Bullies on the Bird Table

I'm sure many people have this situation so please can you help me? I love feeding the birds but the feeding station has been taken over by squirrels, pigeons and magpies. I know they need to eat but I really want to attract the smaller birds so would it be cruel to the bigger birds and squirrels, to use feeders and food that only the smaller birds can access? Thank you

  • Hello Winslet,      We had the same problem in our last garden and found a couple of solutions which worked really well.    

       The first was a ground guardian cage like THIS ONE where only smaller birds can gain access to the food;    

    I added a piece of heavy duty butyl pond liner cut to fit the pitched roof (added two metal rods to weight down each end of liner so it didn't blow off in strong winds) and this helped keep the bird food dry during inclement weather.  

      The other way is to fix a free standing feeder pole and fit a baffle dome fitted just beneath where you hang the feeders as this prevents squirrels from reaching the food.    For woodpigeons, magpies, etc.,    you will need guardian type feeders, a variety of which are available online and in store but go for good quality ones as they have better UK safety standards and will not trap or harm birds.  

    One feeder guardian feeder which has proved very popular with the smaller birds is THIS ONE,    I had three of them and only smaller birds like tits, robins, can access the food.    

    Good luck and hope one of these methods work for you too.   

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    Thank you for the great advice. I feel really mean plotting against the squirrels and larger birds but they really are becoming a nuisance. the squirrels bury a lot of the food they take and the magpies sit on my window sill and squawk at me which was amusing at first but is now rather annoying :) I will shop around and give your suggestions a try. Thank you
  • You're most welcome Winslet, you shouldn't feel bad; we had 23 squirrels in our garden at one stage, plus lots of Woodpigeon and corvids so needed to use these methods which don't harm the birds, they just allow the smaller birds to eat too. Squirrels are persistent little devils and will still try to get to the food but the guardian cage and feeder pole with baffle prevented them from reaching the food; doesn't stop them trying to chew through the plastic baffle screw though !! It can be expensive to put in place initially but I found I recouped many times over the cost of implementing these measures with amount of costly bird food it saved me !

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • This just came into my Facebook feed and thought this might be a good post to add it to.