WAYS TO PROTECT GARDEN BIRDS FROM SPARROWHAWKS?

Hi, I also have the sparrowhawk problem in a medium sized garden in chorley lancs. I was congratulating myself that we had only lost one bird(sparrow) this year until we lost three more in the last week or so.

My problem is that I have a flock of 40 odd sparrows and another of 20 odd goldfinches. Along with a few tits that makes for a noisy garden and inevitably attracts the sparrowhawk.

For a number of years I have used plastic garden mesh, 50mm hole size, on trellis’ around the feeders. Have seen the hawks splat themselves a couple of times on this. I also use a circle of the mesh around the feeder, hung from an inverted metal hanging basket.Until now this has worked a treat and I have witnessed numerous unsucessful attacks, in one case four in a couple of hours. My feeders are near to thorny cover.

However I am considering building a large cage of plastic mesh in the bushes at the back of the border and putting the feeders inside it. At least then the birds wont be caught napping. I havnt tried canes but it seems a good idea. As does spreading the feeders out. Any good ideas anybody esle has I would love to know. Regards billm

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Hi Bill,

thanks for getting in touch.

First of all here is a link to Song Bird Survival   http://www.songbird-survival.org.uk/  They are trying to save songbirds and are doing a lot of work.

I think it’s right what you say about a noisy garden. I hadn’t thought of it before.  Of course sparrowhawks will be attracted by bird song.  I also have a lot of noisy birds in my garden.

the problem is that no matter how many bird feeders you try to make safe – the birds still have to fly to and from the feeders.  I think your ideas and what you are doing are great.  You deserve a medal.  Maybe we all deserve medals!

At the moment I have stuck canes into the ground and put old boxes etc round the canes to fill in the gaps between the canes.  The only way the garden birds can get in is through the top.  this makes the area safe when they are feeding on the  bird food and also means that blackbirds can get in to get at the bird food.  This seems to be similar to your plastic mesh idea.  As you say at least the birds won’t be caught napping when they are feeding

There is also the idea of balloons to keep sparrowhawks away

Here is the link

http://birdtablenews.com/2011/02/a-brilliant-idea-to-keep-sparrowhawks-away/

and here is a photo

KEEPING GARDEN BIRDS SAFE

Thank you for getting in touch.  I’ll be writing more about this, but have to go and feed the birds now

Bev, thanks for reminding me about the Hawk deterrant balloons

Trisha

5 thoughts on “WAYS TO PROTECT GARDEN BIRDS FROM SPARROWHAWKS?

  1. Bev

    Will let you know my success rate with balloons in the next few weeks!! I posted a comment about them last night on the ‘WAYS TO STOP SPARROWHAWK ATTACKS IN GARDENS comment, following various problems with sparrow hawks Ashley and others have suffered so hope it is of some help. Will keep you posted!! Kind regards , Bev.

  2. Julie

    I’ve bought some of the bird feeding cages from RSPB and I’ve also put some willow (the type used for climbing plants over the top of the cages with a brick to keep it in place. It gives cover that goes beyond the cage. I still have a big problem though – the Sparrowhawk managed to get a bird yesterday. Re. the baloons can someone tell me where they can be bought? Would Trish be able to upload a photo of the trellis/mesh? Thanks for any advice.

  3. Bev

    Hi, just a quick update on the sparrow hawk problem some of us are suffering! So far the balloon is working but the sparrow hawk did get a collard dove that was perched on a tree branch overlooking our garden. The doves mate was eating some seed on our garden and it seems the dove that was caught was look out but didn’t see the hawk swoop in. We are sad because the dove eating on our actual garden only seems to have one tail feather left . It could too have been attacked by the hawk but got away,its still flying ok just slower but now on its own. Our garden is very steep and backs onto woodland so its not so easy to protect all of the surrounding parts with a balloon. However the hawk has stayed off our actual garden area just seems to wait in the woods for birds to fly there. We did see four jackdaws chasing the sparrow hawk on saturday morning which I was pleased about! The balloon is high on a pole and cane attached at about 18 feet from the ground so that at least it can be seen from as much of the garden as possible. The garden birds seem ok with it and the strange thing is , the tawny owl that lives here isn’t bothered by it at all!!I can’t understand that and he’s no problem in fact the poor thing gets mobbed quite often by the birds until he moves off to roost out of their way! Only hope the sparrow hawk isn’t going to get used to it ! The wood pigeons are a bit wary but still come and pinch the birds seed even though I put them seed and corn out ,so thats the reason too I decided to purchase a ground feeder cage and will certainly cover the top to keep the food dry and protection like Trish and Julie have. By the way did the sparrow hawk get the bird near your cage Julie or was it away from it? I too have put canes around the feeders , my husband says whats next!We have to try our best don’t we? Kind regards, Bev.

  4. Susan

    We have a terrible problem with a sparrowhawk at the moment. It visits our communal garden at least twice a day,and if im not out there to scare it off, it usually succesful!
    We tried a plastic owl,as we heard they can be ccared off by them, but it wasn’t put off at all!. My husband is now planning on putting mesh around the feeders.I hope it helps protect them. I want to hear the birds singing and see them feeding, not hear them screech in pain and terror.

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