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Apples for UK birds

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Old Wednesday 28th February 2018, 09:10   #1
hwinbermuda
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Apples for UK birds

In all of the places I have looked it suggests putting fruit out for the birds.
We get a good mix of traditionally thought of garden birds, along with quite a few farmland and forest.
I put out amongst other stuff, chopped apples, as we have loads.
When I restock I collect the now squishy, but completly ignored apples, and replace them with fresh. Does nothing eat apples?
I am fully aware that
If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten
(attributed to Einstein, Ford, Twain and Robbins et al.) so I would like to stop wasting apples if the birds don't eat them.

AND why do they eat the suet pellets at the front of the house but not at the back? and we see them flying from feeder to feeder!
Thoughts would be welcomed
Thank you
Harry
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Old Wednesday 28th February 2018, 09:17   #2
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Some people have all the luck Harry: http://www.birdforum.net/gallery/sho...ll/limit/last7

They also stick apples on sticks which the birds chomp at!!!!

I've tried gathering windfall apples and putting them out, but nothing touches them. One year I gathered some rowan berries and froze them; then included them in some fat balls I made, but nothing touched them either.

My birds are keener on the pink suet pellets than the white ones.

Puzzling are birds!
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Old Wednesday 28th February 2018, 09:31   #3
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That does not make me feel heaps better but I may just perservere.
We have had overwintering blackcaps most years so who knows?
Thanks Delia,
Harry

Last edited by hwinbermuda : Wednesday 28th February 2018 at 09:32. Reason: smell chick issues
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Old Wednesday 28th February 2018, 09:44   #4
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Hmmmph.... I've seen one Blackcap here.... a female in my first winter 20 years ago!

It really isn't fair!!!
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Old Wednesday 28th February 2018, 16:51   #5
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The birds round here ignore apples, but like grapes. I've tried S&S's suggestions of apples on sticks and apples chopped up, but the fruit goes brown and wasted.

Today they have been going mad on the peanut feeder in the back garden and totally ignored the one in the front.

Contrary little darlings.
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Old Wednesday 28th February 2018, 17:32   #6
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Our Blackcaps that come in winter chose apple before they go to the seed/suet feeders! Also Blue Tits and various Thrushes take them. It's just the cost of apples these days that stops me putting more out; only get them when on a good offer!
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Old Wednesday 28th February 2018, 18:00   #7
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Thrushes typically like apples, especially Blackbirds.


A
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Old Wednesday 28th February 2018, 18:17   #8
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[quote=andyadcock;3684680]Thrushes typically like apples, especially Blackbirds.

Many reports today in Yorkshire of Fieldfares visiting gardens for food in this freezing weather. Interesting to note how defensive they are of their food, especially against other thrushes.
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Old Wednesday 28th February 2018, 18:35   #9
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[quote=Bubbs;3684688]
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Thrushes typically like apples, especially Blackbirds.

Many reports today in Yorkshire of Fieldfares visiting gardens for food in this freezing weather. Interesting to note how defensive they are of their food, especially against other thrushes.
Very typical Thrush behaviour, when there are half a dozen or so in a Rowan, they seem to spend more time chasing each other around than actually feeding.



A
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Old Wednesday 28th February 2018, 19:18   #10
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Tried cherries today, and the pheasant liked them.
We had a redwing this AM and a Fieldfare this pm, but not flocks. The Thrushes and Blackbirds have been at the seed, but ignored most else.
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Old Thursday 1st March 2018, 19:11   #11
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[quote=Bubbs;3684688]
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Thrushes typically like apples, especially Blackbirds.

Many reports today in Yorkshire of Fieldfares visiting gardens for food in this freezing weather. Interesting to note how defensive they are of their food, especially against other thrushes.
I just experienced this very thing today - my first ever fieldfare to actually come into the garden (had them fly over, but we don't have any worthwhile berries in the back garden) and proceded to sit there scoffing an apple which most birds just ignore. It chased the blackbirds off whenever they got near.
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Old Friday 2nd March 2018, 11:26   #12
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I found that with apples, it is better to put them on tree branches as high as possible. Then overflying birds can see them. And remove pieces of the skin in several places. This gives birds easier access, and looks like the apple was already pecked. Some birds had trouble recognizing an apple as an edible object. Afterwards, they come back and eat apples on the ground, too.

This is now the most important time to feed the birds. Food resources are exhausted after winter, and birds are most motivated. When I stop at the local pond, mallards and coots run towards a person hoping to snatch a piece of bread before the others do.

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Old Friday 2nd March 2018, 12:24   #13
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I can echo some of the comments on here. Never had Fieldfare in the garden before until yesterday. The apples I have put out over the years don't get touched, even the Blackbirds wont touch them. But I put out a load of apples yesterday and 20+ Fieldfare dropped in and scoffed them. The majority left apart from 1 who stayed all day and wouldn't let anything else near them.
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Old Friday 2nd March 2018, 12:56   #14
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Half a dozen Fieldfare in the garden since yesterday. Made the mistake of mixing chopped apples with other ground feed. They are very bold, trying to defend the whole garden now. They are the first bird back to garden if everything flushes (eg me topping up bird bath) and last to leave in the evening. Been out several times and put individual piles around garden in the hope starlings, redwing and blackbirds can feed. Each pile has one fieldfare sitting by it now theyve eaten their fill just mantling! Hanging feeders have constant stream of redpoll, siskin and brambling and other fiches so plenty of seed spill for Blackbirds and redwing.

I think the secret is to keep apples and grape piles separate from other ground feed and space them as far apart and away from other food areas as possible. Ive now strarted separate suet and mealworm piles for blackbirds and starling and started hiding apples and grapes under shrubs where ground is clear of snow. Longtailed tits and other tits are being left along with nut feeders and dunnocks, robins etc also being left alone at bird table so its only the apples the fieldfare are defending.
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Old Friday 2nd March 2018, 13:07   #15
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@Deb
I see you are in Norfolk too, we match some of your species, but big misses are the Redpolls and Siskins, and never had a Starling on any of the feeders. Pheasants and RL Partridges, yes, and a Fox overnight, but what he was looking for I cannot work out, as there is no sigh of rodent activity. Oh, and the Sparrowhawk thinks its just there as a buffet.
Never had any sparrows of either species, but the whole gamut of usual tits except Marsh and Willow. All in all its been successful, but nothing seems to like cherries or oat flakes either.
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Old Friday 2nd March 2018, 17:21   #16
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I wouldn’t feed chopped apples but just halve them. A few years ago I had 27 blackbirds on apples in the garden in the middle of the city. It also makes a difference which apples you give, thrushes here won’t touch anything sour!
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Old Saturday 3rd March 2018, 15:58   #17
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Okay this is what happened today.
Chopped apples, cherries, old grapes and odd bits of cheese all just scattered on the three feeders.
Blackbird threw grapes to ground on 2 of them and ate the cheese.
RL partridges investigated the grapes on the ground, but are spilled seeds.
Blackbirds defended, but did not eat apple.
Robin ate some apple, whoo hoo! A garden first
Within ten minutes it was a ruck for all of the fruit by most of the birds.
A pheasant investigated a cherry for a while, but a blackbird nicked it.
No fruit at the moment.
I don't know if I'm pleased or peeved.
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Old Saturday 3rd March 2018, 16:34   #18
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Or just plant a Cotoneaster . . . all 5 thrushes (Blackbird, Mistle, Song, Redwing, Fieldfare) on it today
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Old Saturday 3rd March 2018, 18:14   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Thrushes typically like apples, especially Blackbirds.


A
Yes, the November and December apples are a feast for our garden blackbirds.
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Old Saturday 3rd March 2018, 19:32   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutcracker View Post
Or just plant a Cotoneaster . . . all 5 thrushes (Blackbird, Mistle, Song, Redwing, Fieldfare) on it today
Surpised there are berries left at this time of year hence the apples being so defended?



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Old Saturday 3rd March 2018, 20:10   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Surpised there are berries left at this time of year hence the apples being so defended?



A
Cotoneaster berries are very late-ripening, birds won't touch them until they've been well frosted. A 'famine food', but fulfilling that purpose very well
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