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Very busy at the bird feeder today!

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Old Monday 8th May 2017, 17:11   #12951
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Just had a Red Kite fly over the garden, only other occasion was in 2012.
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Old Monday 8th May 2017, 19:30   #12952
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We had an Oak Titmouse to the feeders for the first time the other day.
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Old Wednesday 10th May 2017, 03:12   #12953
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Birdhouse Question

Hi everyone! I make these birdhouses out of clay and was wondering if anyone on here could give me some advice on where a good place to hang them? And what kinds of birds may be attracted to living inside one? The hole is about 1.5" wide. Here are some pictures. I tried adding the link so you can see more pics but it's not working. It's on Etsy. It's my first time on these forums so I hope I'm doing this right. Thanks so much!
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Old Wednesday 10th May 2017, 05:52   #12954
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Hi Kim

Beautiful workmanship and a very striking design.
If I saw something like this in the UK I would be inclined to try using it as a bird feeder rather than a bird house. But there may be species in the US which would be happy (and safe) to nest in it.
I make a lot of nest boxes out of pieces of deadwood, generally for bids like titmice, and the recommended designs these days (at least over here) generally avoid perches near the hole as it makes it easy for predators to perch and raid the nest. For the same reason the depth from the hole to the base of the house needs to be deep enough to prevent eggs or young being predated by birds reaching in (like crows or grackles for example).

There's a style of nest box here which is a more open design and is intended for birds like thrushes (though I've never had much luck with anything using them) - your design with the two holes might be more attractive to birds like that.

A couple of questions - are the holes of different sizes? and am I right in thinking that the overall size is about that of a grapefruit or coconut?
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Old Wednesday 10th May 2017, 06:23   #12955
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Thanks for all your tips, Torchepot!! Greatly appreciate it!

How deep do you recommend the hole from the base be to have it safe enough for the little ones? I made the perches so the parent birds can use it to stand on and feed their young. Is that something I should consider placing elsewhere? I've seen many birdhouses with the perch below the hole and have seen pictures of birds using the perch so thought it was something birds like. Maybe certain birds like it? If it's hung, would it be safer for the birds even with the perch?

The size of the birdhouse is about the size of a coconut. That's a good description of size. Thanks for that!
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Old Wednesday 10th May 2017, 06:52   #12956
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Hi Kim

I read somewhere that the bottom edge of the hole needs to be at least 125mm from the floor of the box - though the bigger the hole the deeper the box would need to be. It's partly to prevent cats reaching in and scooping out the chicks (a major nest predator in UK gardens).

I just had a thought that your design could prove very popular with wrens - I've had them nest in ceramic flower pots left on their sides in our outbuilding before (also in the space behind our fuse board!!). Hopefully someone with better knowledge of species in the US will contribute.

Incidentally most of my boxes have holes of just 25mm - I also make some with 28mm holes and a few with 32mm.

Regarding the perch thing - years ago boxes here were often sold or made with perches and I don't think anyone questioned it, but now it's not recommended and the nesting birds just land on the edge of the hole and scoot straight in.

I just showed your design to my sister who used to make ceramics​ and she really loved it - very organic looking - like some strange exotic seed pod (the birdhouse - not my sister )
She agreed that it would make a great feeder - have you tried filling one up with seed and hanging it out?

Cheers

Phil

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Old Wednesday 10th May 2017, 22:17   #12957
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Hey Phil!

I'll try that and let you know! Thanks for sharing with your sister and for your help. Maybe I'll start another thread on it's own to get more feedback from U.S. bird experts/lovers. Always trying to improve my work somehow. I'll read more on wrens, too.

Cheers back!

Kim
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Old Thursday 11th May 2017, 18:48   #12958
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We are visited by an insanely aggressive male blackbird that we have nicknamed "Scruffy" due to his untidy appearance. This is obviously his territory as he defends it with a vengeance as if it's his iron throne. Apart from one female who I assume is his mate, he attacks all blackbirds that happen to be visit our garden.

His technique when he spots another blackbird in the garden is to fly off the other way and within seconds you can see him sneaking around the other side of the garden on to the fence - he makes sure he has a good vantage point then bang, swoops in, feet down and sends the other blackbird off. When other species feed around him he is a bit of a bully but wont attack them, its just a "Get off my seed, biatch!" hit and run, enough to make them plod off a few feet elsewhere. Totally surprised tonight to see all the birds fly into the air as a Crow lands on one of our ground feeders and starts tucking in - who comes speeding out of the blue to take this huge crow on ? Scruffy!! He comes racing at the crow, feet first, pushes the crow off the feeder then Scruffy scuttles back into the nettles. The crow looks around , shakes his head then flies off, confused! I wish I'd filmed it as he has some balls!!!
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Old Wednesday 17th May 2017, 08:53   #12959
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My feeders are getting hit fairly hard, mainly the open tray, but I don't really see what's going on it as it's dark when I go to work and getting dark when I come home. I did come home early on Tuesday and saw my robin on the feeder tray and a male blackbird taking some of the remaining cotoneaster berries on the bush while out loading up my garden waste bin.
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Old Friday 26th May 2017, 06:45   #12960
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Been very busy at my feeders with lots of Sparrows and young Tits eating the seed feeder and gets empty every day. There have been lots of Starlings at the Cocunut feeder too.
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Old Tuesday 30th May 2017, 12:45   #12961
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Spent the day watching juvenile goldfinches being taught to eat from the sunflower hearts feeders last Saturday - they took a while to work it out and in the meantime begged from every nearby bird, including sparrows and blue tits!
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Old Saturday 10th June 2017, 09:10   #12962
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Garden full of youngsters at the moment: Coal Tits, Great Tits, Blue Tits and Goldfinch.
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Old Tuesday 27th June 2017, 21:33   #12963
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Juv Chiffchaff in the garden yesterday and Swifts over on the weekend which aren't common here. Saw the Sparrowhawk a week ago with what appeared to be a House Martin.

Rich
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Old Tuesday 18th July 2017, 16:40   #12964
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almost exactly 6 years since my Last Kestrel garden sighting. Just had one over carrying prey. As expected pretty quiet apart from the residents.
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Old Sunday 30th July 2017, 08:03   #12965
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Juv Bullfinch in the garden this morning.
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Old Friday 11th August 2017, 19:40   #12966
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Still good numbers of common birds here- Jay, Nuthatch, Siskin, and Goldcrest and Treecreeper in the conifers. Family of four Bullfinch down the lane as well.

Rich
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Old Saturday 26th August 2017, 16:36   #12967
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Peregrine circling over the garden whilst having a BBQ

Rich
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Old Tuesday 29th August 2017, 17:32   #12968
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Dreadful photos but the windows were dirty and it was very early. I took this to be a young male visiting the garden this morning given he was a dwt (small).
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Old Thursday 31st August 2017, 17:25   #12969
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Not had the feeders out for a few months but decided to fill one up a few days ago. Pair of Nuthatch have just arrived and the first for nearly two years. Last brood of Blackbirds are now active on the lawn and dozens of Blue, Great, Coal Tits.
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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 07:37   #12970
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Been bit quiet on my feeders it be full of birds soon.
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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 08:06   #12971
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Greenfinches appear to be having a good year here. Gone from having 1-2 birds sporadically to 15-20 birds last weekend.

Rich
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Old Saturday 2nd September 2017, 20:01   #12972
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Male Blackcap went through the garden yesterday and a Willow Warbler this morning.

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Old Saturday 2nd September 2017, 21:51   #12973
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we had 11 long tailed tits in the garden a few days back, it was their wonderful chittering that first grabbed my attenion, this is the first I have seen of them since March, and today we had a brief visit from the nuthatch, this is the first I have seen of the nuthatch in our garden since the spring.
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Old Wednesday 6th September 2017, 21:31   #12974
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The Cardinal Family Stopped By

It looks like a young female and male and possibly an older male stopped by the feeder today.
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Old Sunday 10th September 2017, 10:46   #12975
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Siskin numbers on the rise again. 80+ yesterday. Loads of 1st years. Goldfinches ignoring the Niger and going the Sunflower hearts instead. Sporadic vsits fron 4 Redpolls. Unusual visitor on the 28th Aug late aftrenoon. A Merlin having a go at the Siskins. Have not seen it again. Seems to have been a productive year for some species. The Sparrowhawks visit every 2 or three days. Not seen them taking anything for some time now. The local Red Kites fly over usually between 17:00 and 17:30 hrs. All in all, it's been quite a good birding summer in the garden.
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