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Perfect Christmas Gifts for Bird Lovers 2018

christmas gifts for bird lovers

 

#1 Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to British Birds

‘When herons are spooked they have a habit of vomiting as a defence. Half-digested pieces of eel and water vole skull on your head is not a good look. Just so you know.’ Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to British Birds

Anyone who is familiar with Bill Bailey’s zany humour will appreciate this book and anyone who has never seen or heard him, will be laughing by the first page.

One of Britain’s greatest comedians, Bailey is also somewhat of a bird specialist and brings his comedic talent to his acute observations of our feathered friends.

Full of sketches, jottings and illustrations by this multi-talented man, this is exactly the kind of Christmas gift that’ll lull the recipient into an absorbed silence, punctuated by abrupt laughter.

 

Perfect for: Family members who love to read and laugh.

 

#2 Letter Box Bird Nest

This utterly charming letter box is the perfect home for your robins or bluetits come spring. Nest boxes make excellent Christmas gifts as the recipient has time to put it up in the garden or under an eave before the birds start nest building in early Spring.

Perfect for: Anybody with a garden or fence

#3 Beautiful Bird Print Scarf

Beautiful and elegant, this is the perfect scarf for a woman keen on birds. Delicately printed with birds and branches, this scarf is a light mint green with pink and orange.

Scarves are great Christmas gifts for hard-to-buy relatives and, because they’re very affordable, even make pretty stocking fillers!

Perfect for: Mums, Aunts and in-laws!

#4 Fulton Lulu Guinness Birdcage Umbrella

If this isn’t the most amazing umbrella we’ve seen this year then we don’t know what is!

With transparent PVC, this umbrella keeps the rain and wind off while covering head and shoulders. Designed by the wonderful Lulu Guinness, this is a stylish umbrella for a stylish woman and would be a Christmas present to remember (and probably use quickly!).

Length when closed: 94cm

Span when open: 89cm

Perfect for: Mums, sisters and wives.

#5 Nikon Monarch 5 Binoculars

Widely regarded as some of the best binoculars for birdwatching and recommended by the prestigious Audubon Society, this is a gift for that special person who can’t get enough of birds.

Easy to use, small to fit in pockets and excellent for all ages, these Nikon Monarch 5 binoculars rule the birdwatching world.

  • Fantastic quality lenses
  • Excellent clarity
  • Highly durable
  • Suitable for everyone
  • Easy to fit into a pocket while out walking
  • Very affordable for such great binoculars

Perfect for: Amblers, walkers, garden bird watchers, woodland birdwatchers, grandads who watch the birds from their conservatory!

 

#6 Sony RX100 Digital Camera

Know someone who loves taking pictures of birds but just doesn’t have a good camera?

Surprisingly, you don’t need a £1000 camera to get crisp and wonderful photographs of birds, you just need a good one. And that’s what this is.

  • Super compact. Easy to take on walks.
  • Lightweight. Managable for the young and old and won’t weigh your coat pocket down.
  • Large, 1 inch sensor
  • F1.8
  • 3.6 optical zoom for getting those birds on the feeder.
  • Pro manual controls – great for those who love photography
  • 20.2 megapixels. Take incredible crops from your photographs and still get sharpness and focus.

This is a fantastic offering from Sony and is easy to use for the everyday bird lover. However, it’s also great for those who know a lot about cameras and want more control, as the manual controls can be used to change every aspect.

Super small for such a capable camera – we love this little Sony and we’re sure it’ll go down a storm at Christmas!

For the premium version of this camera which includes WiFi capability –have a look here.

 

#7 Wild Bird Food Starter Kit

A great present for anyone with a garden, this wild bird food starter kit will enable them to be fully set-up straight away.

Many garden birds forage over winter, most notably the robin who graces our Christmas cards each year! It’s very difficult for these birds to find enough food though, and this starter kit means the recipient can set everything up outside on Christmas day and watch the birds arrive within hours!

Hungry winter birds are, after all, always on the look out for nibbles!

Bring someone the winter joy of a garden full of birds with this fantastic value wild bird starter kit.

It comes with:

  • Three bird feeders – suitable for monkey nuts, bird seed and fat balls.
  • 2.5kg of varied bird food to appeal to all garden birds.
  • 4 fat balls – essential for hungry birds in the cold.
  • 1 suet cake – delicious and nutritious
  • 1 tub of mealworms that’ll be snapped up straighaway
  • half a coconut filled with suet.

Perfect for: Bird lovers with patios, small gardens or big gardens who’d love to share their winter with garden birds. Also great for kids to get involved with bringing nature to their gardens and learning about birds.

 

#8 A Charm of Goldfinches

New for Christmas 2016, this is another stunning book for the talented ornithologist and illustrator, Matt Sewell.

Not exclusively about birds, this beautiful hardback book is fully illustrated in watercolour and is about collective nouns; a charm of goldfinches, a school of dolphins and an ascension of larks for example.

Sewell has a good collection of books now, many about birds but this is a real talking point with its amusing collective nouns and the phenomenal illustrations with his usual humour.

Perfect for: Nature, bird and humour lovers. Actually, if we’re being honest, this is perfect for anyone.

Publication details:

  • Published 16 October 2016
  • Published by Ebury
  • 144 pages
  • Size: 19.8 x 1.7 x 19.7 cm making it a great coffee table book that’s not too large

#9 The Living Bird

For anyone who loves second-to-none photography, birds and coffee table books, this is going to brighten their Christmas no end. Published last year, The Living Bird contains a remarkable 250 photographs.

Created to celebrate 100 years of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, this absorbing book contains many essays by well-known and award-winning authors such as Barbara Kingsolver, Jared Diamond and others.

A 200 page love letter to birds of all kinds, this book will be read out-loud, passed around and returned to time and time again.

Perfect for: Any bird lover who likes to read about interesting facts and study stunning photographer.

 

#10 Large Owl Kite

One of the coolest kites out there, this large owl kite is a great present for a child who likes birds. Easy to fly and very well built, this kite will soar in a breezy day.

Key features:

  • Lightweight fibreglass frame
  • Nylon material
  • Very easy to assemble
  • Complete with lines and handle
  • 170cm wide

Very responsive and only requiring a wind range of 5-15mph, it’s perfect for a day out in the park or moorland and you don’t even need to wait for strong wind.

Perfect for: Children over 8 years old. Encourage them to get outside and play with nature!

 

Thanks for reading Garden Birdlife’s Christmas Gift Guide 2016!

Please feel free to share with any bird lovers you know or those trying to buy for them! If you’ve got any tips or additions you’d like us to know about, just get in touch and we’d love to hear from you!

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European Robin – Garden Bird Identification Guide

Erithacus_rubecula

European robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Above photo: © Francis C. Franklin / CC-BY-SA-3.0

robin
Robin

The Robin is one of the Nation’s favourite garden birds! It is the 9th most common bird in the UK according to the Birdwatch 2016 survey, but for many people it is the most loved.

Identification

About 12.5–14.0 cm (5.0–5.5 inch) in length, the male and female are similar in colouration, with an orange breast and face lined with grey, brown upperparts and a whitish belly. Young birds have no red breast and are spotted with golden brown. It is not only common in the UK, but can also be found across Europe, east to Western Siberia and south as far as North Africa.

 Erithacus_rubecula
Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

What do Robins Eat?

Robins eat worms, small insects and seeds. When their food source becomes scarce in winter they will eat just about anything put out for them on a bird table, especially fatty foods such as bacon rind and cheese. Robins are territorial birds and will aggressively defend their area. They will also return to known food sources, so if you put some seeds out on a bird table or hang a bird feeding station (see more about them here) then Robins will come back almost every day to feed.

Robin from The RSPB on Vimeo.

 

Nesting / Breeding

 

Robins pair up for the breeding season (April to June) only. When a male robin has found a mate, he will strengthen their bond by bringing the female food, such as worms and caterpillars, which she begs for noisily while quivering her wings and can be mistaken by the observer to be the mother feeding her young. Most nests are located on or near the ground in hollows, tree roots, piles of logs and any other situations that provide a fully concealed cavity.

Once the female has laid her eggs, she stays in the nest for up to two weeks, crouching low over them, well concealed with only her brown back visible.  The male brings her food, sometimes as often as three times in an hour.

Both parents take responsibility when feeding and looking after their chicks until they are two weeks old when they can fly and become fully independent, they will then leave the nest. The young hatch after 12-15 days, and become independent after 3 weeks.

Pairs of Robins which raise an brood early in the season are more likely to have a second or third brood in the same year.  The female will sit on the clutch of 5-7 eggs while the male continues to feed and look after the year’s first fledglings.

How to Attract Robins to Your Garden

Robins will eat almost anything, especially in winter. A good quality garden bird seed mix in a squirrel proof bird feeder will have Robins attracted to your garden in no time!

 

 

 

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Long-tailed tit – Garden Bird Identification

Long-tailed tit

Long-tailed tit

(Aegithalos caudatus)

Identification

The long-tailed tit or long-tailed bushtit (Aegithalos caudatus) is a common bird found throughout Europe and Asia. Related to several species in Asia, but there is only one species found in the UK and Europe; long-tailed tits are small-bodied, long-tailed birds with short legs and tiny, triangular bills

In all plumages has an extraordinarily long tail (7cm) in comparison to the size of its body

Diet

These attractive birds eat insects throughout the year, especially the eggs and larve of moths and butterflies. The may occasionally east seeds in Autumn and Winter when their main food sources are scarce.

Long-tailed tit
Long-tailed tit

Breeding Habits

Outside the breeding season they form compact flocks of 3 to 30 birds, composed of family parties (parents and offspring) from the previous breeding season, together with any extra adults that helped to raise a brood. These tits nest in trees and often in gorse bushes. If the nest is found by a predator then the pair will attempt to make a new nest. If it is too late in the season then the birds that have lost thier nest will help other breeding pairs, what scientists call “co-operative breeding”. Often the birds they help are related to them, and they will help bring food to the young and defend the group’s territory.

Longtail Tit Bird Song / Call

Outside of the summer breeding season Longtail tits are usually seen in flocks of up to 30 individuals and can be easily heard by their distincitve call. Actually, they have three main calls, a single high pitched ‘pit’, a ‘triple trill’ eez-eez-eez, and a rattling ‘schnuur’. The members in a flock will keep up a continuous chatter while working their way along a hedgerow or through the forest.

Listen here:


 

How to attaract Longtail Tits to Your Garden?

Are you noticing more longtail tits recently? Well, you may be because this species really has bucked the trend of songbird declines, having almost doubled in numbers since the 1980s. Why? As often is the case, a variety of reasons but mainly, long-tailed tits are especially vulnerable to long spells of cold weather, which make it harder for them to find food and keep up their energy levels. The recent mild winters mean more survive into springtime.

As Longtail tits rarely eat seeds and other commercially available birdfood unless they can find nothing else, you dont often see them at garden bird tables. The best way to attract them is to leave a pile of logs in a damp place in your garden. This will naturally attract insects who will lay their eggs here. This is what longtail tits most like to eat!

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Adorable Christmas Birds – Robin Mania!

robin-home-xmas-waitrose

Have you seen the Waitrose Christmas advert? It features a totally adorable robin who flies home for Christmas. Watch it here:

It also promotes Waitrose’s hashtag #HomeForChristmas. The blurb says: “A courageous robin undertakes an epic journey home to Britain, where a young girl eagerly awaits his annual return #HomeForChristmas”

Well, depsite the fact that it is an advert, the filming is excellent and watching a robin flying through thick and thin is hartwarming. An ideal 2 minute distraction!

 

robin-home-xmas-waitrose
robin-home-xmas-waitrose

Have you got a birdfeeder ready for Xmas birds? Check out the best options for you here – Garden BirdLife’s Complete Guide

 

Michael Morpurgo’s short story

The Waitrose Christmas advertb seems to be based loosly on Michael Morpurgo’s short story which you can hear him read above. As well as some delieghtful animations.

And if all these stories about coming home for Christmas are inspiring you to cook for family and friends, then have a look at these excellent Robin Cupcakes, again by Waitrose, who seem to have the monopoly on Robin themed items this year, or perhaps just some clever marketing to support their seasonal adverts. None the less, the recipe looks great, I havent had time to try it myself, do post a comment if you have had success making these cakes!

Chocolate Robin Cupcakes

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Britain’s Endemic Bird

crossbill featured bird

 

Unique British Birds Bird

Most islands have endemic bird species, that is, birds that exist nowhere else on Earth. New Zealand, for example, has at least 40 endemic bird species, probably more. It also has many extinct endemic species.

Even countries joined to others have a good handful of endemic species; Panama, for instance, has around 12, Ecuador has about 45 and China has upwards of 50! But Britain? Well we, arguably, only have about one.

The Scottish Crossbill

Said to be the only unique vertebrate in the UK, the Scottish Crossbill is a chap to be treasured indeed. Endemic not only to the UK as a whole, but also specifically to the Caledonian forests in Scotland, Scottish Crossbills have unique songs and and flight.

The Scottish Crossbill is a threatened species and this is in large part due to the deforestation of its home. These crossbills don’t migrate and stay in the same forests all year round but those forests are now a shocking 1% of what they once were.

red crossbill
Red crossbill, almost identical to a Scottish Crossbill

Why only one endemic species?

Britain’s lack of endemic species is mostly down to the last Ice Age, which wiped out many species, as well as its once-upon-a-time join with continental Europe. That means that Britain hasn’t always been an island, so species could cross ‘borders’ with greater ease.

Also Britain isn’t particularly far from continental Europe even now, making it very easy for birds to travel to France, Belgium or the Netherlands, even if they aren’t long distance migrators. If you see how isolated New Zealand is from anywhere else, it’s easy to see why they have so many birds only in NZ!

How to Spot a Scottish Crossbill

Well, for a start, you’ll need to head to the Caledonian forests up in Scotland. The Scottish Crossbill looks extremely similar to the Parrot Crossbill and the Red or Common Crossbill and so it can be difficult to tell the three apart – to the extent that no one is quite sure how many Scottish Crossbills there actually are!

Around the size of a sparrow, our majestic endemic bird has a vivid red/orange plumage if he’s a male and a duller, green/yellow plumage if she’s a female. What makes them even more intriguing is that they have curved beaks that overlap slightly – something not found at all outside the crossbill family.

Young crossbill
Young crossbill

Why such crazy beaks? They are specifically designed to open the pine cones that these birds adore! Evolution is a breath-taking thing. The Scottish Crossbill is often seen in flocks of others and they have a distinct call.

Nesting high up in pine trees, Scottish Crossbills usually lay around 4 or 5 eggs which hatch 3 weeks after laying. Because it takes the newly hatched birds 10 days to develop their crossed bill, their parents continue to feed them as they cannot get pine seeds from pine cones without the unique crossbill.

 Conservation

While there is a small known population of Scottish Crossbills due to deforestation, there is an action plan in place and the government is working to restore the Crossbill’s native forest and conserve the remaining area.

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Garden Birdsong – Audio

garden birdsong audio

Listening to Garden Birds

Do you recognise these birds from their birdsong alone?

While you may not think that you consciously listen to birdsong all the time, all those pretty little chatterings and singings of garden birds do carve their mark in our brains. That’s why, when you’re driving out of the city and into the countryside, you feel a strong surge of nostalgia whenever you hear the intense calls and songs of wild birds.

Chances are, you’ll recognise a lot of birdsong when you hear it recorded or when you hear it in the garden. You look around thinking, ‘I know you, who are you again?’ Then you spot a blackbird sitting on the fence belting out his best song. ‘Ah, of course, a blackbird.’

Garden birdsong is buried within our memories and we recognise all the common ones. But, when it comes down to it, can we actually connect the song to the bird?

And how amazing would it be to sit out in the garden with friends or family and say, ‘there goes the bluetits again,’ without even looking around to check who’s singing?

With a bit of practice, connecting the birdsong to the right bird doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when some of the loudest and most confident singers are common birds like robins, blackbirds and tits.

European Robin Birdsong

Ok, so we’ll start off with an easy one. The European Robin is one of Britain’s most loved garden birds. This iconic fellow doesn’t migrate and instead entertains us all year round. Hopping around the garden summer and winter, robins are also typically unafraid of humans and often follow gardeners around.

So you’ve seen robins throughout your life and perhaps even have a resident robin in your garden. You’d recognise him in a split second by sight, but do you recognise his song? When you hear it as you’re eating breakfast, do you know it’s the robin?

Mistle Thrush Birdsong

The Mistle Thrush is a common Northern European garden bird that is a bold and aggressive feeder. Often forcing other garden birds off a bird feeder while the thrush pecks around, scattering seeds everywhere! Juvenile birds often look scruffy and can be difficult to identify. It’s upright stance and definite hops on the ground help to separate it from the common thrush.

Golden Eagle

I would love to see a golden eagle, but I’m guessing that many of you are like me and unlikely to see one in our gardens! These magnificent birds are native to the Highlands of Scotland and their piercing, screeching cry can be heard from a long way off.

One of the best ways to spot a golden eagle when you’re hiking in Scotland is to listen out for its cries. When you hear the call of the golden eagle, you’ll look up and see this feathered giant circling nearby.

You can read more about eagles here from the National Geographic.

If you are looking for some no mess bird feed, we have a great guide here

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Top 10 Unusual Bird Feeders

Amazing Bird Feeders

Unique Bird Feeders!

Naughty Gnomes, Tea Cups and Space Ships! Here are some incredible bird feeders!

We all know what normal bird feeders look like; plastic or wire cylinders that hang from trees or brackets. Some are designed to deter squirrels. But these plastic and metal things sometimes look a bit…well, plain.

Gardens are a big part of our lives and they’re an area for self-expression, so why not check out some more unusual bird feeders and make the most out of a new excuse for design. The birds don’t mind!

 

For the who like the best view

#1 Meripac Window Feeder

 

Meripac Window Feeder Available here from Amazon UK.

See-through and suckered onto a window, this bird feeder offers an unrivalled view of the birds that visit it. Made of plastic and easy to clean, this can hold water or bird seed and the two large suckers give it stability for even larger birds like blackbirds.

The only downside is that sudden movements within the room may disturb birds and prolonged activity may make them wary of the feeder. Once they’ve grown used to humans around though and see the feeder is unaffected, you’ll have brave and happy birds feeding like there’s no tomorrow!

For those who like decoration

#2 Swing Seat Bird Feeder

 

Sunset Seat Feeder – Wild Bird feeder

This is a super sweet miniature swing seat that holds plenty of bird seed and offers a new and exciting way for birds to get their food. While not to everyone’s tastes, those who like cute garden decoration will love it and it’s easy to hang from a tree branch. Unusual bird feeders like this certainly gain nods of approval from guests!

 

For those who like a bit of humour

#3 Chapelwood Little Owl Fun Bird Feeder

You can buy it here: Chapelwood Little Owl Fun Bird Feeder

While the visiting birds may not realise they’re nibbling out of a wire owl, guests certainly will and this bird feeder is a cute way to get a new garden decoration while supporting garden birds.

Holding up to 0.58kg of seed and made of durable metal, this will keep the birds happy year round without being victim to squirrel teeth or bad weather. With an inbuilt hanging frame, you can hang this from a feeding station, a tree or a wall bracket with ease.

 

For those who love pretty things

#4 Fallen Fruits Upside Down Teacup and Saucer Bird Feeder

Available here: Fallen Fruits Upside Down Teacup and Saucer Bird Feeder

Unique and stunning, this hanging upside-down teacup and saucer bird feeder would look eye-catching in any garden, especially a teashop garden! With the hook to hang a fatball from and the saucer for bird seed, this is the kind of thing you’d see hanging under an elegant tree in a well-loved garden.

This is ideal as a gift to anyone who loves their garden and their garden birds. But don’t think this is the only tea-themed designed, check out the:

 

#5 hanging teapot

Fallen Fruits Secrets Du Potager Teapot Bird Feeder

 

#6 hanging teacup

Which you can buy here: Teacup & Saucer Bird Feeder (Red & Pink Roses)

For those with a cheeky sense of humour

#7 Nibble My Bits Gnome Bird Feeder

Buy this cheeky chap here: Nibble My Bits Gnome Bird Feeder 

So you’re looking for a present for the joker within your family and friends eh? Then I think you’ve found the right bird feeder. This funny garden gnome has dropped trou for the birds and makes a great feeder for birds who love hopping about the lawn in search of nibbles like blackbirds and robins.

Not just for the ground though, you can hang this cheeky gnome up by the hole in the back (I know, I know) and affix him securely to a fence or garden wall. This is best if you have cats or foxes. Made from terracotta, this is a durable and well made feeder that is a total must have for anyone with a soft spot for garden gnomes.

 

For Doctor Who fans

#8 Police Box Bird Feeder

Dr Who – Police Box Bird Feeder – Get it here

This amazingly detailed police box bird feeder is perfect for anyone who loves Doctor Who, especially a child who you want to get interested in garden birds and…y’know…the outside. Not affiliated at all with the Doctor Who show, this would also work well as a gift for a policeman!

Well made and durable, this Police Box bird feeder can hang from a tree or bracket and is easy to fill. Not the only one in this style, check out the Traditional Red Telephone Phone Box Hanging Bird Feeder

 

For nautical and goldfinch lovers

#9 No/No Solar Lighthouse Finch Bird Feeder

You can buy it here: No/No Solar Lighthouse Finch Bird Feeder

This is a really excellently designed lighthouse bird feeder that’s designed to hold 1.5lbs of Nyjer seeds (the favourite food of goldfinches). Made from wire mesh with plenty of perches, this won’t rot or be damaged and should last for years.

What makes this design ever better is the solar powered LED that glows gently throughout the night, making this a real lighthouse! Sunflower seeds and other small seeds are perfect for this and will rest in the tray at the bottom as well as in the body. Sparrows and finches will flock to this and the perches can fit around 15 birds on them at a time

It should be noted that to allow the solar panel to charge, you need to turn the switch on underneath the top lid!

 

For those that have too many apples

#10 Hanging Apple or Fat Ball Bird Feeder

 

Hanging Apple or Fat Ball Bird Feeder

Both fatballs or apples can be skewered on this feeder and provide nutritious and highly energy meals for birds. This rustic and intriguing design looks good hanging from a tree and fatballs skewered on it will be particularly well received in winter when birds need the energy to stay alive.

Summary:

There are lots of unusual bird feeders and novelty items out there, everything from wooden swings to cheeky gnomes. While wire mesh bird feeders are certainly some of the most durable, there are many mesh designs that are more interesting to look at than the simple cylindrical feeders.

Novelty unusual bird feeders also made exceptional gifts for garden lovers, especially as they are as decorative as they are practical! If you love your garden and enjoy decorating it, then why not combine that passion with supporting British garden birds.

If you are looking for a Squirrel Proof Bird feeder – see our guide here

top 10 unusual bird feeders

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No Mess Bird Seed

No Mess Bird Seed Guide Header

No Mess Bird Seed

No Mess Bird Seed Guide Header

You know the drill; you buy a bag of bird seed and the birds go wild. Seed is scattered here and there and a month later you’ve got something resembling a wild weed garden under and around your bird table. You thought birds were hungry, why all the waste? Uneaten and scattered bird seed usually comes with filler foods that birds don’t like and husks that they abandon – it’ll ruin the look of your garden and just create more work – so choose No Mess Bird Seed! This is perfect to put in your Squirrel Proof Feeder

 

What is No Mess Bird Seed?

Birds are never going to be neat eaters in the same way you’ll never see Downton Abbey characters chilling in the sitting room having a T.V. dinner with lap trays. But it’s not the manner in which birds eat that’s the problem; they don’t mind hopping about the grass to pick up scattered seed. The problem with messy bird seed is that the stuff scattered and left to grow isn’t actually what the birds want to eat.

Lots of bird food like peanuts have husks but birds prefer to de-husk seeds and nuts and eat the deliciousness on the inside and leave the husk to rot on the bird table or in the grass. No Mess Bird Seed has already been de-husked for the birds and for the cleanliness of your garden.

Cheap filler foods that birds don’t like much will result in them shirking that element of the bird seed and leaving it to rot and grow in your garden. Buying better quality bird seed that’s actually made with the birds in mind is a far better option and a big part of what makes No Mess Bird Seed not messy!

No Mess Bird Seed is usually:

  • De-husked so no husks are left by birds to rot
  • Full of seed that garden birds love
  • Wide in range to appeal to all garden birds
  • Dustier than husk bird seed
  • The favourite food of garden birds!

 

You should choose No Mess Bird Seed

Birds simply love No Mess Bird Seed because it’s been tailored to their tastes and it contains no husks, which they have to expend energy of getting off the seed. This makes No Mess Bird Food a better food for the birds themselves, not just you and you’ll soon see how happy it makes them.

With the husks not present, dropped seed can’t grow and that means that not only is scattered seed not a problem, but if you don’t have a bird table to begin with then you can use No Mess Bird Seed on the lawn without having to worry about sprouting a weed garden.

 

Bird Seed Ingredients

The best No Mess Bird Seeds usually contains a range of seeds like sunflower as well as kibbled maize and no-husk oats. This type of bird food is high energy and caters to the tastes of all garden birds from bluetits and robins to blackbirds and goldfinches.

Big brands like RSPB and Gardman make outstanding No Mess Bird Seed and in the case of the RSPB, all profits go into the charity. Supporting British garden birds by giving them No Mess Bird Seed really is making a difference.

 

The Best No Mess Bird Seed

Because the birds in your garden will vary from other people’s, it can take a couple of bags of different brands to really hit the nail on the head and get the perfect bird seed for your garden visitors. However, whichever you buy, chances are it’ll go down a treat.

 

RSPB No Mess Sunflower Seed Mix

RSPB No Mess Sunflower Seed Mix

With a good mix of sunflower seeds, oats and maize, this No Mess Bird Seed can be used on lawns, patios, bird tables and even in bird feeders. Appropriate for all year round use, this is packed with energy and will be an instant hit with all your garden birds.

 

Gardman No Mess Seed Mix 

Gardman No Mess Seed Mix – 12.75kg

This No Mess Bird Seed from Gardman is a total bargain and should keep your birds going for months and months. With no husks, there’ll be no sprouting weeds and the seed is much easier and faster for the birds to eat.

Because scattered feed can’t grow, you can use this on the lawn without worrying or just stick it on the bird table or in the feeder and watch the birds flock!

 

Kew Wildlife Care Collection

Kew Wildlife Care Collection 2Kg Kew Energy Rich No Mess

 

Specifically designed to appeal to a broad range of garden birds and containing no dull fillers that won’t be eaten, this No Mess Bird Seed from Kew will spark a feeding frenzy of happy garden birds. Made from sunflower hearts, kibbled maize, red dari, yellow millet and pinhead oatmeal, this can be scattered on the lawn, patio, bird table or used to fill a bird feeder.

Rich in energy and suitable for year round feeding, this mix won’t leave husks and rotting matter in your garden or on your bird table. British garden birds really do need help getting enough food, in the summer as well as in the winter and seed mixes like this are saving their lives. Support British garden birds!

 

ChapelWood High Energy No Mess Seed Mix

ChapelWood High Energy No Mess Seed Mix 12.75kg

 

This ChapelWood No Mess Bird Seed not only contains a range of de-husked seed and kibbled maize, it also has suet pellets, which are packed with fat and energy. This is especially good for colder months but garden birds need feeding throughout the summer and autumn too.

ChapleWood have a range of No Mess Bird Seed so you can change it around at different times of the year. While the suet pellets are great for winter, the Everyday No Mess Bird Seed is brilliant for spring and summer which its easily digestible seed and wheat.

Summary:

Garden birds are declining and if you have a patio, garden or even just a balcony, there’s so much you can do to help keep these wonderful creatures fed and healthy. De-husked bird seed not only keeps your garden and patio clean, it also saves birds time and effort – they don’t want husks either!

No Mess Bird Seed is a win-win for the birds, for you and for your garden. It’s no just No Mess, it’s a No Brainer!

It’s perfect to go in your Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder – See our guide here

No Mess Bird Seed Pinterest Image

 

 

 

 

 

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Tom Chambers Garden Bird Tables Guide

winter-bird box

Tom Chambers Bird Tables Guide

A British manufacturer, Tom Chambers is a highly reputable company who have been crafting excellent quality garden and wild bird products for over fifty years. With a comprehensive range of Tom Chambers bird tables available online, this is a trustworthy brand that make products that won’t fall apart. If you’re looking for a bird table that lasts, then you need a Tom Chambers bird table. For Tom Chambers Squirrel Proof Bird Tables See here.

 

Why are Tom Chambers Bird Tables So Good?

All made from FSC certified wood, Tom Chambers make their bird tables using sustainable sources but their expertise goes much further than that. Their bird tables are built at heights to keep feeding birds safe, they come with durable, real roofs and they are extremely stable.

So many bird tables are poor quality wood, hastily stapled together and will fall apart after a single season. Do you want to waste money on something cheap and distinctly not cheerful? What’s the point in buying a bad quality bird table only for it to fall apart the next year?

Tom Chambers bird tables are:

  • Built to withstand the trials of British weather
  • Made from high quality, durable wood
  • Made from FSC certified sustainable wood
  • Made with slate and wood roofs to last years and protect birds
  • Built at heights to keep birds safe
  • Made to be very stable on patios or lawns
Bird Nesting Box
Quality Bird Boxes will last many damp UK winters!

Common Features:

  • Slate roofs: Most bird tables come with wooden roofs but these will eventually become damp and rot, especially as they take the brunt of the weather. Genuine slate is used in many Tom Chambers designs and not only does it look beautiful, it’s incredibly practical as well.
  • Drainage holes: Essential to get rid of dampness from the table, small drainage holes are drilled into the corners of Tom Chambers bird tables to allow rainwater to escape.
  • Stable bases: You’d think that this was a given for a bird table the height of a person, but actually, many companies only offer simplistic cross feet, meaning the bird table will fall over in reasonable wind. The Tom Chambers designs tend to have much more stable bases, with reinforced joints and cross beams to give the table more weight and stability at the bottom. This is crucial in winter when winds can be very strong but birds still need to eat.
  • Good Height: Coming in a range between around 150cm and 210cm from base to roof, Tom Chambers bird tables are excellent heights to keep birds safe from cats and foxes.
  • Bird-safe wood stain: In order for wood to remain waterproof and mould-resistant, it must be coated in a good preserving treatment. These also give different colour finishes. But birds are eating and sometimes drinking off these surfaces and so the treatments must be non-toxic and bird-friendly. Tom Chambers designs all feature non-toxic wood treatments.

 

Let’s take a look at the 5 best Tom Chambers bird tables

Tom Chambers Garsdale Bird Table

One of the shortest Tom Chambers bird tables at 155cm, the Garsdale is an excellent, simple bird table with a slate roof. Crossbeams create a stable base and the rounded wood has a pleasant and finely crafted impression.

TheTom Chambers Garsdale Bird Table roof is a simple triangular tent design that allows water to run off and leave the seed and birds dry and safe. The Garsdale is made from Swedish Redwood and treated with a non-toxic wood stain that brings out the colour and protects from wear. This is a good, straightforward bird table that will feed all your garden birds from day one.

Bedale Bird Table

 

With a super solid base, this bird table is tall at 178cm but will stand strong in your garden whatever the weather. The wide, overhanging slate roof allows water to run off and ensures birds can feed even in the pouring rain without seed getting wet.

This Bedale Bird Table is one of Tom Chambers’ best designs and the four-sided slate roof is visually very impressive. The table itself is surprisingly enclosed given that it’s open on all sides, thanks to deep fiddles and the overhanging roof. Made from Swedish Redwood as well, this is a high quality bird table that should last for years and years. Like all Tom Chambers designs, it comes in two pieces and is easily assembled with wing-nuts.

Tom Chambers Hambleton Bird Table

This Tom Chambers Hambleton Bird Table blends the Bedale and the Garsdale designs into one to produce a classic and stunning bird table. Featuring rounded timber and a four-sided slate roof, this table gives birds excellent shelter from rain and sun.

Very stable with heavy duty cross beams around the base, this should be able to easily withstand inclement weather and protects birds from cats with a height of 170cm. Like all Tom Chambers bird tables, no tools are required to fix the two pieces together with they arrive, just do up the nuts!

Dovesdale Bird Table

This is really the king of Tom Chambers bird tables and offers everything your garden birds could need in a table. The hexagonal design gives birds excellent protection from rain, sun and wind and the deep fiddles mean seed shouldn’t spill. The slate roof won’t get damp and the wood is high quality and very durable.

This Dovesdale Bird Table is an investment in the lives and safety of the garden birds in your area and it should last for years. A substantial base gives this the stability it needs to stay upright in nasty winters and the drainage holes in the table mean that seed shouldn’t become damp and rot.

The overhanging roof not only gives amazing protection but it looks beautiful and classic too. If you’re looking for the best bird table out there for looks, wallet-friendliness and bird-friendliness, this is the one you should buy – it’s simply fantastic. At 180cm it’s at a great height to keep birds safe from cats too.

 

Tom Chambers Richmond Bird Table

From a practicality point of view, this Richmond design isn’t any better than the awesome Dovesdale above, but the aesthetics have been taken to a whole new level. With overlapping slate tiles and routed wooden decoration, this is a stunning bird table that is a must for those who like the most beautiful things for their garden.

This design takes all the best parts of the other designs, a good height (180cm), a heavy, stable base and a safe and sheltered feeding table and combines them with elegant craftsmanship. Again, this should last for years and years and the decoration is timeless and not at all overbearing. This is simply the best for those who value quality craftsmanship and an artistic flair.

You can get a great price on the Tom Chambers Richmond Bird Table from Amazon here.

Eurasian Wren garden bird
Eurasian Wren – A common garden bird
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Garden Bird Feeding Stations

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What Are Bird Feeding Stations?

Bird feeding stations are a step up from solo bird feeders and provide a larger array of choice and space for your visiting garden birds. Ranging from coat-rack style stations to hanging platforms, feeder stations are perfect for gardens full of birdlife or if you want to attract more wild birds to your area. For Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders see this page.

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What’s good about bird feeder stations?

When you’ve only got a single bird feeder, chances are that only two or three small birds will be able to fit on the feeder at a time. Many only have two seed doors as well, so only two birds can realistically feed at a time. This isn’t ideal for several reasons.

 

  • Some garden birds are a little feistier than others and might dominate the feeder and cause a fuss if another bird tries to join them.
  • There are a wide variety of beautiful garden birds out there and they don’t all like the same types of seed; goldfinches, for example, are particularly fond of nyjer seeds.
  • A crowded bird feeder can send small birds off elsewhere in search of food, and the aim is to attract a good population of birds to your garden.

Bird feeder stations allow a much larger range of birds to enjoy plentiful food in your garden without overcrowding or risk of annoying each other. What’s more, you can fill different feeders with different seeds and attract bluetits to one feeder and goldfinches to another at the same time.

What exactly is a bird feeder station then?

Bird feeding stations are set-ups with more than one platform or container for birdseed. Popular ones are poles with several branches coming off and from each one you can hang a bird feeder.

Other bird feeing stations look like stepped platforms, with multiple bird tables spanning out from one stand. Some are freestanding for the lawn or patio, some are hanging from trees and some are bracketed for the sides of buildings and houses. Whatever type of garden or home you have, chances are you’ll be able to find a bird feeder station to suit.


 

How to choose the bird feeder station for you

Perhaps you live in a large house with sprawling gardens, or maybe you live on an estate with a pure grass back garden or perhaps you live in a highrise flat with a small balcony – wherever you live and whatever type of home you have, there’s a bird feeding station for you. Except if you live on a squirrel farm or at a cattery. In which case…maybe not.

If you have squirrels… If you live in a garden with pesky squirrels then you’ll need a bird feeding station with squirrel-resistance baffles or a multi-branch hanging station where you can hang globe mesh squirrel proof bird feeders.

If you have cats…If you have cats then hanging bird feeding stations are also good, or bracketed stations as cats cannot get to either of these. Larger platform bird stations are probably not a good idea for those with cats or squirrels as these often have thick wooden stands, which are easy for both to climb.

If you live somewhere without a garden then bracketed bird feeding stations are excellent. You can attach these to an exterior wall or balcony and birds will be able to find a great source of food within the urban area. The Chaplewood Wall Dining Station is a perfect example of a bird feeding station that can be attached to exterior walls. You don’t need a garden to enjoy garden birds!

For those with gardens, the coat rack style bird feeding stations are ideal and you can affix baffles to them if you have a squirrel problem. When you buy one of these freestanding designs, you typically buy the frame itself and have to buy the actual hanging feeders separately. This is beneficial because feeders can be very different and it’s important to buy the ones that suit you and your birds.

A good example of the coat rack hanging type of bird feeding station is the Gardman Deluxe wild bird feeding station.

Very affordable and beautifully designed, this stands freely on lawns or patios and allows for not only four separate hanging feeders, but also fat ball hanging as well as a bird seed tray and a bird bath. Amazing huh? Within a week your garden will be the playground of all the local small garden birds.

 

Best Freestanding Wild Bird Feeding Station

 

Gardman Complete Feeding Station with Four Feeders

Much like the Gardman I mentioned above, for only a few pounds more you can get the comprehensive wild bird feeding station that comes with four hanging feeders to start you off. This is the perfect solution for those with a generalised array of garden birds who want a freestanding bird feeding station, as you don’t need to spend anymore on buying feeders.

With a fat ball hanging branch and four hanging feeders, all you need to do with this is fill it up with seeds and exciting bird food and watch the little brightly coloured feathered creatures descend. The feeders are all different and designed for different fillings and different birds, making this ideal to attract a range.

While this is a freestanding station, it doesn’t have a base and instead the pole must be driven into the ground. Therefore, it requires a garden rather than a patio. If you have a garden though, this is an absolute bargain and a great, metal design that is durable and effective.

 

Best Bird Feeding Station for Multiple Bird Populations

Bird Sanctuary Feeding Station Tree by Tom Chambers

This extraordinary design is ideal for gardens with large bird populations or true bird lovers. With space to hang ten bird feeders, you can really cater individually for every type of bird that visits. While the feeders themselves aren’t supplied, this means you can buy weight operated squirrel proof feeders, peanut feeders and any other type without having to stick with what’s provided.

At 220m high, this pole design must be driven into the ground and needs a garden and not a patio. Very easy to put together, one you’ve got your seed-filled feeders and some fat balls up, just sit back with a camera and a cup of tea and watch the sheer joy of the garden birds as they flit between feeders.

 

Best Hanging Bird Feeding Station

Hanging Wooden Bird Feeder Station Table Feeder Seed Station

 

If you don’t want a freestanding bird feeding station then a hanging one is the best option. These can be hung from trees, brackets or really anything you have with height in the garden. The Hanging Wooden Bird Feeder Station is a pretty wood design with two integrated bird feeders. It also has a mesh section for suet, a water bowl for drinking and a fruit pin for fruit or fat balls.

Birds won’t be too exposed with this unique design and are protected from rain by the roof – which has the added benefit of preventing rot and mould on the seeds and peanuts. This is a small yet comprehensive hanging bird feeding station that provides plenty of options for a variety of garden birds while not needing a lawn.

The two integrated feeders are different as well, one for seed and one for peanuts. With no assembly required and no extra purchase except for the food, this is a real bargain and attracts all sorts of garden birds. Fill it up and hang it up and within an hour you’ll have your first feathery friend.

 

Best Wall Bracketed Bird Feeding Station

Wall Mounted Bird Feeder Station with Two 11″ Nut & Seed Feeders

 Unobtrusive and neat, this two-feeder wall bracketed bird station is a great way to feed the birds without needing a garden or patio. This simply screws into an exterior wall or balcony and comes ready with two bird feeders; one for seed and one for peanuts.

The feeders are metal and very durable from weather and hungry squirrels. Only protruding out from the wall by 30cm, this is ideal for those with not much space or who want to keep their birds feeders up out of the way of cats. If you have an overhanging roof, then you can even keep it fairly sheltered from rain.

 

Best Wooden Bird Feeder Station Platform

Fordwich Bird Table Fully Assembled

If you don’t have cats or squirrels in the area and want a traditional bird table feeding station then this is a great product. With a durable roof, seed and nuts stay dry even in rain and birds have somewhere sheltered to fill up on snacks. The wooden design means you could easily screw small hooks into the side from which to hang fat balls, even though the design doesn’t include these.

Thanks to the highly sheltered design, larger birds like pigeons and jackdaws won’t fit inside, leaving the seed and nuts for smaller garden birds. At 4.5ft high, this is a solidly built and stable bird feeding station, although in strong winds with no wall or hedge for protection, it may need a weight to keep it upright.

Many wooden table designs are flimsy and poorly made but it’s definitely worth investing in something better like this. Offering small birds real protection, this is the perfect answer for any bird lover wanting a traditional wooden bird feeding station.

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