Friday, 28 October 2011

Feeding the birds, or trying to

This Saturday is the RSPB’s Feed the Birds Day, and while I think getting the narrator from Come Dine with Me to narrate a short video to promote this was a work of near-genius, watching someone put all manner of food out for the birds has made me aware of the limitations that I face in terms of this seemingly simple act.

Put very simply, my wife and I live in a flat that doesn’t have a garden. This makes feeding the birds rather tricky.

Attempts at feeding the birds are limited to throwing off-cuts of bread onto the flat roof in front of the windows and a small clear-plastic feeder which is attached to the outside of one of the living-room windows by a suction pad. This feeder is kept stocked with breadcrumbs, birdseed, chopped-up bacon rind and small pieces of cheese. Unfortunately, visits to the feeder have been scarce to say the least. In fact, in the ten months in which I have had it, I have seen a grand total of no birds feeding from it! I can only assume that movement from within the flat is keeping them away, and accept that as the feeder is designed to stick to a window – thus making very close human proximity a given – there isn’t much I can do about this.

Birds do come and get the bread on the roof though – we have had Magpies, Feral Pigeons and most of all Starlings come and visit. The latter have been coming along in flocks of at least two dozen recently, many of them in the first-winter plumage. It would appear, though, that Starlings are a bit big for the feeder (the pictures on the box showed Blue Tits and Greenfinches as I recall), so the wait for a bird to try out the suction pad feeder – probably the least-visited bird feeder in Greater London – continues.

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