Monthly Archives: February 2012



Hello,  A blue tit hovers at my window and at the back door window landing on the door handle lots of times a day .

There doesnt seem to be any insects about ,I am worried it will tire its self out poor thing . the blind in my window is often closed when it does this so its not reflection any advice



Hi Maureen,  I will read through my other notes, but these links may help if you read through them.  I wonder if the last link may help you most – that the bird does not see the glass but can see insects.  I know you said that you can’t see any insects, but maybe there are some there.

Hope the above helps.  When I first wrote about this, I thought that it would be one lone Blue Tit.  I was wrong and it happens in different places at different times.  It must be something inherent in the Blue Tit that it sees or instincively does.  Strange.


Bev is still having garden birds attacked by sparrowhawks.

Bev, Sorry for the delay in replying.  I have been reading back over some other comments.  Here are one or two notes for you to think about that other readers have suggested

1. Only feed in a morning as sparrowhawks are late risers.

2. Crows do deter sparrowhawks – keep attracting them

3 Put a plastic Eagleowl in the garden. Eagleowls eat sparrowhawks.

4. From Shell – •camouflaged the area with various plants and shrubbery so that it would have a hard job getting to the birds. The hawk seems to have gone now that I have done that, I am still wary though.

5. I know you do this but am putting it in again. This is from K – I also read that if you put the seed in various feeding places rather then in one area at the front/back garden, this might help and also break the ‘hawks line of sight with bamboo canes etc. whilst allowing the feeding birds a clear line of sight

6. This is from Bill. It was written in 2011. . 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.

7  A 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 this has been helpful.

8. And a note from Bev who is also concerned about the problems that sparrowhawks cause – Sorry to waffle on a bit but I like many people on this sight are deeply concerned in the dramatic rise of the sparrow hawk population and the sad decline of the song and garden bird population compared to a few years ago!Just a final word my uncle kept racing pigeons for many years but lost quite a few to hawk attacks in the air he says having witnessed at least three over his garden.


There is a lot of info here and I will read through them all again



I have had similar trouble to Bev so I know how she feels. My problem was a cat killing birds.  Also Rooks and Crows used to descend on the garden and take all the bird food which meant the garden birds were not getting any bird feed in the deepest winter when they needed it.

This is Bev’s latest news.  I only hope we help her. 

Hi again, thanks for info and comments on SH problem.

This hawk and mother are so persistant its almost unbelievable! I started writing this 4 hours ago but have ended up all afternoon outside keeping the sparrow hawk off the garden.

In the end i have taken down the bird table at the top of the garden as the crows , jackdaws etc aren’t around lately when the hawk strikes. It has even dived in after birds on the ground who are eating with all the pheasants we have daily!anyhow

I will see how things are for the rest of the week as its so difficult to protect the birds. We have a mistle thrush who lets out a loud call when the SH is approaching and it doesn’t seem to bother with the thrush. As I was at the top of the garden taking table etc down and hosing everything the hawk was above me circling watching !!!Well now we only have feeders and tables closer to the house and I will have to keep an eye out again under the shrubs where he hides.

Im hoping the crows, jays, jackdaws etc come down the garden as they used to a few years ago. I really don’t want to stop feeding in winter. We have two caged feeders but the blackbirds won’t go in  them unless the door is open which defeats the object somewhat. I have put up a cane wigwam with food in and  I’ve made it slightly wider gaps so I hope they will  use it tomorrow onwards. we have blocked yet another lot of shrubs with canes net etc as the hawk continues to hide under them which is ironic as the little birds dive in there thinking they are safe and thats not the case. Well here goes,I will try anything to keep the birds safe as  I’m sure we all do who write to bird table news with our comments etc. Kind regards Bev.


I’ve received this from a reader who is having so much trouble with sparrowhawks.

I’ve tried the plastic Eagleowl and it seemed to work but only for a week or two.   The Sparrowhawk came back again.  Will try the mirror.


She got this idea from another reader Gary.  Here is his advice and knowledge –

Here’s some ideas on how to keep hawks away from your birdtables.

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

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.

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.

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!


This in in reply to an article I wrote in 2010



I’m so pleased we can help each other in this way.

Gary, I have only just realised that maybe the reason I don’t get many sparrowharks in the garden is because we have crows nearby and also a rookery.  Don’t know why I didn’t think of it before.  Thank you

I know sparrowhawks are in the countryside around us but very rarely see them at the bird table.

I often see crows and rooks circling overhead – never thought until now that they were keeping sparrowhawks away.




Hi, I’m in Derby and have a flock of about 20 for about the last 2 weeks eating from my holly bush

Neil.  feb 2012.


Very interesting.  It must have been amazing to have them their in your garden for so long and to be able to get so many sightings of them.  Did you get any photos?




I can’t believe how many magpies there are now. I used to see the odd one now and again but we have lost count how many are around now. The last two years they have raided every nest in my garden I dont think the blackbirds got any of there chicks last year and this year looks like the same. I have one blackbird that has nested right next to my conservatory door and I have tried to keep an eye on the nest only to go out this morning and find the magpie raiding it. How do you stop this ?


How do you stop Magpies.  The question used to be simple.   People knew when the Magpie population was causing a problem and Magpies could be culled.

I agree they cause so much death and mayhem.  They can skim through a hedge in minutes and take so many eggs.  It is a pity we can’t film them doing this.  I was walking in a park about a month ago and there were about 7-10 Magpies and no other bird in sight. 

We have to combine together.  We have to know the law.

This is what the RSBP say –

RSPB – Legal control of Magpies

You could join Songbird Survival.  I belong to Songbird Survival.  They do a lot of work and study into the drop in bird population.


We cannot always blame farmers and farming for the declline in birds.  I live on a farm and we have always had a lot of birds here.  Even going back to before the RSPB was formed I should think that every farm had a lot of birdlife.

So we can do certain things;  Join Songbird Survival.  Contact RSPB and tell them your story – ask them to put it on their website.  Let as many people know that this is happening.  Try and change the law?


Definitely not a Chaffinch.  It moves its wings

It has two flanks of white on both sides of its body.   Unless Chaffinches breed with Dunnocks.  

But its always in the garden and the Robin chases it off. We also have two robins now and they do not fight


The above is in reply to the first  description –

We have in our gaden a bird that is very much like a Dunnock, but it has white feathers on both its wings.We have Dunnock, robins chaffinches and the usual birds. But only this one has white feathers.Can you tell me what kind of bird it could be, if not some kind of Dunnock


I’ve tweeted it and will take a look at some bird books and ask a few friends.



I’ve had this question and all I can think of is a chaffinch.  The chaffinches that come to my feeders have white on their wings.  But can  anyone help with more advice?

We have in our gaden a bird that is very much like a Dunnock, but it has white feathers on both its wings.We have Dunnock, robins chaffinches and the usual birds. But only this one has white feathers.

Can you tell me what kind of bird it could be, if not some kind of Dunnock