natural imbalance by feeding birds until they are truly co dependent upon us ? Birds are supposed to self support by eating the abundance of nuts, seeds, grains, grubs, berries, worms and insects ( and in some cases, other birds, rodents and fish) which they find in the wild. Not cold chips and Pizza puke.

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Old 22-01-2016, 04:22 PM   #5
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We don't feed garden birds because we have a cat.
Our neighbour does put food out for the birds though and whenever she does we get a flock of dive bombing seagulls swooping around.
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Old 22-01-2016, 04:31 PM   #6
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I stopped feeding the birds and squirrels when I got my two killer cats, they all survived.. RSPB ( i think that's it) says to feed all year.. I think that is wrong.. give them a few bits but the when the trees and hedges are full of goodness then dont feed them then they know how to get food.
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Old 22-01-2016, 08:26 PM   #7
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birds don't struggle for food or they wouldn't exist, im positive that stale bread or any other stuff people decide to feed them controls the evolution. the people around me who feed the pigeons only guarantee birdshite on my car and not easy to get off either!

would humanity cease if takeaways became non existant?

animals or birds are way ahead on the feeding themselves chart
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Old 22-01-2016, 08:39 PM   #8
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I always feed the birds with my old bread. Fatten 'em up I say, you never know when you might need one
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Old 22-01-2016, 08:49 PM   #9
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I always feed the birds with my old bread. Fatten 'em up I say, you never know when you might need one
I just feed the bird I share a flat with and It gets me places nudge nudge say no more!
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Old 22-01-2016, 09:10 PM   #10
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They say you should feed them in the summer too because they need all the food they can get to raise their young.
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Old 22-01-2016, 09:21 PM   #11
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I work in landscaping so im often digging away in the earth, kind of minecrafting, releasing food in abundance . I have to say the most bold of all the birds is the British Robin, it will practically take over the job and it does cheer me up whilst digging holes in the weather that most people are indoors unable to witness due to fear of the wind rain and snow!

Would I walk down the street throwing breadcrumbs... not my bag
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Old 23-01-2016, 07:35 AM   #12
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They say you should feed them in the summer too because they need all the food they can get to raise their young.
Nature provides.. There is big money to be made from bird food.. when I first started to feed them 40 years ago it was really cheap but now its big business.. HUGE sacks of peanuts and seeds. Becaurse as many find out no matter how much you put out they will eat it.
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Old 23-01-2016, 08:43 AM   #13
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It's so sweet you say they sometimes look in the window while waiting for you to feed them. I wonder if they call out to the others when you get close to the feedsack.

Here in the south USA people who feed hummingbirds stop around August or so. Apparently it will interfere with their migration. If they don't leave at the right time they may not survive the journey.

I like crows myself. And any raptor. Don't personally feed any flyers though.

It would be strange not having arms...being able to fly might make that a moot point though.

Forgive, I'm rambling...
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Old 23-01-2016, 12:11 PM   #14
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I'd definitely put food out in the winter, early spring and late autumn.

Don't feel bad OP, do what you can. Animals ARE resilient, but also need help. We made sure we put out more food during the recent cold snap. We're seeing wood pigeons, blackbirds and even the occasional robin now. We didn't see them for ages. I think the wood pigeons live in one of our tree, as they appear every year, and I'm quite sure they nest in that tree too. We've seen wood pigeons flying into that tree with twigs repeatedly, for many years now. Must be a massive mansion of a nest there now!
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Old 23-01-2016, 12:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dac54 View Post
Since I started feeding the birds in my back garden quite a few years back now,I see how they now depend on me for their food source.

Every morning they seem to lay in wait,sometimes looking in the window or coming up on the steps if I haven't put the grub out,if I go out to empty a bin first etc, they're fluttering around my head like the birdwoman scene from home alone.

As soon as I go out with the grub they are round me like a mad horde,
this was bad idea I'm thinking.
I feed the birds here, always have and always will. I derive great pleasure from it because it helps sustain them and brings life to the garden and the beautiful interactions that come with it. I have two cats with birds and cats managing to avoid each other very well.
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Old 23-01-2016, 12:57 PM   #16
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Another thing on the old bird feeding lark, is how much of it is a Western indulgence ? Whilst working in Poland I brought over a seed feeder from UK for my flat balcony. My Polish colleagues were bemused as to what it was, followed by the question,

"But WHY do you feed the birds ?"

This coming from a peoples who've literally had to struggle for every mouthful throughout their history, the very idea of spending good money to feed birds they found quite incredulous.
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Old 23-01-2016, 01:03 PM   #17
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Another thing on the old bird feeding lark, is how much of it is a Western indulgence ? Whilst working in Poland I brought over a seed feeder from UK for my flat balcony. My Polish colleagues were bemused as to what it was, followed by the question,

"But WHY do you feed the birds ?"

This coming from a peoples who've literally had to struggle for every mouthful throughout their history, the very idea of spending good money to feed birds they found quite incredulous.
Yes, I think they have a point.

On the other hand, we don't know what stressors the Polish bird population faces. What are their numbers? Any records would be recent anyway, doubt there would be records going back a few hundred years even.

Some of our birds aren't doing very well, so they do need some help.
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Old 23-01-2016, 01:09 PM   #18
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Well Polska is about 70% eco green as Britain was back in Billy Shakespeare's day and plays host to a wide a variety of ornithological species. Where I lived, the average Polish sparrow looked like an emaciated midget compared to the British one (I soon fattened them up alongside the Blue Tits and Coal Tits). We also had Starlings, wild Grouse, Woodpeckers and lots of Crows.

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Old 23-01-2016, 02:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kizzie View Post
I stopped feeding the birds and squirrels when I got my two killer cats, they all survived.. RSPB ( i think that's it) says to feed all year.. I think that is wrong.. give them a few bits but the when the trees and hedges are full of goodness then dont feed them then they know how to get food.
RSPB Magazine is wall to wall full of adverts for bird feed companies.
I reckon that's why RSPB pushes that idea of year round feeding.
There's plenty of food available naturally for birds most of the year.
If there wasn't we'd have no birds.
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Old 23-01-2016, 02:40 PM   #20
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RSPB Magazine is wall to wall full of adverts for bird feed companies.
I reckon that's why RSPB pushes that idea of year round feeding.
There's plenty of food available naturally for birds most of the year.
If there wasn't we'd have no birds
.
I agree but you could argue that the way most people keep gardens today is making it harder for birds and other animals to survive esp in towns.
The number of hedgehogs went down a lot where I am from because people started doing gardening different. no longer any half wild areas in the garden for them to hide in..

I suppose the same could happen with birds worst case.

The only thing is you have to keep feeding once you start I guess-.
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