Tag Archives: rooks

Bird Feeding in the garden

I have been outside a lot today gardening and sorting the bird food area out.

At the moment there are such a lot of rooks and crows flying overhead as soon as I put the  bird food out.  On the other hand I get birds such as the coal tit coming to the ground feeder.

As usual it’s the blackbirds and thrushes that are missing out as they can’t enter the meshed ground feeder as they are too big.  Because of this they get the left overs from what the rooks and crows eat.

I have had some really good advice about putting out some wire and I have sort of done this with some wire I have here.  We’ll see if it works.  If I put the birdfood inside the wire it should keep the large birds out.

I think a good way of feeding birds is by planting bird friendly plants, shrubs, trees and flowers. 

I am also forking up areas of soil near to the base of hedges, shrubs and bushes to make it easy for blackbirds and thrushes to get at the grubs and worms in the soil.

In summer the ground can get really hard here so I’m going to continue doing what I did last summer – recycle some of the household water onto the garden soil near the base of the shrubs and bushes and areas that I’ve forked over.

Am I mad?

I just see all these garden birds around me and then I see the rooks getting all the food and it is really annoying.

I’ll always put bird food out.  But forking the ground and putting water near the roots of shrubs so the garden birds can get worms easily  are other ways to make life easier for our garden birds.

It gives me a bit extra exercise as well!   walking backwards and forwards from the house with a bucket of water a few times a day.  Who needs the gym!

I have seen a few blackbirds and thrushes pecking on these soft, damp areas of soil, so hopefully it’s working.

I just need to know if soapy water is OK to pour onto soil near plants and for blackbirds and thrushes to peck at

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.


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!


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.


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.


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



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.