Posted on December 11th, 2014 in General by Trish

From: http://www.livingwithbirds.com/   The Perfect Gifts for a Bird Lover When thinking of a gift for the passionate bird lover there are a wide variety of options to choose from. These can range from a purely practical type of gift, to something that has an element of fun about it, too.   Helpful Guides A good gift idea for a bird enthusiast who has a particular interest in wildlife and nature, as well as learning more indepth information about birds, is a guide book. Guide books can be useful because as a nature evolves, new creatures will be attracted to new plants and create new habitats that the bird lover can investigate. No one knows everything, so a respected and informative bird guide will also be an ideal present. Another gift idea could be arranging a subscription to a popular bird magazine such as Bird Watch.   Quirky Gifts A Christmas gift with a bird enthusiast in mind should be able to be used throughout the year as although we see different species of birds each season, it should be relevant all year round for all birds.   Suitable Christmas presents could be either a calendar with a bird theme which you could list nature events in, or a yearly planner that they can document any developments in their garden wildlife to see what the birds like and what they don’t.   Bird Feed & Feeders Christmas is the perfect time to buy a bird lover some new bird supplies as they can start using them right through into the new year. Consider buying them some high quality special mix bird feed that is full of proteins for garden birds.   From:  http://www.livingwithbirds.com/   Another birding gift that is essential for every bird lover is a durable bird feeder, The Squirrel Buster is a great example of this; your garden birds can easily access their food whilst animals such as Squirrels and other mammals cannot gain access and steal their food. B ird Spotting WalkFinally, get your bird loving friend out in the outdoors! Research the most popular, or secluded, bird spotting destinations and pack up for the day. You and your loved one can spend the day searching for beautiful species of birds and documenting your day together.    http://www.livingwithbirds.com/ are a supplier of garden bird food supplies and hanging bird feeders for wild birds and wildlife. They have a selection of interesting wildlife articles, as well as user submitted photos from around the world. SO WHY NOT VISIT OUR WEBSITE  http://www.livingwithbirds.com/    YOU WILL BE ABLE TO FIND LOVELY GIFTS AND HELP OUR GARDEN BIRDS


Posted on December 10th, 2014 in Bird Eating Bird by Trish

I HAVE RECEIVED THIS POINT OF VIEW ABOUT SPARROWHWKS I was somewhat bemused and dumbfounded to read many of the posts concerning sparrow hawks attacking bird feeders. One must appreciate that if one is to place a food larder for a predatory animal in its clear view, the said animal will take advantage as that is what it is fundamentally programmed to do.

It seems that many of the contributors readily supply food to advantage Finches, Tits and other small birds and then decry lunch to the sparrow hawk that will be singling out the less able and weaker small birds maintaining a strong gene pool for the future.

I have no doubt that the same people that find the sparrow hawk so abhorrent will somewhat incongruently find the urban Peregrine Falcon a wondrous spectacle; the difference is that, with the latter the killing is done at a distance and the gory foremost details of na ture are performed out of sight. W

e must also consider that much of the food presented as bird attractant, admittedly in good faith is bought in pre-packaged plastic bags and then carefully placed in lexan tubes and vinyl net bags that will ultimately contribute to land fill and global pollution in general.

My advice is that if you do not want sparrow hawks in the garden do not put bird feeders in it.



Just  a short reply for now – there are many more sparrwhawks than there used to be. The sparrowhawk does not single out the less able and weaker birds.  The sparrowhawk will hunt an area until there is nothing more to hunt.


Posted on December 9th, 2014 in Bird Feeding Problems by Trish

If anyone has any methods they use to keep rain off bird food please get in touch.

I don’t use hanging bird feeders at the moment because the rain gets inside and clogs the food.

I use ground feeders of various sizes.  Some bought. Some home made.  I’ve covered them in different ways but nothing seems to work.

I get so fed up of rain wasting the bird food.

Any ideas welcome



Posted on November 30th, 2014 in Bird Eating Bird by Trish

I’ve received a comment from Vic.  Please read it.


Sparrowhawk visits to my small urban garden in the West Midlands used to be few and far between, but the sparrowhawk visits have now increased to such a huge extent that the usual amount of wild bird food I put out is not being eaten at the end of any particular day.

Rats are on the increase (there are way more rats than people now) and these disease-riddled rodents are being attracted into gardens by night to feast on any leftover bird food.

I keep decreasing the amount of food I put out for the birds but, thanks to sparrowhawk attacks, the little birds are visiting my garden less and less often for fear of being lanced by hawk talons and eaten alive.

I used to be a member of the RSPB but unsubscribed when I realised that the preservation of hawks is more important to them than the livelihood of the beautiful little birds that frequent our gardens and give us all so much pleasure.

I’m sick of seeing plucked feathers plastered all over my garden and have taken a dislike to all manner of hawks. OK, RSPB, sort this carnage out, NOW!


Dear Vic,  I, and many other people, understand your anger and feeling of not being able to do anything. A lot of people seem to have unsubscribed from the RSPB.

There is a webpage called Songbird Survival that you may like to look at

Below is part of a comment from  Gary – Here’s some ideas on how to keep hawks away from your birdtables.

1.Encourage crows to your garden or house roof, these birds will take on both male and females.

2.Another way which a fellow pigeon keeper uses, is to position a large plastic eagle owl on a fence or another suitable place overlooking the birdtable. These birds feed on hawks! At first the others that use the garden will be wary, they soon get use to their plastic guardian.

3.This guy also has a large mirror appro 14×24 inches, which he uses to dazzle the hawks as they harass his birds while they’re flying.

Hope these tips have been helpful.

4.One more thing, check the RPRA website, I believe there’s a petition about hawks, these birds are destroying hundreds of racing pigeons worth a small fortune, while leaving feral ones alone

Note from Trisha – the RPRA is the Royal Pigeon Racing Association http://www.rpra.org/

Hope this gives you some ideas and hope Vic


Vic got in touch after reading this post.


I wrote it  in 2010 and readers have been reading and commenting ever since.


Posted on October 14th, 2014 in Bird Eating Bird by Trish


I received this from a worried bird lover -

A gang of very aggressive Magpies have just moved into our area.

I heard a lot of noise and looked out to see a collared dove being carried through the sky by one of them.

It was awful to see and now this morning I heard another loud squabble only to see them laying into one of their own!

I opened the window and they all flew away.

I just hope they don’t hang round here too long as they wouldn’t look out of place in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds


I hope we aren’t fighting a losing battle trying to help garden birds survive.  Magpies kill so many birds and in Spring  they raid so many nests.  They do so much damage.  One nest of eggs gone in a flash

This is linked to an article I wrote in July 2009 and which readers are still picking up on. I wrote it about a Magpie raiding a blackbirds nest.  If you’d like to read more and read what problems other people have had with Magpies please click the link below


Shorter days and longer nights – our garden birds need food

Posted on October 14th, 2014 in Birdy Ramblings on my daily dawdle by Trish


It’s coming to the time of year when our garden birds depend on us more than ever for food.

The daylight hours are getting less and so wild birds have less time to find food.  The dark nights are getting longer and colder so birds need more food to see them through the long, cold nights

Less time for them to find more food.  Oh dear!  It could be the death of some of them.

We have supermarkets that are open 24/7 and and homes that shelter us from the cold and dark.  We can’t imagine searching for food and trying to find somewhere warm to sleep.  Birds do this and at the same time they sing and chirp!!  Amazing

I always get a selection of birds in my garden.  They brighten the garden up with their antics and chirping.

I only use ground feeders at the moment.  The blackbirds seem to be first in the garden.  I open the front door and there they are.  Now they will be here  at the crack of dawn. Waiting for food.  Waiting for me.

Some of my feeders are a bit Heath Robinson, but they work at keeping the rooks and crows and pigeons off the food.  These feeders mean the colourful garden birds can feed safely inside the home- made chicken wire mesh / garden mesh feeders that I put the bird food in.

Happy bird feeding folks and if you have any birdy stories / feeding tips or would like to ask about bird feeding etc please get in touch




Sitting Pretty – A photograph

Posted on October 14th, 2014 in Photographs by Trish


Posted on August 21st, 2014 in Birds I've seen in and around my garden by Trish

Carol sent me this:

I found a beautiful dove in my garden today, I thought it had a broken wing. I brought in the house and put it in a nice padded box, i gave it water and covered it with a towel like they told me to.

My husband went to the store for dove bird seed by the time he got home my beautiful bird had passed. I will bury it under my rose of sharon tree and say the  prayer for the beautiful little dove .It’s a very sad day for me and my family. But i know my little beautiful dove is in heaven with jesus. Thank You for this web site.


I replied:

I am so pleased that this prayer is still being read and people are moved by it and it has helped you. It does show how close we can feel to these small birds.

It is always sad to see a dead bird. I feel they look so small when the life energy has gone out of them

It’s so lovely that you tried to save

This is the link  to the post PRAYER FOR A BIRD  which was written in 2009


This is the Prayer:  It need not be a prayer for a sparrow of course.  It could used for any bird

Prayer for the Burial of a Bird

This sparrow died today,

O Lord, Your feathered creature small.

We lay him in the friendly earth

And ask Your blessings on us all



Posted on August 21st, 2014 in Cat Control by Trish

This has beensent in:


Hi Trish Ive sent a readers entry for Bird Table news. Song and Garden Bird survival…

A real dilemma and threat for our precious wild, garden and erbon birds.

Between April and August every year during bird nesting season, thousands of baby and fledgling birds ,are slaughtered needlessly by pet cats…

Instinctively pet cats hunt and decimate nest sights, not for food but purely out of primeval play… How about giving these birds genuine protection ?

If a conservation act was to be implemented to remove the threat from pet cats , say …May to August .This would give these birds,the opportunity to nest and reproduce more safely.

This would mean some kind of forced temporary encarsoration. By the owner of the cat or registered cat pound. This would dramatically help and protect birds , in their struggle…


I do agree with this idea.  I believe that in Australia cats are not allowed out.

What do you think?

A Walk on the Wild Side?

Posted on May 27th, 2014 in Bird Friends Around the World by Trish

I went for a walk yesterday morning.  Same old path, same old trees, same old view, so I did not take my camera.

Walking in front of me on a path full of mud and puddles  was a blackbird and a few yards further along was a small young rabbit.  They were ‘walking’ together.  Well, the rabbit was sitting then hopping and the blackbird was hopping / walking on the path.  They were close to each other and were aware of each other and were responding to each other.  I was close to them.

I was near a wooded area and wondered if this happened often in among the undergrowth of the overgrown wooded area.

Even more strange is that a few years ago I wrote a story about an unhappy rabbit who was befriended by a bird..  Strange but true

I walked a few more yards and was thinking how lovely the May blossom on the high hedge looked.  The long grass and wild flowers at the base of the hedge was lovely to see.  In among the long grass I saw an large old  hare.  He was sat facing the sun.  His face was looking up at the sun and his ears were flat to his head.  I watched him for a few minutes and he did not move.  I am sure he was enjoying the sun on his face.  My camera has a really good zoom on it.  Minutes passed and he realised I was there and slowly roused himself.  This in itself is strange as hares usually spring off into the distance when disturbed.  Many, many years ago people used to think there was a type of magic connected to hares.  They thought they were magical creatures

Last year I used to see two old hares travelling the fields together.   They moved in unison.  One sat down so the other sat down.  I did not see them often, but I believe they felt secure in the fields they were living in.

I waked a bit further and then had to turn back as my back and legs ached, but there was a spring in my step because of what I’d been lucky enough to see (but not photograph – or even video)