I am so pleased I put up bird feeders, and left them up this year. I gave them a good clean a few weeks ago ..and was toying with the idea of putting them away until October (as last year the food was not taken at all in the late Spring/Summer.)
However, this year I have had the pleasure of watching two separate families of fledglings being fed by their parents from the feeders – so I sure am glad I left them up!
I only realised they were being used by young fledgelings when I had the back door open, and heard this almighty racket of bird calls coming from the back garden ( you may hear them on the Dawn Chorus.
When I got to the back door, I could see about 15 birds on the feeders and some of them looked a little bit wobbly. On closer inspection they were making such a noise because they were chirping loudly at their parents to feed them; and I watched as one blue tit fed all the others hanging on the suet feeder. They were each fed in turn and still chirped and chirped until it was their turn again. The poor parent blue tits were rushed off their feet and darted about from feeder to feeder trying to keep with the hungry mouths. Meanwhile, a great tit family was also on the feeders being equally loud and busy and again, the great tit fledglings look a bit unbalanced and unsure of themselves! They fly back and forth in a slower manner that their parents and are so ungainly. They also perch in quite a dangerous fashion right on top of the feeders, which the older birds do not do as it makes them an easy target for predators.
Since spotting them last week, I have spent the mornings watching whilst eating my breakfast, and I can’t tell you how delightful it has been. And now, because I recognise the calls of the young blue tits and great tits to their parents, I can hear them absolutely everywhere as I walk the lanes ..and it’s reassuring to know that the cycle of life has continued and new birds are being born and raised in the hedges all around me.