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Burly garden birds

Thursday, 20th September 2018

A new study by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and the University of Exeter has found that bird feeders may favour larger birds like sparrows who then go on to push smaller birds out of the way.
In the UK we spend around £200 million a year on feeding our garden birds which helps some of Britain’s best-loved species get through the harsh winter months. However, the research has discovered that we may only be feeding larger species which can bully their way through to the feeder.
Burly garden birds

Researchers watched birds that landed on feeders that were on the edge of woodlands and in hedgerows on the Penryn Campus in Cornwall for four hours a day between November and December 2016. 

Their findings show that the heavier and larger birds have better access to food. Species like greenfinches and house sparrows spent much longer feeding than smaller birds. Tiny birds such as coal tits and blue tits had to rush at the feeder and as such were left with lower quality food.

Heavier birds dominated the sunflower hearts – a food that is quick and easy to eat. This left the smaller and lighter birds with the whole sunflower which is a food that takes longer to open and eat due to the husk.
Sunflower Hearts

However, there are things that you can do to help. Consider a product like our Ground Feeding Haven which has adjustable mesh to allow the smaller birds access to feed.

Ground feeding haven

Our gardens have become a haven for countless birds which have undergone habitat loss and urbanisation which indicates that they continuously need our help.

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