Bird Feeder Ground Cages
5th June 2022 at 5:21 pm #37339
We all try to support the wildlife in our garden and beyond. Like many of us I feed/water the birds. However! Fed up the crows, magpies scoff all the food from the ground feeder. Still want the blackbirds etc so was looking at buying a ground feeder cage with large mesh.
There was a warning that small hedgehogs could try to enter and get stuck. Has anyone experience of using these cages? Do these cause problems for hedgehogs? Thx for any advice you can give5th June 2022 at 8:03 pm #37341
I haven’t any experience of them myself, but have read that hogs can get stuck in them. Just looked this up: https://hamworthyhedgehogrescue.org.uk/2021/04/13/ground-feeder-bird-cage-warning/
Bearing in mind that unwell (and possibly very hungry) hogs can be out during the day, I would suggest you might need to put a brick under each corner during the day as well. Some birds might find their way under (starlings come to mind) but maybe not the larger ones. Although corvids are quite intelligent.
I have some blackbirds in my garden who let me know when they want some food if they see me, so I usually stay nearby and supervise until they have had a share – the other birds seem more timid. But you could try putting out the food at more random times – so that the larger birds aren’t watching out for it.
Good luck.6th June 2022 at 5:30 pm #37355
Oh, Nic – those photos were awful! That was the size of mesh I was looking at 🙁
There is a small size mesh (for sparrows, blue tits, robins etc) but it was the blackbirds/occasional thrush I was hoping to help as well as the smaller birds.
And aren’t I the hypocrite? Trying to bring awareness re: the dangers of strimmers etc but looking at buying something with a warning about risk to hedgehogs.
My only excuse is ‘Big Bird’ has turned my brain 🙁 The crows, magpies feast like Kings on the bird food and had even worked out a way to get into the hedgehog feeding station early morning 🙁 I have the fattest wood pigeons, collared doves in North Yorkshire. ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ (but the small are cheaper to feed in these times of financial constraint!)
Thank you as ever for your help and advice. Want to support the birds but the hedgehogs come first, so – no ground feeder cage.6th June 2022 at 9:20 pm #37363
Last year I did buy one of the larger mesh cages so as to keep the seagulls, crows and pigeons out – not very successfully as the gulls still managed to stretch through the mesh. The cage did come with a hedgehog warning so I used to remove it every evening and only put it out during the day (not thinking of daytime hogs). But this year I have stopped using it altogether so no risk to any daytime hogs. A benefit to working from home is that I can chase larger birds away sometimes.7th June 2022 at 12:05 am #37379
Don’t beat yourself up too much! It sounds like a good idea to start with and I know exactly what you mean about all those large birds gobbling up the food in no time and leaving nothing for the smaller ones. Although I do have a bit of a soft spot for the squabbling starlings (who do their fair share of gobbling when they descend en masse) and the rooks and jackdaws. I did warn the wood pigeons, though, that if they brought too many of their friends with them, they wouldn’t be popular!
I have come to the conclusion that probably the best way to support the birds (and the hogs) is to make our gardens more wildlife friendly. I recently stopped using a seed feeder for the birds (partly because of a rat) but find that there seem to be just as many birds in the garden, but more spread out – foraging for food amongst the bushes, from seed heads, etc.
I do still feed the birds a bit, but more randomly and like you, the hogs take priority.7th June 2022 at 3:30 pm #37391
Thank you both for the advice. Making the garden more supportive to wildlife is true. It is so easy to start putting a few bird seeds out and it becomes a regular event. A wildlife friendly garden can only benefit the hedgehogs too. Thx.
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