How far will your garden birds venture from cover to reach your hanging feeder?
WHAT MAKES A GOOD BIRD MEAL?
A bird feeder provides a great source of food for the birds, but being out in the open they are more in danger of predation. Some birds might be more courageous than others, but we always recommend having some kind of cover in the garden, for birds to make a quick getaway. How far away from cover will birds venture?
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Pen and paper
- Bird food – we suggest some of the following:
- Fruit (berries, apples, raisins)
- Seed (sunflower seeds , sunflower hearts, cereal or mixed seeds, nyger seeds)
- Fats (suet pellets, fat balls)
- A hanging bird feeder with a pole that can be moved
- Bird ID book (optional)
- Binoculars (optional)
YOUR STEP BY STEP SET-UP GUIDE
- Fill up your bird feeders, but make sure that all feeders are filled with the same type of food.
- Place the feeder around 1m from the closest type of cover (a shrub, hedge, tree, etc.).
- Record how many birds are coming to the feeder.
- Over the following days, move the feeder 1m further from cover each day. Keep recording how many birds come to the feeder.
- Once you notice birds are no longer coming to the feeder, move it back to its original position near cover, or the birds in your garden will be missing out on their free meal!
- If there garden is visited by cats, don’t put your feeders near the ground – cats may ambush feeding birds!
IF YOU WANT TO TAKE IT FURTHER
Other things will also affect the birds you see in your garden. If there are a lot of predators in your garden, this might affect how birds behave or how “brave” they are. Can you think of any other factors that might change the birds’ behaviour?