Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Birdies and Peanuts Experiment

Earlier this year, NSB bought a bird feeder, filled it with peanuts and hung it up on a Magnolia tree in the back garden with a view to measuring the rate at which the nuts were eaten during the year. It is proving to be a fascinating experiment. . .

The NEW, heavy gauge, Bird Feeder

UPDATE : 26 May 2013
Nibblage so far this year.. . .

Latest Data (click to enlarge)

UPDATE : 23rd October Sometime in early August, the BFTF dropped and broke the bird feeder. Uh oh! The replacement seemed to be made of thinner gauge wire and was broken into by the squirrel within days.. Since then it has been lying empty while NSB has tried to find a reasonably strong replacement. A likely candidate appeared in the form of a RSPB bird feeder that NSB saw in one of the shops at the Carsington Water Visitor Centre. You can see the feeder in the picture above. NSB has filled it up and hopes that the, after a two month gap, the nibblage chart can now continue recording data...

04 Aug: Steady Nibblage. Walked to check feeder earlier this week and heard scuttling as I approached, then saw a squirrel that has scampered from the, still swinging, feeder onto the fence behind. I stood on the grass about 2.5metres away absolutely still and could see that the squirrel was all conflicted. "I want the nuts, but there is that big creature watching. Shall I scarper or return to the feeder? Don't know, Don't know". Eventually, his desire for nuts overcame his wariness of me and he came back to spend a few minutes quite brutally attacking the feeder and nibbling away at the nuts.

16 June: "Steady as she goes" nibblage this week. Wonder how much the increase in foliage is having, and also whether the occasional (and sometimes substantial) drops of old rice / bread on the birdtable (located elsewhere in the garden) have. NSB has noted that the birdtable is frequented by some lovely woodpigeons who seem to have a goat-like ability to consume, while the feeder seems to attract the attention of tits, robins and at least one squirrel.

The Bird Feeder, partly hidden within foliage, yesterday

05 May: Managed to get a re-supply of nuts at TESCO - bought two bags to avoid getting caught out again. Have seen sparrows, bluetits and a squirrel nibbling away. Love the fluttering sound the bluetits make as they fly away! You can see the results so far in the table below:

21April 2012 : Something has turned back one of the cage wires in, presumably an attempt to get at the nuts wholesale. Although there were no eyewitnesses, a squirrel is prime suspect, NSB imagines one that has had a troubled childhood and does not feel they have a stake in society, perhaps with anger management issues

Something wanted the nuts reeel bad!

Notes: 1) As spring progresses, the tree is going to develop foliage, which may, or may not, affect the rate of peanut consumption.

2) NSB will keep the feeder level between the 1/4 and 3/4 level (ish).

3) Whilst it is assumed that birdies are eating the peanuts, squirrels could also be at work. Thinking this through further, there is also the outside possibility that a tweezer equipped macaque monkey is nibbling NSB's nuts, but for now, let's assume that we are dealing only with birds and squirrels.

The OLD Bird Feeder, early in 2012

Are Macaque monkeys living wild in Nottingham?

Image Source : Wikipedia

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