Bun Fight at the OK Quarrel

Our original bird-feeding station comprised a Finches Friend feeder hanging in the Winter Cherry tree along with a peanut feeder for the blue and great tits. I installed a NatureSpy wildlife camera to monitor the comings and goings (Photo 1).

Photo 1: Finches Friend with Peanut Holder and NatureSpy Cam (red circle)

We managed to video/photograph some of the visitors: for example, see here and Video 1.

Video 1: Uninvited Blackbird Joins House Sparrows for Dinner

However, there was an issue with the rather poor table manners of the main visitors - house sparrows - who would scatter the seed and suet pellets here, there, and everywhere. Ground feeders, such as wood pigeons and blackbirds, would happily hoover up the detritus though not particularly efficiently. Then, Mary spotted something small and furry (too small for a rat) in the undergrowth and we decided to relocate the feeder to the patio to make cleaning up easier. The bird feeder station was bought from Amazon, set in a spare plant tub, and weighed down with bricks, stone and pea gravel.

Photo 2: Newly located bird feeding station

The house sparrows still create a mess (Photo 3) but it is much easier to sweep it up if the sparrows and wood pigeons leave any on the ground.

Photo 3: House sparrows helping to clean up their own mess

The main visitors are house sparrows (up to 15), followed by wood pigeons, blackbirds, tits (great and blue), and robin. We have seen families of house sparrows, blackbirds (Photo 4), wood pigeons (Photo 5) and blue tits as they grow up.

Photo 4: Blackbird Family (Mum arrowed, Dad feeding young ones)

Photo 5: Young Wood Pigeon (on the patio) with Parents

Finally, we get to the point of this post!! Recently, we have been getting regular visits from starlings - sometimes just two or three, sometimes ten or more. Starlings, especially young ones, can be boisterous towards other birds as well as their own kind as the video below (taken using the NatureSpy cam) shows.

Video 2: Starlings muscling in on the feed station

The house sparrows can be pushed out by the bigger, more aggressive starlings but just wait their turn and dive back in when they get an opportunity. 


Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Blog Archive