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  • FIRST POST
    • britishboy
    • By britishboy 13th Jun 17, 6:56 AM
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    britishboy
    Are jackdaws vermin, or OK for the garden?
    • #1
    • 13th Jun 17, 6:56 AM
    Are jackdaws vermin, or OK for the garden? 13th Jun 17 at 6:56 AM
    We've got bird feeders in the garden and this morning had 8 jackdaws in it, it was like a scene from 'The Birds'...

    should i be chasing them off, or let them feed? Will they bully the smaller birds we have (robins, sparrows, blue tits, finches) out of the garden?

    I just want them all to get a fair share of the feed
Page 1
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 13th Jun 17, 7:08 AM
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    Davesnave
    • #2
    • 13th Jun 17, 7:08 AM
    • #2
    • 13th Jun 17, 7:08 AM
    Jackdaws are intelligent and may kill other species, but unless they are causing a specific farming or public safety type of nuisance, the official view is that they should be left alone.

    For example, a friend of mine has chickens which are being harrassed by jackdaws, so she is trapping them, or trying to. As I said, they're smart!

    Here, magpies are also regularly trapped by those who want to protect rarer wild species, though whether that's justified is debatable.

    There are bird feeders that even jackdaws find challenging, so you might have to switch to those.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • martinthebandit
    • By martinthebandit 13th Jun 17, 7:08 AM
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    martinthebandit
    • #3
    • 13th Jun 17, 7:08 AM
    • #3
    • 13th Jun 17, 7:08 AM
    Fair? Aw bless

    'Nature is raw in tooth and claw'

    I suppose you could put up a little sign?
    Politics -
    from the words Poli, meaning many
    and tics meaning blood sucking parasites


    (thanks to Kinky Friedman (or Larry Hardman) for the quote}
    • Gers
    • By Gers 13th Jun 17, 8:27 AM
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    Gers
    • #4
    • 13th Jun 17, 8:27 AM
    • #4
    • 13th Jun 17, 8:27 AM
    I spend roughly half an hour of cumulative time each morning chasing the jackdaws off the peanut feeders. They come in very early and get some food before I wake up.

    The second I scare off the big birds the small ones come swooping in to get what they can before the others come back. Seems that after a wee while the jackdaws have had enough (not sure if it's of peanuts or of being chased away) and vanish for the day.

    I've had a problem with fledged starlings for the last couple of years, hordes all balanced on the feeders squawking away like mad things. They were more persistent, however, none this year!
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 13th Jun 17, 9:07 AM
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    unrecordings
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 17, 9:07 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 17, 9:07 AM
    I think your starlings were over at my place Gers. They've gone now but we had a mad couple of weeks once the starlings discovered our bird feeder.

    We hang a coconut feeder 6' off the ground on a 6' rope with the nearest branch to the feeder around 5-6' away. Bluetits love it, and other small birds quickly got the hang of it. Now even ground feeders such as blackbirds & robins have a go and we also get woodpeckers and the odd magpie. Each wait their turn or just land on the feeder to evict the incumbent diner. Crows have tried to reel the feeder in like an anchor from the branch above, squirrels launch themselves at it from the neighbouring branches. We just let them all get on with it...
    • JP08
    • By JP08 13th Jun 17, 9:45 AM
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    JP08
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 17, 9:45 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 17, 9:45 AM
    As the previous poster implies - they can only eat so much then the next ones move in.

    Re the comment about the ground feeders coping with the hanging food - we've now got a regular blackbird that is adept at hanging upside down from the fatball feeder like an oversized bluetit. Oh and an extremely obese pigeon (not some nasty urban flying rat, a really handsome "clean" looking specimen) who doesn't seem to come to feed, but only to stroll around the lawn for up to half an hour at a time.

    Our favourites are the apparently quite large colony of goldfinches that visit throughout the day - such amazingly bright colours. Think they are the descendants of the pair that nested in the tree in the front garden a couple of years ago - had to shoo one of the fledgling out of the back door when they flew the nest.
    • andrewf75
    • By andrewf75 13th Jun 17, 12:34 PM
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    andrewf75
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 17, 12:34 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 17, 12:34 PM
    Yes they will bully smaller birds, but that is nature.
    I wouldn't describe any native wild animal as vermin, ridiculous term.
    My advice would be put a range of different feeders out and you'll get a balance of species.
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 17th Jun 17, 9:47 AM
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    unrecordings
    • #8
    • 17th Jun 17, 9:47 AM
    • #8
    • 17th Jun 17, 9:47 AM
    Funnily enough about an hour after I posted, a squirrel reeled in the coconut feeder from the branch it was hanging from, dragged it (still attached to the rope) to a comfy part of the tree and settled down to an extensive brunch.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 17th Jun 17, 10:02 AM
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    Davesnave
    • #9
    • 17th Jun 17, 10:02 AM
    • #9
    • 17th Jun 17, 10:02 AM
    Yes they will bully smaller birds, but that is nature.
    I wouldn't describe any native wild animal as vermin, ridiculous term.
    Originally posted by andrewf75
    The OED says: "Wild animals which are believed to be harmful to crops, farm animals, or game, or which carry disease."

    I don't see what's ridiculous about that.

    If one is attempting to produce food,or undertaking other gainful actvities in the countryside, then a term is needed to describe animals which may inhibit that enterprise.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • firebird082
    • By firebird082 17th Jun 17, 8:35 PM
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    firebird082
    We have masses of jackdaws round here - it's like a scene from The Birds every day! I've never seen them bullying the smaller birds. though they definitely do get into arguments with the Red Kites...

    We use the feeders with the outer metal cages (squirrel proof) which stops them. We also put seed into a flat tray for the robins, and the jackdaws/pigeons/collared doves all help themselves to that. However, I rather like them, as they are very intelligent, and quite sociable, so I just think of them as my other neighbours. Rather suprised you would use the word 'vermin'!
    • Gers
    • By Gers 1st Jul 17, 1:04 PM
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    Gers
    My solution to the jackdaws may be working.

    The squirrel-proof feeders didn't deter my lot, in fact it made it easier for them to reach the peanuts as they could hold on more securely and were far enough away to make it less awkward.

    I've put together two wire hanging basket shells so that they make a ball. They are joined permanently at the bottom with cable ties and, at the top with reusable garden ties with the feeder inside.

    The jackdaws now can't reach in to get at the peanuts. I've also put one of the contraptions over a hanging basket which I use for suet chips. These would attract hordes of starlings (though not many this year) but now they don't get the chips. They can get in but getting out, especially in a hurry, is more difficult so they have stopped trying...so far!

    I've left one peanut feeder uncaged as I have an adult and juvenile woodpecker coming to it and they wouldn't be able to use the caged ones. If jackdaws can get anything from that feeder than that's fine.

    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 1st Jul 17, 8:58 PM
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    unrecordings
    We don't see 'our' woodpeckers anymore as the squirrels made a concerted effort to destroy my hanging feeder

    Might get around to making a new one tomorrow (out of 3mm wire !)
    • Gers
    • By Gers 2nd Jul 17, 12:36 PM
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    Gers
    We don't see 'our' woodpeckers anymore as the squirrels made a concerted effort to destroy my hanging feeder

    Might get around to making a new one tomorrow (out of 3mm wire !)
    Originally posted by unrecordings
    I bought a squirrel feeder box - like the first one here http://www.ebay.co.uk/bhp/wooden-squirrel-feeder The squirrels soon learnt how to use it - we have red ones here so it was worth it.

    Haven't seen any for ages and suspect that the local resident thugs, pine martens, may have got to them.
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 2nd Jul 17, 5:51 PM
    • 173 Posts
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    unrecordings
    I fancy making something fiendish to occupy their little minds, in the meantime the old feeder has gone back up with the rope fixed. I found some chain though...
    • Chris25
    • By Chris25 2nd Jul 17, 6:54 PM
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    Chris25
    We've had jackdaws on the local green for a few years but this is the first one that we've seen them in the garden & with young. I haven't seen them bully any smaller birds but have seen them in some argy bargy with magpies & rooks.

    Unfortunately, the wood pigeons don't seem to be frightened of them - I'm so fed up of having to re-wash sheets etc. it's always those they seem to splatter - must be the large expanse of material!
    • david39
    • By david39 2nd Jul 17, 7:57 PM
    • 1,923 Posts
    • 1,553 Thanks
    david39
    We frequently put out tasty morsels on our garage roof for the local bird population. The usual diners are jackdaws, pigeons, magpies and, if those leave anything at all, sparrows and other small birds pick up the leftovers.
    One day recently,the roof had its usual clientele of jacks and mags when, as if from nowhere, two mega-seagulls dropped down and joined in. We live 70 miles from the sea and only see occasional gulls - we had not seen one locally for months.
    The magpies decided not to allow these upstarts to knuckle in and en masse rose up and mobbed them. The seagulls took off, with the maggie's in hot pursuit but during the whole time not one jackdaw took any notice of what was going on - they just went on scoffing the grub!
    The seagulls returned several times but on each occasion the magpies attacked and wouldn't let them land.
    I thought the Maggie's were very plucky considering each was half the size of the gulls but undoubtedly the jackdaws came out best having snaffled most of the food while the magpies kept guard.
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 3rd Jul 17, 12:22 PM
    • 173 Posts
    • 207 Thanks
    unrecordings
    We have the odd seagull (in Sheffield) When they fly over our neck of the woods the crows go berzerk.

    Hanging feeder lasted until about 9am this morning when one squirrel chewed through the rope while another was hanging off it

    Back to the drawing board (I feel like Wile E Coyote...)
    • Hedgehog99
    • By Hedgehog99 3rd Jul 17, 12:33 PM
    • 1,254 Posts
    • 2,594 Thanks
    Hedgehog99
    My parents get jackdaws and they're very timid - they twitch when anything else lands on the lawn.

    Beautiful head & eyes if you get to look at them with binoculars.

    They don't seem to bother the other birds - if anything, they're scared of them.

    Re setting a challenge for squirrels, I set these up where I used to live:

    Empty 1L clear juice/lemonade bottle, hole cut in the side (vary the size depending on how difficult you want it to be), part-filled with monkey nuts. Drives them, well, nuts, as they roll it around trying to get them out.

    String hanging from washing line with a series of monkeynuts tied on - squirrel will sit on line and haul up the nuts.
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 3rd Jul 17, 5:21 PM
    • 173 Posts
    • 207 Thanks
    unrecordings
    I like the bottle puzzle, I might give that a go. In the meantime the coconut fat feeder has been upgraded: 18AWG hook up wire, attached to a chain from the branch, and for added security, the flywheel from an old Sony tape machine - that must weigh over 300g so I'd like to see them trying hauling that up the tree. I would go for Gers' approach but I like to see the various birds especially woodpeckers - and I don't begrudge the squirrels a go, so long as they don't wreck it...
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