Moving House.


We live in a fairly rural environment but have been feeding the birds for the last 20 odd years.  We have wood peckers, pheasants, Robins, blue tits, sparrows and finches to name a few.

I am really panicking as we have been served notice as the landlords want to develop our family home into something which is none residential so don’t know if they will have future feeders.

There is a lot of foliage around - a plum tree and holly tree and want to leave established bushes for them!  Though the landlords may well rip

out!   HELP!  I feel terrible about this.  

  • Hi Louise, how long do you have before leaving? If you have the time it maybe best to reduce feeding to encourage the birds to look elsewhere and be less reliant on you. As you think there is a chance that the landlords will remove trees etc do not put established shrubs - removal of hedging, shrubs and shelter areas etc causes more confusion and chaos than the removal of food.
    Sorry not to be of more help

    Cin J

  • I agree with what Germain has written. I would also add that supplementary feeding is done for various reasons. Feeders can make a small difference in terms of individual birds surviving (especially in late Winter/early Spring when natural food sources are in their shortest supply). But, in the grand scheme of things, we are talking almost entirely about species of birds that have populations that are booming. You named great spotted woodpecker, pheasant and blue tit as examples. Conservation and science is painfully slowly realising that humans feeding birds are having negative knock on effects on less generalist, less human tolerant species. Only a month or so ago, it was highlighted that willow tit declines are in a large part being driving by blue tit and great spotted woodpecker involvement at willow tit nest sites. Bird feeding has quite obviously been fueling the decline in greenfinches due to disease concentration at feeding sites.
  • In reply to Robbo:

    Regarding Greenfinches in particular, I'm aware of two academic papers that link year-round availability of sunflower seeds to Greenfinch population decline (an effect on male birds' sperm quality and count, if I recall correctly).

  • There was an article published a few years back, maybe by BTO, that said recently fledged birds using garden feeders did not survive as well because they had not learnt to forage for their own food. As for feeding Pheasants I try to discourage this at home as most of the Pheasants visiting our feeders are what the local shoot has released and I prefer not to feed birds for them to shoot


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can