Apologies as I'm sure this kind of question has been asked numerous times but a couple of months ago I moved to a rural property where the previous owners liked to feed the birds. I've always loved watching birds too so continued feeding them. The thing is, it has now got out of hand as I am am filling two large sunflower heart feeders ever day, sometimes even twice a day. I'm also going through huge amounts of fat balls (30+ per week) plus nyger seeds which don't go down quite as fast. We have quite a variety of birds but the most abundant are the gold finches, there are scores of them! We also have quite a lot of siskin and sparrows, plus a few lesser redpoll, blue, coal and great tits, blackbirds, reed buntings, robins and green finches.
I don't really mind spending money on the bird food as the birds are so lovely to watch, however I'm concerned that they'll lose their ability to find their own food if they keep relying on me. On the other hand, I feel really mean when the feeders are empty and they're all sat in the trees waiting for me to refill them.
Just thought I'd ask for an expert opinion on how regularly I should put fresh feeders out. I do rotate feeders and so clean them very often - I usually have spare full ones to hand so I can just run outside and swap them over quickly when they're empty.
On a separate note, feeding the birds in my garden has awoken a new passion/hobby in me and I am now going out into the woods/hills/coast every day watching the birds. It's so addictive and is great for your mental health, a lovely relaxing hobby with a bit of exercise thrown in to get to quite secluded places. So exciting when you see a bird you've never seen before, although also frustrating at times because I am constantly hearing gold crests but am yet to see one. Suppose that just adds to the fun of it though.
Thanks in advance!
In reply to Germain:
Here I tend to let the feeders run empty every so often, for two reasons.
While I know the ability to search for food shouldn't disappear, I just see it as making sure, though currently, we're not filling the feeders due to a grey squirrel infestation, resulting in a take over bid by the greys.
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In reply to Temporarily Misplaced:
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