Daily Archives: April 14, 2009

4 ways to keep rooks, pigeons and sparrowhawks off birdtables

 Here is some good advice on how to keep pigeons and rooks of birdtables.  these methods also work with sparrowhawks and lets the small garden birds feed in peace and safety.

Frank said –

Use  40mm steel mesh.  Any bigger mesh lets the larger birds in.  

Thomas said –

build a cage around the table using green garden mesh wire .  Attach the wire to the roof and put some bamboo stakes to make the wire rigid.  Cut some holes in the wire big enough to let blackbirds and other birds in.

George said –

What I have done is to place the water bowl immediately above the feeder tray so that hopefully they can no longer perch there but there is room for the little birds to feed.

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If you would like to read the full notes from Thomas, Frank  and George then read on

Also at the end of this article is a photo of how I tried to keep the big birds off the bird table.  I can see now where I went wrong!

FULL ADVICE AND COMMENTS

I live in the very center of London and have been having real problems with feral pigeons. I don’t mind them as such (I’m not a pigeon hater) but they eat the whole lot and cause the table to wobble and tilt scaring the other birds away. They leave my hanging feeders alone, but the table has been a problem.

I have now built a cage around the table using green garden mesh wire I bought from B&Q and it totally keeps the pigeons off, but allows all the other birds on. I attached it to the roof and use some bamboo sticks to make it rigid. I then just clipped away a couple of the sections and this allows the blackbirds and on rare occasions thrushes to still get on through these larger gaps, once they learn which route to take. Its fun when I turn it around after cleaning because they then have to go through the process of figuring out a way in again.

The pigeons now only get to eat the scraps that the messy blackbird throws out whilst its sifting through for the raisins.

Incidently about the starlings, don’t be too angry about them, there numbers have declined dramatically over the last few years and nobody really knows why. Plus they are so comical when you actually watch them.

From Frank –

I have the same problem with piegons I put 40mm steel mesh on each side (one side opens for access).
The pesky piegons still come but are not able to get at the food
Note 50mm mesh starlings can get in and are as bad if not worse than piegons 40mm mesh is not freely available I found some after looking for ages at a local iron mongers that sells wire no big DIY chains stock 40mm.any smaller would be difficult for some birds to get in.

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From George

I have just joined the throng to attracted garden birds and bought a standing feeder with three hanging feeders a feeding tray and a water bowl. At first I had robins and other small birds. Then along came the pigeons. They couldn’t get to the hanging feeders but perched in the tray and had their fill.
What I have done is to place the water bowl immediately above the feeder tray so that hopefully they can no longer perch there but there is room for the little birds to feed.

Not sure of results yet but so far they have come but flown away again. May help some of you.

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Here is a way that I use to keep large birds off birdtables.  Just click the link below and it will take you to another page.

This method lets thrushes and blackbirds get onto the birdtable as well as the smaller birds

http://birdtablenews.com/2009/04/how-to-keep-rooks-and-pigeons-off-birdtables/

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Top Veg got in touch in March 2010 and they have a problem with hawks so they have done this – 

Perhaps we should do more to help protect the small birds – so that they have more of a chance to escape the hawk.

They are just a sitting target when the bird table is in open ground. We planted a willow next to the bird table & it has grown so that it covers one side of the table. So the hawk cannot just swoop down to get them. That has made a big difference.  

Because of these  gents contacting me  and because of the other ideas I am going to try again.  I won’t make the same mistake I did in 2008

Wire mesh does not a prison make

Wire mesh does not a prison make

It didn’t work.