Daily Archives: January 21, 2009

White tailed blackbird – a comment

I wrote about a  blackbird that two or three white tail feathers that often comes to my garden.    Sadly this post was deleted when I had problems with this blog.  But I received two comments one was from America (which I have lost).  The second one was from France –  

I live in the West of France and also have a blackbird with 1 white tale feather that comes to feed…  But thanks for the info, my dad has taken to bird … well… ‘observing’ for want of a better word (from the kitchen window) and seemed to think it a necessity to know what it was called (even though we know no other names other than great tits and robins ).

Thanks again, you learn something everyday!

Recycle your scraps

I sometimes recycle my kitchen scraps and put them out as birdfood instead of throwing them in the bin

  • Stale cake,
  • Suet,
  • Bacon rind (chopped up small)
  • Appple cores
  • Ham fat

I’ve been baking and have a bit of pastry left over so I’ll add that to the list

  • Pastry

I know there are a lot more scraps that can be fed to birds, but just can’t think at the moment.  Will add more later – please let me know what scraps you put out.

Nest Boxes for Birds

I think watching birds nesting is very rewarding,  especially if they are nesting in  a nest box you have put up.
It connects us to nature, watching them flit in and out of a nest box.

 Why not make a late New Years Resolution that you will put up at least one bird box this year.

We put two new nest boxes up about a month ago and have seen a bird disappearing into one.  It could be being used as a roost this winter – which I’m pleased about

Here are two tips for putting up and caring for nest boxes –


Fix the bird box two to five metres up a tree or wall, out of the reach of cats
Unless there are trees or buildings that give the nest box shelter, it is best facing between  north and south east.  This avoids strong sunlight and the wettest winds.
Tilt the box forward slightly so that any driving rain will hit the roof and fall clear


The nest of most birds harbour fleas and other parasites which will then infest young  birds that hatch the following year.

It is best to clean the old nests boxes in October or November.
Use boiling water to kill any parasites.
Insectscides and Flea powders must not be used
If there are unhatched eggs in the box these should be removed.  Legally you can only remove eggs from nests and nest boxes between October and January.
If you place a small handful of clean hay or wood shaviangs (not straw) in the box once it is dray after you have cleaned it then the box may be used during the winter by  or birds for roosting and shelter.

National Nest Box Week starts on 14th February and is sponsored by Jacobi Jayne