I am hoping someone is going to tell me this happens at this time of year ! Went on holiday last week, already the birds had trickled down to damn pigeons, magpies and very occasional blue tit, but after return, only the big birds are now visiting despite leaving varied diets for them (normal mixed; peanuts; sunflower seeds; nyger seeds) and fresh water.
The full story is this. I had a mixed seeds bird feeder which we also mixed in mealworms and fat balls. The starlings (now gone); sparrows (the hens used to arrive in hoards !); great tits and blue tits loved this, but unfortunately so did the greedy pigeons and magpies. I therefore moved this to hang down below instead of sitting on top of the surface - the result was only very occasionally would a blue or great tit come, the sparrows just looked at this and considered it to be an impossibility to feed like that ! So I bought one of the special "keep starlings; pigeons and other big birds away" customized cages. I used a crimson coloured plastic plant tray to secure on top to prevent rain getting into the food.
Initially, the sparrows tried to get the food, but it seemed like they were unable or unwilling to go into the cage for the food. They have now all disappeared and all I am getting is the occasional magpie or pigeon trying their best to work out how to get at the food in the cage (which IS quite amusing). The strange thing is, we also used to have several time s daily visits from families of goldfinches (mainly for sunflower but sometimes nyger), a lone robin, several blue and great tits, and a couple of coal tits. All have now gone !
Apologies for the diatribe, but I felt it necessary for you to know the full story. So is it just time of year, the new feeder, its roof (crimson plant tray), or something else ?
Writing from Dublin, Ireland, all feeders on balcony of apartment I can send pictures if helps ?
Thank you to all who respond.
We've had mixed success with caged feeders as you call them. The guards are to stop squirrels getting the food and allow small birds to access the feeders.
I can only presume because the openings make the birds feel restricted and over cautious about going in for fear of becoming trapped, and as a result, will have found food elsewhere.
You could remove the guards or replace place the unguarded feeders back and see if there is any change, if they come back then you've got your answer, but don't expect them back within a day or two, it could take a good few days plus while word of beak gets around.
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In reply to TheGeezer:
TheGeezer said:Thanks James/Mike
The goldfinches that visited out feeders (now temporarily removed due to the observation of one rat), were very uneasy feeding birds, forever looking around for a while on the feeders before dipping their beaks in. The blue tits are a quick in and out job, the great tits not that much slower.
In reply to ConnieBW:
ConnieBW said:Hi, I live in the US. My residence is in south FL, but I spend a lot of time in South Carolina. In both places, there has been a big decrease in the number of birds. In Florida, I have noticed a decrease over the past 1-2 years. In SC, the decrease has been over the past 3-4 weeks.
Wildlife is in decline generally in a lot of countries, increased urban building and removal of habitats along with agriculture methods being probably the main causes.
Unfortunately I don't know the States so its hard to give a realistic response, other than look at what development there is around you, and the nearby agriculture.
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