I need inspiration! I’m posting this to ask for help from you all regarding ways to feed birds other than House Sparrows! Whilst I do love the Sparrows, and I know they are/were in decline, there are just too many of them in our garden and the other birds (except the Starlings!) aren’t getting a look in 🙁
So we’ve been trying to think of different feeders or ways of feeding which the Sparrows wouldn’t really go for. The first thing we (& when I say we, I really mean my other half !) thought of were the Sunflowers which have now gone over but are full of seeds. We hung them up for the Coal Tits & Goldfinches which we’ve seen flitting around.
Thing is, we never actually planted any Sunflowers this year at all – these actually grew in amongst the Swiss Chard. We can only assume they were from seeds dropped by the birds as they flew over!
Good news is the Sparrows haven’t touched them, but the Goldfinches have been ignoring them too – at least the Coal Tit has been making use of them 🙂
Another feeder that we’ve put up this weekend is a small seed feeder positioned away from the rest of the feeders, on the patio in the hope that the smaller birds will be able to feed quietly away from the main lawn.
The feeder was hung from the middle of the canes which were used for our peas which we grew during the summer.
Again it was the Coal Tit which has taken advantage of this so far and has visited it throughout the afternoon. Although a solitary Goldfinch did perch on one of the canes & look at it for a few seconds before flying off! I’m glad to say the Sparrows have been nowhere near it……yet!
I’m also pleased to say the Starlings don’t stand a chance of landing on it either – even though they have landed on one of the other seed feeders and have successfully emptied it of seed! This one watched me the whole time I was out tying the new feeder onto the cane!
I actually saw a Chaffinch today for the first time in the garden but only stayed for a few minutes before flying away, not sure if he was intimidated by the number of Sparrows bickering around him.
Is there anything else I can put out that the Sparrows will ignore? Any other particular food that the other birds like but the Sparrows don’t? They seem to be monopolising the feeders & the ground at the moment 🙁
Well I cannot really help you with that as I’ve never used feeders, but I guess you can try to find other seeds and maybe fruits (apple). It is maybe also a problem of timing with the other species 😉 I do not know really, these are just ideas!
I think once the weather starts to get much colder you’re going to get more of a variety of birds into your garden.
I had Nyjer seeds out for Goldfinches and the resident House Sparrows didn’t go near them – mind you I didn’t get any Goldfinches either! So maybe try some Nyjer seeds?
House Sparrows still aren’t doing too well – so be proud that your garden is supporting them!
I would agree with Siobhan regarding the House Sparrows, you should definitely feel proud that your garden is supporting a bird whose numbers have declined rapidly. I am always thrilled when I see the odd one in my garden. Equally though I do remember some years ago how they used to hog all the food!
Nyjer seed is a very good suggestion to attract the Goldfinches, you will need a special feeder for that. I find Goldfinches prefer Sunflower hearts and put them in the smallest feeder I can get to deter the Starlings, I suspect the sparrows will try those as well though. Putting feeders in lots of locations around the garden should help too.
The following link although American may give you some other ideas:
Thanks for all of your comments & the links 🙂
Don’t get me wrong I love the fact that we’re supporting so many Sparrows (we didn’t have any at the last house) and I don’t want to stop them at all, I just want to be able to put out other sorts of feeders that they don’t like so other birds can have a go. We actually bought a nyger seed feeder about 2 years ago & the Goldfinches completely ignored it & went for the nuts instead! Birds can be so fickle 😉