Parakeets

Can anyone suggest how I can dissuade parakeets from my feeders. I have 5 smallish feeders and I am getting 1 or 2 parakeets on each at some times driving away the other birds. They are even getting their heads into the squirrel proof feeders!
  • I've given up - they're smart and adaptable and can get in almost anywhere. The extra bill for food is a bit painful though!

    "Let loose the Kraken!"

  • In reply to Stuart Vine:

    I find that parakeets attract some birds, magpies, even jackdaws and crows and the like. They try to copy the parakeets. I am feeding them sunflower hearts, recently trying millet sprays and parrot food as well (so far they have touched neither).

    The parakeets are fed in the middle of the lawn with a multi-port feeder, on top of a long pole about 8 feet.

    For the small birds, tits, finches and the like, I use a squirrel buster feeder, in a tree about 10 feet off the ground hanging from a lower branch and it is only about 15 feet from the house. The parakeets have never come to that feeder, over two seasons.

    So the answer I have is segregation.

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  • In reply to jsb:

    Hello, I am just going to bump this thread since I've recently welcomed the local perky parakeets into my garden. They're a gabby, cheerful and expressive lot, but they are quite a joy to see hanging like bright acrobats off my feeders. I've only had bird feeders out for a few months and they ignored me for all this time (offended I was not, hearing how much fruit they consume) until recently when I revamped the dining area. I first invested in the cheapest feeders (Wilko own brand), and with my new RSPB classic feeders, found they flocked over quicker than you can say 'Stop!' (Hearing the damage too they do to feeders, I was less than welcoming) So, yes, they are very agile, but reduce the port hole and perch size, and they will have real difficulty clinging on in my experience. Although one has small feeders, are the ports really small enough to deter them? I had  the Gardman Sunflower Heart Feeder which is practically impossible for them. (Hole size c. 1cm dia.) And yes, the parakeets set a good example for the magpies to copy who could only hope to be so agile. Seeing a magpie try to be a hummingbird is too amusing. But the parakeets are great hoverers.

    Despite all their bad press about beaks destroying feeders (to name just one), they manage the standard peanut feeders and seed feeders like pros. For me, at least they keep the husk contained underneath and not all over the garden like the tits. Also, the tits welcome them unlike other birds, so they've got tit approval.

    I personally wish there were feeders designed for parakeets. They are a bright spark on grey days.

    If you don't mind feeding them, I think the'y prefer to feed off the feeders, so give them a little on the ground under the feeders to keep them off. Mine have difficulty    despite the new feeders but bear with it if they want to be fed and bring me real shame that I am not more accommodating in terms of ground feeding. But given the local scrapheap mafia of a few particular magpies and pigpie (chicken sized pigeon who thinks he's a magpie), I won't be hosting these particulars (anymore).

    I hope others are more welcoming to parakeets. They're unique in this landscape.

  • In reply to ellemoonie:

    I wouldn't mind them at all but I am wondering why they are not visiting us. Hubby has seen three or four flying around the area - even taking a rest on a neighbour's house. But despite the abundance of food in the garden they've not ventured here yet. Could the pigeons and magpies be putting them off you think? I can't see the starlings competing with them and other than that we have a dunnock, one of these year's goldfinches, robins, tits, sparrows and a treecreeper - none of whom would be a match to a parakeet (even if they wanted to).

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    "Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way." John Muir

  • In reply to Marina P:

    They might just be taking their time. We have many (thousands) in our local area and for months none came to the feeders when first put up. Then there was one, two, followed by a long gap with none. Now we have four regulars. They particularly like sunflower hearts (and peanuts, but the Jays kept snaffling all of those).

    "Let loose the Kraken!"

  • Yes, I agree, they ignore everything except sunflower and peanuts despite all the fruit, suet and scraps available, even now as the temp has dropped. I have wanted to get them a monkey nut spray, they would love that (I saw it in that Beeb programme) but given the mess with shells, I'm not so eager. Nobody in my garden likes millet, and am glad I know not to bother with a spray for them. They live for nuts and sunflower.

    I have witnessed about 60 though I suspect the flock is bigger here in London. They split into small groups, and only 6, max. 9 come to visit me. I suspect they have shortlisted your garden if all the right foods and feeders are available and will come in time or when their current food source should be depleted. And as for magpies and pigeons, for me, everyone seems to love a parakeet. They seem to be everybody's new best friend. They squabble among themselves mostly.

    I tried feeding them on the ground yesterday and they absolutely did not take to it.  

  • In reply to ellemoonie:

    We have plenty of sunflower hearts and peanuts as we also feed pigeons and the squirrels. Do you put the peanuts in mesh feeders or just in the open?

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    "Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way." John Muir

  • In reply to Marina P:

    They hang off my mesh peanut feeders, and can finish one small tube in two days. I put out two tubes now. But they have taken whole/kibbled varieties from the ground before. You could try the monkey nut spray, not only because it's very attractive (that is, if nobody steals them first) but easier for them to manage. I don't see why they're not attracted to your whole nuts?

  • In reply to ellemoonie:

    I don't have any idea either. Mind you, we don't have so many parakeets in Manchester - and these two are the first (and only) two we have seen a couple of times in the area. Maybe they are scouting ...

    I am putting nuts in the tray feeders for the corvids and the pigeons. The bulk of the nuts are in enclosed squirrel feeding boxes. I will try putting out the mesh feeders again - I am a bit sceptical about them as the other birds don't use them and the nuts go wet and horrid in a very short time. Will let you know how it goes.

    My Gallery

    "Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way." John Muir

  • In reply to Marina P:

    I agree the peanuts can do with smaller birds eating so little but since the parakeets arrived I am forever filling them. And so will you if they visit. Yesterday 13 came and perched my washing line, so many I can't handle them all. Not to mention the constant poop on my baffle. I think I'm being exploited for my peanuts. ;)

    I heard they have travelled further north. And since they flock there must be more locally. Fingers crossed you welcome the unruly mob one day.