I don’t think the birds would fair any better to be honest if you stop feeding them.
If you encounter a Sparrow Hawk stalking the garden then altering the feeding plan should help the smaller birds.
If there are one or even two SHs flying around then you would need to be extra vigilant and think very carefully about what to do, even if it means stopping feeding them for a week or two until there is no threat.
I haven’t seen a SH in my garden for many months now, and
I have stopped hanging up feeders.
I have camouflaged an area for the birds in which they can eat.
When the bird of prey was watching the feeders, I took them down and didn’t put much food out as normal until it was all clear. It would have been more difficult in the winter but I would’ve done my best to protect the garden birds and made sure they had something to eat. They are very happy out there and have a wonderful life eating healthily.
If it wasn’t for me and no doubt many others feeding them through the harsh winter I am certain most would’ve died.
To see the same groups of birds flying around after winter is a privilege.
Shell is a friend of Bird Table News and I’m really pleased she has sent this good advice.
I am a bit like Shell in the way I feed the birds. I put some bird food under a bush and this has camouflagedthe bird food and birds of prey won’t be able to see it.
I do have hanging feeders but they are caged feeders now.
I echo what Shell says - To see the same groups of birds flying around after winter is a privilege.
Thanks for getting in touch Shell
In response to the article below I received an interesting point of view -
Here is the point of view -
I agree with most of the above items ,but my thought is that by putting feeding stations ,of whatever sort out for wild birds are we then not morally responsible,if these feeding stations become a target .
Is it possible that the birds would fair better if we had not fed them,a point which I would like to put to the RSPB as a member .They reckon that they are far too busy to answer emails ,
It is sad when you would like an answer to a question that is important to you ,that an organisation you have supported for years has not time for their members Nigel
This raises a few points. Sadness that the RSPB do not answer member’s emails. I remember emailing them and not getting a reply. I thought the email must have not been received. Now I wonder.
The RSPB are a charity. But do they support garden birds at all.
A friend said that if they are a charity then why don’t they give away a certain amount of bird food – in the way that other charities give shelter and food to the homeless.. I think I follow her logic
I believe we become morally responsible for the birds we feed. In some way their lives are in our hands. We attract them in large and small numbers to certain areas of our gardens. We save their lives in winter but we also attract birds of prey.
Perhaps the sparrowhawk would never have visited my garden and killed blackbirds if I had not put bird food out. YetI know in the freezing cold of last winter I saved birds lives by putting bird food out.
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It’s amazing how much time garden birds spend on the ground. They seem to spend a lot of time hopping about on the grass – blackbirds especially. The fence is still down so we are still getting views of a family of rabbits of all sizes, shapes and ages alongside pigeons, sparrows, blackbirds – all on the ground and all living together in harmony!
I must say it does seem strange to see rabbits and birds ‘walking’ about on the ground, close together yet ignoring each other.
I am still putting bird food out every day. The food I put on the grass near the big hedge always goes really quickly as blackbirds and thrushes rush out of the hedge and scurry along the ground to get to it.
Each year they seem braver and less nervous of us. Perhaps they depend too much on the food I put out, but they do bring a lot of colour and noise to the garden.
Some day I won’t be here and won’t be able to feed the birds. I bet whoever lives here after me won’t put up with this tatty wildlife garden. They will see the area of open soil that is a hive of activity all day with birds getting worms and having dustbaths in it. They will see this area and think what a mess it looks and get rid of it. They may cut down the hedge and put a neat fence. The hedge that gives garden birds a roosting place in winter, a nesting place in summer and shelter from bad weather all year round. They won’t bother with the nestboxes or keep a plastic dustbin with loads of bird food in. But I suppose nothing stays the same forever.
Even the internet seems to be changing and I can’t seem to depend on it.
Am having a bad time with the internet. Have spent hours on the phone. It is strange without the internet – back to the old days! I see all the lights are flashing so the internet is GO at the moment so thought I would write this note.
Hopefully will get it sorted soon
If anyone would like to get in touch please use the contact form and I will pick it up when I get the internet back.