27 April 2012

Wildlife Worry

I wish I could have got a picture of the Jay visiting my garden (I borrowed the above from the Net). He's been coming for two days and both times I tried to get pictures but he was too far away and all I got was a speck on the grass.

I love the Jay, for all his size he's quite timid in gardens. I suppose he feels more comfortable in the woods. The reason he visits is to steal the squirrels peanuts. I haven't heard the squirrel complaining but he sure looks miserable when he finds the bowl empty. Now I know why he buries nuts in the lawn instead of eating them on the spot.

The Jay is not a garden bird, but we're not far from his normal habitat. My house is close to rivers, fields and woods so it's not uncommon to see a few strays. However, it makes me wonder why there is a need for woodland birds to visit gardens when food should be plentiful elsewhere. Or is it? Have we reached the stage where there is a shortage of food for our wildlife?

Many times I have ranted about the things we do to the environment; things like demolishing trees, getting rid of hedges (which affects the hedgehog), removing lawns in favour of slabbed drives (for our cars) or creating modern decking, and worst of all using weed and slug killer. And I wonder why birdlife is declining? The beautiful thrushes are on the way out ... yes, those thrushes that eat slugs!

But sticking with the birds, I am told that feeding birds is banned in Australia because putting food out stops them hunting in their natural habitat. It's an excellent idea but if we were to adopt it our birds would be completely extinct. So what do we do? Anybody got any thoughts on the matter?


  1. I never know either Valerie. But in Australia there is loads of empty habitat for many native birds unlike here. We have had a Jay here in our 3 acre communal garden. We try to keep quite a bit wild, for wildlife. I hate housing estates where every garden is neat and sterile with the sane old garden-centre plants.

  2. maybe you could alternate months...feed in the winter and lay off in the summer allowing him to hunt...i dunno just a thought

  3. Hi Valerie,
    Oooh; blue jays are gorgeous. We never get them here in my South Paris burbs.
    I do also sometimes wonder how things turn... We have these huge crows and 10 years ago or more, we never had this many. I wonder also, if food is getting scarcer for most of the species in the wild. Most likely.

  4. We have a bird feeder that really dreaws the wild birds and because we have 5 black walnut trees a yard full of squirrls. One thing about feeding birds you have to keep it up, because they become dependent.

  5. I have mixed feelings about all that - feeding the birds, I mean. The Hummers come to my feeders, but when it's time to migrate, no matter how much nectar you put out, they still leave. I think birds do okay - I feed them, and they still go find other sources of food when necessary. Don't know much about Australia though.

  6. Hubby always says you should only feed birds in winter when food is scarce as feeding them any other time stops them hunting for their own food, so that's what we do. I do love to watch the birds visiting my garden. The starlings make me laugh as they all come at the same time of day as though they've been on a day trip and just got back. LOL

  7. Brian, for years the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) have advised feeding birds all year round.

    Pearl, as I just said to Brian, we feed all year round on the advice of 'specialist' people. I do wonder about that advice though. The shops make a fortune selling bird seed and our birds get through a lot.

  8. Mona, you're right, the birds do lay off when they need to.

  9. We have had a problem with birds nesting on our cottage. So, I only feed the birds during the winter.

  10. What a wonderful post, Valerie!

    "I haven't heard the squirrel complaining but he sure looks miserable when he finds the bowl empty. Now I know why he buries nuts in the lawn instead of eating them on the spot."

    LOVED THAT! But as much as I adore squirrels, I see them stealing plenty of food from the birds, so they're even I guess - HA!

    You brought up such a great point with this post, and I can honestly see both sides. But I guess because I live in a city, where it's hard for birds to find things to eat. I feed them.

    Again, wonderful post, dear lady!

    Happy weekend....X

  11. Hi, Ron. Oh you are right, it's level pegging. I never thought of that. Jay was in the garden again and flew off disappointed...the squirrel got there first. Yes, there is a difference between town and garden. Where I am tho, we have huge gardens etc in the middle of towns. Hard to draw a picture.

  12. Gosh.....the advise I get is--feed 'em when you want to, so that happens winter, spring, summer and fall.
    Yes, there's plenty around for them to munch on--and I'm clear they do. There are times of year when they feed more, times when they feed less.

    I don't think I have 'dependent' birdies. I think I have a 'oh, look......a birdie restraunt--we can eat OUT tonight' feeder. LOL
    Mr. Cardinal gets a wee grumpy when we don't put out cardinal food on the weekends--and he makes a pretty song for me so I DO put out 'HIS' food, but I think it's his high need to eat out on weekends cuz he's had enough of the wife's meatloaf. :-/

    Yeah, I know....LOL G'head, I admit I'm silly!

  13. One day last autumn I found a jay feather on my street. I do live near quite a few green areas, and we get a few nice birds in London, but it was a nice surprise!

  14. interesting there is a ban! wow! we stopped feeding all the birds because the squirrels won..
    i am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.


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