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Steppenpig

Birds + Binoculars

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New bird feeder in garden.

Siskin (cuties)

Greenfinch (nice, but mean looking)

house sparrow (ugly)

robin (I think)

Tree sparrow (more attractive than house. red head instead of grey cap)

jackdaws

I don't think I'd be interested in wild bird watching, bt it is mesmerising watching them in the garden. I would never have recognised the siskin and greenfinches without binoculars, as they all just look like sparrows normally, but In fact they are really beutiful, and exactly the same colour as the leylandi behind them. Had to tie the feeder to mount with a bit of string to stop the crows throwing it on the floor.

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New bird feeder in garden.

New bird feeder next door.

When I went out yesterday, it was populated by three pigeons. And their cat is too lazy to take an interest.

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I don't think I've ever seen a tree sparrow, we don't have them in this area so far as I know, likewise I've only ever seen one bullfinch (really pretty). Jealous :)

The siskins are really pretty too.

I've been having a battle with the rooks and jackdaws.

We have a set of feeders on a pole thing, which is too high for the cats to climb.

The rooks and jackdaws will eat those round fat balls within 10 minutes of me putting them out. They break them up with their beak, they fall to the floor, and they carry them off.

So I bought one of those square shaped holders and some 'fat cakes' - same thing, but I thought, more secure.

Rooks manage to break the holder open and make off with the fat block.

So I taped it up at both sides. Worked for two weeks. Then they managed to undo the tape.

So I used two plastic tie-wraps. Even I couldn't pull it apart.

And now they've made off with the whole thing, holder as well.

Utter swines.

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Corvids (rooks, crows etc.) are some of the cleverest birds (some of the cleverest non-humans come to that) out there, so if there's a way for them to work their way in they'll probably find it. Some species make tools, and I read about an experiment once where it figured out tools from non-natural materials, so it's really not inherited behaviour (IIRC it got a piece of wire, wedged one end under the bars of its cage to bend the end into a hook, then used the hook to retrieve the food).

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I don't think I've ever seen a tree sparrow,

.....

We have a set of feeders on a pole thing, which is too high for the cats to climb.

The rooks and jackdaws...

I'm not entirely to be trusted with identification of course.

I attached the feeders with string or rubber bands. I just missed a crow doing an attempted landing, but saw the feeder bouncing around and the crow flapping off, so managed to amuse myself.

The little birds get used to it spining round a bit. I have tried to stabilise it a little.

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Corvids (rooks, crows etc.) are some of the cleverest birds (some of the cleverest non-humans come to that) out there, so if there's a way for them to work their way in they'll probably find it. Some species make tools, and I read about an experiment once where it figured out tools from non-natural materials, so it's really not inherited behaviour (IIRC it got a piece of wire, wedged one end under the bars of its cage to bend the end into a hook, then used the hook to retrieve the food).

Corvids are generally held to be the most intelligent group of birds, followed closely by the parrot family.

Some species' ability to examine a mechanical problem they have not seen before, mentally design a tool to solve the problem, make the tool and then use it is quite astonishing.

I get the impression that their toolmaking and use surpasses that of some apes. I think some can count up to about 5, too.

Mind you, it's the robins that were smart enough to corner the lucrative Christmas card market.

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Yeah, robins are difficult to identify.

If only they had some sort of distinguishing feature...

It didn't quite look like the ones on my xmas cards, but there don't seem to be any other brownish birds with red chests.

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The corvids are clever birds......last year after the blue tits had brought up their healthy brood of around ten chicks a few days before fledging they lifted up the bird box lid and had the lot or fed them to their own chicks nesting in trees a yonder .....this year the lid is well and truly tied down......eight chicks, all doing well. ;)

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Robins are, er, fairly distinctive :)

https://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdguide/name/r/robin/

Possibly confused with nightingales - I find that a bit surprising. If it's in the garden, often being aggressive, making a lot of chattering fluty type noises and picking at the earth then 999 times in 1000 that's going to be a robin.

If it's sitting on top of a high point (tree, lamp post) making an endless succession of pretty noises and an occasional weird somersault maneuver, and it doesn't have the red bit it's probably a nightingale.

I haven't heard any nightingales so far this year.

The one that arguably looks more like a robin is:

http://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdguide/name/r/redwing/index.aspx

Except it's bigger and speckly and rather rare. I have only ever seen one.

Tree sparrow harder to identify - I've thought I'd seen one and got the binoculars out only to realise it isn't.

Tree Sparrow

picture2.jpg

House Sparrow

picture1.jpg

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Why is the male house sparrow richer than the female - does he own the buy-to-nest?

;)

In the bird world, the male is generally the "attractive" or pretty one. The females get to pick the mate :)

Extreme example: Wilson's Bird of Paradise (female above male)

b3545e50420e468fee4877deef09c5e9.jpg

Common example: Chaffinch (female on left)

Fringilla_coelebs_Lombardy_Photo_P_Brich

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Common example: Chaffinch (female on left)

Fringilla_coelebs_Lombardy_Photo_P_Brich

I visited the nearby Samye Ling Tibetan Monastery last Friday with my daughter. I've been there a few times on meditation courses and always noticed that the wild birds around the the tea room don't fly away from people. My daughter held out her hand and a male chaffinch flew up and perched on her hand for a while.

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I've had three Buzzards take up residence. They impressively glide round in circles, on the thermals, when it's hot enough.

Unfortunately, they've eaten or displaced quite a lot of other wildlife. The crows still persist, and they've taken up residence in the trees outside my bedroom window, so that every morning I get woken with a panic attack I'm at Castle Black.

Seen a lot of Jays, in recent times, which used to be a very rare spot.

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We have seen bullfinches and goldfinches on the allotment this year. And a lot of tits.

...when birds are encouraged, you often get fewer slugs and other garden pests.....

goldfinches_1298538c.jpg

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...when birds are encouraged, you often get fewer slugs and other garden pests.....

goldfinches_1298538c.jpg

We've got some money to build bird boxes so will be doing that at some point this summer.

Don't know if the goldfinches would use a robin style box.

We've always had tons of blackbirds, robins and tits, but the variety of tits has increased.

We have siskins occaisionally too.

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;)

In the bird world, the male is generally the "attractive" or pretty one. The females get to pick the mate :)

Common example: Chaffinch (female on left)

Fringilla_coelebs_Lombardy_Photo_P_Brich

Wow, she's let herself go. She's not even trying.

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We've got some money to build bird boxes so will be doing that at some point this summer.

Don't know if the goldfinches would use a robin style box.

We've always had tons of blackbirds, robins and tits, but the variety of tits has increased.

We have siskins occaisionally too.

I've had robins nesting in my allotment shed this year. They disdained my specialist 'robin box' outside, and prefer deep cover behind clothing/objects in sheds or large stuff left beside buildings. They won't raise a brood in a nest where anyone can easily peer into it.

I've barely gone into my shed this Spring, but feed them mealworms daily, and watch them (beaks loaded) fly into the shed under the eaves. They spend all day in this routine and have become tame enough to come within a foot of my hand. But going near their eggs or young spooks them. I'll reclaim the shed when the nippers have flown..

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I've had robins nesting in my allotment shed this year. They disdained my specialist 'robin box' outside, and prefer deep cover behind clothing/objects in sheds or large stuff left beside buildings. They won't raise a brood in a nest where anyone can easily peer into it.

I've barely gone into my shed this Spring, but feed them mealworms daily, and watch them (beaks loaded) fly into the shed under the eaves. They spend all day in this routine and have become tame enough to come within a foot of my hand. But going near their eggs or young spooks them.

It's probably because you look like a Buzzard. :blink:

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