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Bigger means better

April 27th, 2024
2 minute read

Most of us start feeding our garden birds with just a single feeder before adding a second or a third. It is normal to play safe, opting for a small feeder with just two, or possibly four, feeding ports. Yes, the birds respond but not with the enthusiasm they will demonstrate if you take the plunge and opt for a larger, multi-point feeder.

Most of our garden birds are happiest when eating in the company of others. Finches and tits are both flock feeders so if you provide them with the opportunity to eat together they will make the most of it. Don’t assume that the pictures you see in Living with Birds with crowds of birds on a single feeder were taken on a bird reserve. They weren’t. Provide a multi-point feeder like Droll Yankees® B72 or the flo festival™ and you too are likely to have a dozen or more birds eating at once.

flo festival with blue tits

Drawing many birds to one site does have responsibilities. So many birds concentrated in a small area can allow diseases to pass between them so make sure that your feeders are kept clean. Weekly cleaning sessions are important. It is wise, too, to fit a Seed Tray which will collect most of the husks and spilt seeds before they fall on the ground below and so are easier to tidy away. (Feeder wastage makes good compost.)

Many birds in a small area are liable to attract predators. You may need to invest in a cat deterrent to keep the neighbourhood’s felines at bay and you can reduce the effect of aerial attacks by sparrowhawks by feeding close to cover. Lastly, you do have to make a commitment to keeping the feeders topped up; otherwise you are likely to have a crowd of disappointed regulars.

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