Bird Food for the Garden

I have been having a scan of previous posts but no joy so far.

My question is does anyone know of a good place to buy big bags of peanuts to feed garden birds? (I haven’t fed the birds these during spring or summer as I know it can be dangerous for chicks).

Also when making homemade fat balls for garden birds does anyone use vegetable fat? I was on an American site that mentioned vegetable shortening. Has anyone used this and do they know the name in French? I am also open to trying suet.

Finally is there a way to upload a video to this post? It’s just a very small mp4 file of the lovely blue tits in our garden.

Thanks in advance for any replies!

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Our local point vert sells all sorts of bird food…I haven’t bought any yet as my fieldy bit outback supplies fallen apples blackberries acorns…all my plums this year (!) peaches hazelnuts chestnuts…but I’m conscious of the birds that are always here through winter…

In uk I used to buy fat balls to hang in trees and mealworms as not all birds subsist on the same diet…

I love all the birds that frequent my haven…I have a tiny brown bird that seems to flock and have rescued many that have inadvertently flown into my conservatory…they are not wrens or sparrows…not sure what they are…???

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Thanks Helen. I will see if there is something similar to point vert here. I found the local Gamm Vert expensive but I have seen another animal feed place. I just thought it would be cheaper to make the fat balls myself and that would mean less packaging as well. We have a LOT of birds in the garden and they have very healthy appetites!

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Peanuts are hugely expensive, so we feed with a mix of sunflower seeds and dried meals worms. Depends what birds you have as to what they like best.

Suet is suif, and you can buy blocks in supermarkets - saindoux. Don’t use vegetable fat. We mix it with breadcrumbs, a bit of peanut butter and whatever else we have that’s suitable - dried fruit, mealworms other seeds.

Could your brown bird be a rouge queue? There is a flash of red when they flap their tails, but otherwise pretty brown.


They’re all so beautiful aren’t they…???

I have a green woodpecker that frequents my boundaries…I love the sound they make…and a buzzard and a black kite that land on a fallen apple tree and use it as a perch…

A kestrel and a hawk that fly overhead but their territories are so vast that I think they see me and my Border Collies outback and I’ve never seen them descend low enough to get a good photo of them…

Pigeons that nest in my laurel tree and drive my girl Collie mad…:grinning:

Baby swallows last year that used my passageway to the back garden as a respite centre…lots of them perched on a high up little door to roof space and all of them singing to be let out at dawn and if I wasn’t awake quick enough flying into my lounge and sitting on top of the lounge door creating havoc with my Collies…:grinning:

Here’s a photo of one of the tiny brown birds I mentioned…they are really trusting and I’m able to gently gather them up in a soft cloth and let them go…:heart:

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Thank you very much for all the tips!

My OH is the one who is good at identifying the different birds. We have blue tits, great tits, coal tits, sparrows by the bucketload, and sometimes goldfinches, greenfinches and the occasional nuthatch.

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What a lovely story and a cute bird! I am afraid I don’t know the name of it. Glad it is in good hands with you though!

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I showed my husband and he wasn’t sure but he guessed maybe a swift?

I don’t think so…I’m very familiar with swifts and swallows as they used to nest in a barn where I used to live in uk…even the youngsters had very distinctive chests colours and tail shapes…

These are really tiny like a wren but without the distinctive tail shape of a wren…they appear in flocks like sparrows but are much smaller than sparrows…I thought at one point they might be Bush tits but I still don’t really know for certain…

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Looks like a female Black Redstart to me but so many passerines look much of a muchness :grin:


Might be a house finch

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I can highly recommend the RSPB website for identification of birds. They told me that the sound I recorded was the call of quails in our neighbouring field. I would have thought they could identify your bird from your photo, especially as you can describe its size and behaviour.

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I know my view is not very popular, but I think “bird food” is a bad idea.

Bringing birds together to a bird feeder for any length of time is unnatural* and makes them a target for raptors. Also, the close proximity is a breeding ground for bird disease. And the “foods” (especially if they are cheap) are often contaminated with molds which can be deadly.
Also, read about peanuts and aflatoxin and liver damage to birds and squirrels.

I believe it is much better to grow nut / berry / fruit bearing bushes and trees and let birds forage naturally. They had all our cherries this summer!

  • I realise some birds forage in flocks - a bunch of starlings have just stripped our fig tree - but then they move on, elsewhere. They are not constantly returning to the same place.

I think it is one of my favourite little birds L’Alouette des champs.

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Isn’t their plumage more variegated, (barred) though? Or could it be a juvenile?

ps haven’t edited anything, just the aleas of trying to quote!

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This picture shows the small stature and plumage of an Alouette des Champs. Might give you a better idea if it’s your bird or not.

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Thanks Vero - Just about remembered variegated but “Aleas”, meaning hazard in this case, was a new one on me. :thinking::thinking::thinking:

Sorry, gallicism, we use it all the time in French, it is one of the few latin words we use that hasn’t evolved into French or been translated.

“Vagaries” is a nice English translation of aléas, I suggest. As in “the vagaries of time…?”


Regarding uploading videos, why not upload to YouTube and then add the link to your next post. Here’s one of mine - Starling frenzy at the birdbath!